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Gary Stooksbury, CEO of Aiken Electric Cooperative, Update on Carolina Connect and Club Business Meeting

May 22, 2023 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Aiken Electric Cooperative has joined an effort to make sure that every resident of South Carolina access to affordable, high-speed internet.

The cooperative, serving 46,000 customers in a nine-county area, recently joined with 10 other electric cooperatives to form the Broadband Cooperatives of South Carolina.

Gary Stooksbury, CEO of Aiken Electric, said the cooperative’s mission is to power and empower the communities it serves and enhance its members’ quality of life. He said during the COVID-19 pandemic, the cooperative became even more aware of the challenges its members in rural areas faced due to the lack of broadband internet. Stooksbury said the cooperative’s board met and discussed how to provide broadband to its members.

In 2021, Aiken Electric announced a partnership with Carolina Connect.

Stooksbury said over 4,000 homes and businesses have joined the new service and that buildout of the system is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“We are thankful to be able to make a noticeable difference in the lives of those we serve,” he said.

Aiken Electric’s efforts to connect its members to the worldwide web were not unique. Other electric cooperatives launched new broadband operations, expanded their existing service into new areas or worked with existing telecommunications providers to ensure their members were served.

The Broadband Cooperatives works to support those efforts.

“Just as it was unfair in the early 20th century to ask folks to live without electricity, it’s unfair to ask folks today to live without high-speed internet,” said Mike Couick, president and CEO of The Broadband Cooperatives of South Carolina. “People are tired of living in the digital dark age. We believe these largely rural areas have been left behind for far too long. We are here to help.”



May 22, 2023
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
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Newberry Hall
117 Newberry St SW
Aiken, SC 29801 United States
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