MYRTLE BEACH, S.C (WBTW) – Google is considering Myrtle Beach as a potential location for a subsea cable project that would boost internet connectivity and the local tech industry.
According to Google, the cable would start along the east coast of the U.S. and end off the coast of Argentina.
“It’s kind of like an interstate for technology,” said Sandy Davis, the president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation.
She said the minimum economic impact on the Grand Strand from the project would be $100 million.
“It’s such a huge capital investment,” she said. “I mean, can you just imagine a cable running that far and the company that is going to have to do it, the time that is going to be spent on it, the jobs, the creation. It’s amazing.”
The internet connectivity would likely bring a slew of jobs to Horry County and add to a relatively untapped workforce.
“We have the programs set up for our workforce here and a lot of people have struggled to find those jobs because we don’t have a huge technology base here for companies,” Davis said.
Companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Netflix use this kind of subsea cable technology.
“It’s going to be a new recruiting tool,” Davis said.
Right now, Myrtle Beach is competing with two other cities along the east coast for the project, and Davis said securing it is “like a race.”
“Our biggest hurdles right now are permitting,” she said. “This is new to the state of South Carolina, so just getting in touch with the right people and explaining what we’re going to do in the timeframe.”
Davis does not believe there will be any environmental impacts because of the materials used in the cables.
“This is really durable, not like something fish can bite,” Davis said. “It’s been around for a long time. They do know what they’re doing, so I don’t see any impacts.”