Freedom Works Here.
PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem announced new broadband grants that will make quality, high-speed internet available to underserved locations in South Dakota as her commitment to her ConnectSD Initiative continues. Over $25 million in grants were awarded to 16 projects from 10 different applicants. These projects will leverage private matching dollars for a total investment of over $46.5 million in broadband infrastructure statewide, connecting 4,467 households, businesses, and farms.
“High-speed internet plays a crucial role in most of our daily lives,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “This latest round of grants is building on the success of ConnectSD, which is allowing tens of thousands of South Dakotans the opportunity to live and work where they choose.”
In December 2021, industry partners were asked to submit applications to help connect the state to high-speed internet. They responded by applying to cover significant gaps in rural areas in the plains as well as more coverage in the Black Hills. As South Dakota extends coverage through the vast rural miles, expenses increase with more miles of fiber needed. Inflation is also adding to costs of labor and materials, making this public/private partnership more important than ever.
Governor’s Office of Economic Development Commissioner Steve Westra said, “We received a record number of applications. This demonstrates the continued need for broadband in our state that Governor Noem recognized back in 2019 when she started this program.”
When this round of grant work is complete, Governor Noem’s ConnectSD Initiative will have connected a total of over 26,000 locations with high-speed internet. Construction is expected to be completed in 2024.
New coverage areas of soon to be connected locations as well as past ConnectSD projects can be viewed on the South Dakota Broadband map located at: https://sdbit.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=ccd16c24bf804c1fa67d50373d100464
Grants were approved for the following:
James Valley Cooperative Telephone Company
Andover‐Claremont‐Columbia‐Ferney‐Houghton‐Mellette Tele Exchanges
Rural South Roberts County
Leap Communications, LLC
Rural Turner and McCook Counties
Jefferson Telephone Company, LLC
West and north of North Sioux City
South of Elk Point
Central Lincoln County
Valley Communications Inc (dba Valley FiberCom)
Rural Kingsbury, Brookings, and Moody County
Fort Randall Telephone Company
Midco (Midcontinent Communications)
Black Hills – Johnson Siding and Hisega
West rural Madison and Clay County
Clarity Telecom, LLC (dba Vast Broadband)
Black Hills Terry Peak Village
Black Hills Crook City Road
Black Hills Old Deer Mountain
Black Hills Pillar Peak