PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem announced today that 24 grants have been awarded to fund broadband projects to better connect unserved and underserved areas across South Dakota. In February, it was announced that $25 million in CARES Act funding was made available for broadband projects that could be completed by the end of 2021. Additionally, South Dakota legislators approved an additional $75 million in one-time state funding to finish connecting the state to high-speed broadband.
“We’re finishing our efforts to connect the entire state to high-speed broadband,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Folks in South Dakota shouldn’t have to choose between their career and the way of life in their hometown. With these projects, more and more South Dakotans won’t have to makes such a choice.”
The following grants were approved:
Ft. Randal Telephone Company
Wagner, Lake Andes, Keystone, Hermosa, Centerville and Viborg
Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative
James Valley Cooperative Telephone Company
City of Groton
Kennebec Telephone Company
Harrisburg, Rural Tea and Rural Vermillion
Rural E Davison
Northern Valley Communications
Brown County, Rural Bristol, Rural Conde
Big Stone Lake
Santel Communications Cooperative
Beadle County and Rural Davison
Junius and Fulton
Rural Brookings and Kingsbury Counties
Rural Belle Fourche, Spearfish, Yankton and Turner Counties
In total, $30.5 million in grants funds was approved for projects totaling more than $56.7 million on broadband upgrades. 5,886 households and 377 businesses will be impacted by the grant dollars, meaning 6,263 locations in total will soon have access to broadband internet.
“High-speed broadband internet has long been a commodity our rural communities have hoped for, and I’m pleased these dollars are helping make that a reality,” said Commissioner Steve Westra, Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “Governor Noem’s steadfast commitment to South Dakotans of today and tomorrow has never been stronger. I’m proud of the work being done to aid in a stronger, brighter South Dakota.”
Full Connect South Dakota grant details can be found at sdgoed.com/public-records/connectsd/.