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PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem announced today that 14 projects have been awarded grants to fund broadband projects to better connect unserved and underserved areas across South Dakota. In March, South Dakota legislators approved $5 million to continue broadband upgrades through Governor Noem’s Connect South Dakota broadband program. In addition, Governor Noem learned in May that funds would be allocated through the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, the stimulus fund created due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
“Quality, reliable and affordable internet is more important than ever before,” said Governor Noem. “COVID-19 made clear that distance learning, working remotely and telemedicine are the way of the future. I’m excited these dollars will help close our broadband gap. Though we still have work to do, this is a great start.”
The following companies were approved for grants:
Renner and Rowena
Beresford Municipal Telco
Faith Municipal Telephone
Northern Valley Communications (NVC)
Rural Davison County Phase I
Rural Davison County Phase II
Flyger, Monroe and Volin, Yankton County
West River Cable Television
In total, $11.5 million in grants funds was approved for projects totaling more than $30 million on broadband upgrades.
“When Governor Noem was elected, she made a commitment to serve the South Dakotans of today and the South Dakotans of the future,” said Steve Westra, Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “Our students, doctors and entrepreneurs deserve a broadband internet that allows them to compete equally and fairly. These dollars will help make that a reality.”
About the CARES Act: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress with overwhelming, bipartisan support and signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. This over $2 trillion economic relief package delivers on the Trump Administration’s commitment to protecting the American people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
The CARES Act provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and preserve jobs for our American industries.