Freedom Works Here

An Original Series
Loading...

ConnectSD

Broadband Development Program

 

When Governor Kristi Noem laid out her vision for South Dakota in her first address to the state legislature in 2019, she issued a challenge to bring sustainable, high-speed internet to every home and business in South Dakota. The legislature responded, approving a $5 million allocation that launched the ConnectSD broadband program, a public-private partnership to extend high-speed broadband to all South Dakotans.

In the months that followed, the importance of high-speed broadband access became apparent as an unprecedented global pandemic ushered in a seismic shift in how students attended class and many people worked. High-speed broadband proved itself to be critical infrastructure and our legislators have continued to invest greater amounts into broadband development.

Most recently in Dec 2023, over $32 million in grants were awarded for 3 projects from 3 applicants. These projects will leverage private matching dollars for a total investment of over $40 million in broadband infrastructure statewide, connecting 2,160 households, farms, and businesses. Two of these awards will be connecting high-speed fiber internet in a vast area of the southeast corner of South Dakota in the rural areas around both Yankton and Vermillion. The other project will cover 175 square miles in the Black Hills in the areas of rural Spearfish, St Onge, and Whitewood, including rural Belle Fourche to the Wyoming border.

The ConnectSD program has leveraged $85 million of state general funds along with $89 million of federal funds and $127 million of private investment from the broadband providers. These investments total over $301 million in broadband expansion in the state since Governor Noem took office in 2019. ConnectSD has awarded 103 grant awards or projects and has connected or is in the process of connecting almost 32,000 locations that either did not have internet or were underserved before starting this program.

“ConnectSD is investing in South Dakota’s future by bringing high-speed broadband access to every South Dakota family,” said Governor Noem. “We are committed to connecting every corner of South Dakota with high-speed internet access, and these investments will allow us to overcome challenges that stand in the way of that mission.”

 

.

South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Return to Top