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HomeLatest NewsState NewsAdditional Round of Broadband Funding Announced: Potential Positive Impact for Rural Health...

Additional Round of Broadband Funding Announced: Potential Positive Impact for Rural Health Care

Additional broadband funding is being made available, which could provide a positive impact for health care facilities in rural communities across the state. This past week 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 here.

Grants were approved for the following:

  • James Valley Cooperative Telephone Company
    • Andover‐Claremont‐Columbia‐Ferney‐Houghton‐Mellette Tele Exchanges
    • $5,204,263
  • RC Technologies
    • Rural Corona
    • $60,508
  • RC Technologies
    • Rural South Roberts County
    • $228,650
  • Leap Communications, LLC
    • Rural Turner and McCook Counties
    • $3,592,680
  • Venture Vision
    • Rural Huron
    • $4,069,263
  • Jefferson Telephone Company, LLC
    • West and north of North Sioux City
    • $526,200
  • Jefferson Telephone Company, LLC
    • South of Elk Point
    • $514,200
  • Alliance Communications
    • Central Lincoln County
    • $6,311,698
  • Valley Communications Inc (dba Valley FiberCom)
    • Rural Kingsbury, Brookings, and Moody County
    • $1,597,657
  • Fort Randall Telephone Company
    • Keystone-Hermosa
    • $807,189
  • Midco (Midcontinent Communications)
    • Black Hills – Johnson Siding and Hisega
    • $1,378,800
  • Midco (Midcontinent Communications)
    • West rural Madison and Clay County
    • $187,500
  • Clarity Telecom, LLC (dba Vast Broadband)
    • Black Hills Terry Peak Village
    • $168,081
  • Clarity Telecom, LLC (dba Vast Broadband)
    • Black Hills Crook City Road
    • $117,325
  • Clarity Telecom, LLC (dba Vast Broadband)
    • Black Hills Old Deer Mountain
    • $77,597
  • Clarity Telecom, LLC (dba Vast Broadband)
    • Black Hills Pillar Peak
    • $355,120

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