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South Dakota Ag News Headlines
Noem Announces Broadband Grant Awards
South Dakota Ag Connection - 06/25/2020

Governor Kristi Noem announced Wednesday 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 Noem's Connect South Dakota broadband program. In addition, 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:

- Alliance Communications, Renner and Rowena, $766,800

- Beresford Municipal Telco, Beresford, $988,000

- Faith Municipal Telephone, Faith, $493,163

- Midco Communications, Belle Fourche, $190,620

- Midco Communications, Sioux Falls, $286,474

- Northern Valley Communications (NVC), Mina, $933,832

- Northern Valley Communications (NVC), Redfield, $1,472,831

- Santel Communications, Rural Davison County Phase I, $983,533.50

- Santel Communications, Rural Davison County Phase II, $1,056,533.50

- Valley FiberCom, Flandreau, $455,648.50

- Vast Broadband, Rapid City, $295,595

- Vast Broadband; Flyger, Monroe and Volin, Yankton County; $605,755

- Venture Communications, Hughes County, $2,807,767.64

- West River Cable Television, McIntosh, $187,250

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."

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