New broadband grant awards have been announced by Governor Kristi Noem. Eighteen of the grants have been awarded to fund broadband projects that will better connect unserved and underserved areas in the state. The 26-million dollars in grants will leverage private matching dollars for a total investment of more than 54-million dollars in broadband infrastructure statewide, connecting more than five-thousand households and more than 250 businesses.
One area broadband grant recipient is Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, who is receiving close to five-and-a-half million dollars for the areas of Lake Poinsett and Lake Albert, along with rural Codington County. Another is Valley FiberCom, who is receiving just more than six-million dollars for areas of rural Brookings, Kingsbury, and Moody counties.
With this round of grants, Governor Noem’s ConnectSD Initiative will have connected a total of more than 20-thousand locations across the state to high-speed internet. Construction on this round is expected to be completed in 2022 and 2023.
This round of grants also comes shortly after 25-million dollars in CARES Act funds were distributed in March for 24 broadband projects that could be completed by the end of this year. During this year’s legislative session, state lawmakers approved 75-million dollars in one-time state funding to finish connecting the state to high-speed broadband.
More information on these grants can be found here.