Three Sioux Falls-area companies awarded grants to expand rural internet service
The providers will earn more than $5.5 million for rural broadband and necessary infrastructure projects in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties as part of about $32.5 million in grants statewide.
SIOUX FALLS — Three telecommunications companies have been awarded more than $5.5 million to expand broadband access to rural areas in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties as part of a larger round of state grants, the governor’s office announced.
As part of a statewide effort to provide high-speed internet to nearly 3,100 households, farms and businesses, Gov. Kristi Noem announced Thursday, May 4, roughly $32.5 million in grants to nine telecommunications companies across South Dakota.
Among the recipients are Garretson-based Alliance Communications Cooperative, which was awarded $5.15 million for expansions in rural Beresford, rural Nora and Union Grove State Park; Sioux Falls-based Leap Communications, granted $440,000 for expansions south of Lennox; and SDN Communications, given $34,320 for an infrastructure project the at the Sioux Falls Public Safety Building.
The funds come from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s ConnectSD program, though additional matching private dollars mark a total investment of more than $47 million in the state’s broadband infrastructure.
Since 2019, between state and federal funding sources and matching industry investment, more than $203.5 million has been invested into broadband as a result of ConnectSD. The impact of this investment has resulted in more than 26,000 homes, businesses, farms, and critical access facilities gaining access to high-speed broadband across South Dakota.
This year’s 13 total awards across nine applicants focus on a portion of southeast South Dakota, as well as a large swathe of rural Stanley County and the Black Hills.
“ConnectSD is investing in South Dakota’s future by bringing high-speed broadband access to every South Dakota family,” Noem said in a statement. “We are committed to connecting every corner of South Dakota with high-speed internet access, and this investment will allow us to overcome challenges that stand in the way of that mission.”
Other companies who were awarded grants, as well as their projects, include:
- Venture Vison was awarded $8,681,523 for work in Stanley County, rural Ft. Pierre and in the northwestern Lower Brule Reservation.
- Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative was granted $6,985,631 for projects southeast of Leserville, in rural Utica, in western New Underwood and in Caputa and Rapid Valley.
- Leap Communications was awarded $3,533,900 for a second project in rural Irene and Mayfield.
- Long Lines Broadband, also known as Jefferson Telephone Company, received $1,219,176 for a project in rural Elk Point.
- Hanson Communications, also known as Mt. Rushmore Telephone Company, was granted $954,663 for work in the Keystone-Hermosa area.
- Midco was awarded $3,205,612 for work in Ashland Heights, Peaceful Pines, Ridgeview and Blackhawk, as well as an area along Sheridan Lake Road and a rural area west of Yankton.
- Gallatin Wireless Internet, also known as Celerity Internet, received $2,258,931 for projects southeast of Spearfish, north of Rapid City, East of Piedmont as well as along Haines Avenue, near Elk Creek Road and in Eagle Ridge and Eagle Crest.
More information on SDConnect and its grants can be found on the initiative’s website.