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ICYMI: What They’re Saying About the Connect South Dakota Grant Awards

For Immediate Release

May 30, 2019

Contact: Kristin Wileman


ICYMI: What They’re Saying About the Connect South Dakota Grant Awards


PIERRE, S.D. – Earlier this week, Governor Kristi Noem announced the recipients of $5 million of Connect South Dakota grant awards. These private-public partnerships will extend high-speed internet access to more than 100 businesses and 4,800 homes. In case you missed it, here is what has been said about Noem’s broadband initiative:


Alliance Communications

“Alliance Communications would like to thank Gov. Kristi Noem and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. We are honored to be selected as a grant recipient. Many students in this area struggle to complete homework at home due to the broadband gap, and one large dairy operation is struggling with no broadband capability. A fiber-optic broadband infrastructure will help farming and dairy operations run more efficiently and provide new educational opportunities and telecommuting employment options.” –Ross Petrick, Alliance Communications General Manager


Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority

“The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Telephone Authority is extremely pleased to have been awarded a Connect South Dakota grant. Governor Noem clearly understands how vital broadband and other communications services are to those who live on the wrong side of the digital divide. The community of Timber Lake has struggled for many years with inadequate broadband service, and we know that bringing fast, reliable, high-capacity broadband service to Timber Lake will greatly enhance all aspects of community life.” –Mona Thompson, General Manager of CRST Telephone Authority


Mitchell Telecom

“Our mission at Mitchell Telecom has always been to improve how homes and businesses in the community of Mitchell connect and communicate. We are very excited that Connect South Dakota will allow us to pursue that mission now for nearly 260 homes and businesses in rural Mitchell. The program is a great opportunity not only for our company but the entire state to improve broadband connectivity in areas of need.” –Scott Peper, General Manager and CEO of Mitchell Telecom


RC Technologies

“RC Technologies is excited to be chosen as one of the recipients of Governor Noem’s Connect South Dakota broadband grants! This public-private partnership will allow our cooperative to build a state-of- the-art fiber optic network to the town of Kranzburg and several other areas of rural Codington County. With higher speeds and more broadband capacity, the residents of these areas will no longer have to make do with sub-standard service. We applaud the Governor for her vision and understanding of the problem faced by those with inadequate broadband service and for her leadership to make this grant program a reality.” –Scott Bostrom, General Manager of RC Technologies


Vast Broadband

“Vast Broadband is delighted to be able to expand essential broadband service to previously unserved areas in southeast South Dakota with the help of the State. We appreciate the Governor’s leadership in creating a mechanism to expand private investment coupled with public support for deployment of high-speed internet service to rural areas of South Dakota.” –Jim Gleason, President of Vast Broadband


Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative

“ITC is proud to partner with Governor Noem in her broadband initiative, and we look forward to providing state of the art broadband connectivity to rural South Dakotans who lack it currently. This initiative is an extensive process, but we’ll help where we can, one step at a time.” –Bryan Roth, CEO of ITC


Midco Communications

“Midco has been at the forefront of closing the Digital Divide in South Dakota through our continued investment in our fiber network and our enhanced efforts to deploy innovative fixed wireless technology across our footprint. As we continue these initiatives, we are proud to partner with the State of South Dakota to help meet the needs of unserved and underserved South Dakotans in the southeastern part of the state. We commend Governor Noem for understanding the importance of ensuring all South Dakotans receive the full potential of internet connectivity and for bringing additional awareness and capital to the cause.” –Paige Pearson Meyer, Director of Public & Media Relations for Midco Communications


Venture Communications

“It is great to see Governor Noem and the State of South Dakota investing in broadband deployment efforts in these areas. This 5.8 million-dollar project will reach nearly 700 customer locations in Western Hughes County that are currently suffering from poor or no broadband connectivity. Joint projects like this are critical in reaching these portions of South Dakota.” –Randy Houdek, General Manager/CEO of Venture Communications


Applications for Connect South Dakota grants were accepted from April 24 to May 10. Evaluation criteria included: rurality of proposed funded service areas; performance of the solutions; ability of the company to financially exceed the minimal grant matching requirements; farms and businesses in the proposed area; critical community facilities served; and reservation lands served.  


The eight projects that received grants will be completed by the end of 2019.