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Noem Celebrates Advancements in Internet Access for South Dakota K-12 Schools

For Immediate Release

November 13, 2019

Contact: Kristin Wileman


Noem Celebrates Advancements in Internet Access for South Dakota K-12 Schools 

Editors/Reporters  - Governor Kristi Noem today announced that 100 percent of K-12 school districts in South Dakota now have access to high-speed internet on par with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) short-term goal of 100 kbps per student. Ninety-six percent of South Dakota’s public schools meet or exceed the goal to access at least 1 megabit per second per student in the classroom.

“I am incredibly proud that as a state, we are one of the nation’s top leaders in providing reliable, high-speed internet to our students,” said Noem. “By creating connectivity in the classroom, we arm students with the tools they need to prepare for digital careers and revolutionize the future of South Dakota’s economy.”

A newly released report from national non-profit EducationSuperHighway, which highlights the status of broadband connectivity in the nation’s K-12 public schools, found that South Dakota has delivered impressive upgrades to its schools since 2016, leading to a median bandwidth of 2.77 Mbps per student.

The increased focus on bringing high-speed broadband statewide is driving efforts to continue upgrading internet connectivity in schools in order to drive innovation in K-12 classrooms and prepare students for success in the 21st century workforce. These efforts have also resulted in the cost of broadband decreasing by 93 percent, from $16.20 in 2015 to $1.13 in 2019.

“The progress that Governor Noem has made in connecting South Dakota’s classrooms is significant, and we applaud her efforts to ensure that digital learning isn’t just a promise anymore — it’s a reality,” said Evan Marwell, CEO at EducationSuperHighway. 

“A gap in broadband internet is a failure to remain competitive,” continued Noem. “In the past six months, the state has committed $5 million to broadband improvement through my Connect South Dakota initiative. We’ve provided online access to 4,800 unserved households and more than 100 businesses. This is only the beginning of our work to bring high-speed internet access to as many South Dakotas as possible. I remained committed to doing everything I can to connect South Dakota to a better, brighter tomorrow. We owe it to our future: our children, the next generation.”

South Dakota school districts can learn more by visiting educationsuperhighway.org/districts.

Download the South Dakota 2019 Connectivity Snapshot.

About the State of the States Report
EducationSuperHighway’s State of the States report tracks progress toward the K-12 connectivity goals established by the Federal Communications Commission and provides state leaders with the information needed to finish the job of connecting America’s students to high-speed broadband. The report, published annually, is based on publicly available E-rate data.