Expanding broadband access for all South Dakotans was a top campaign priority for Governor Kristi Noem, and she’s delivering on her promise. Shortly after taking office, the governor launched the Connect South Dakota initiative, and her administration has been working tirelessly ever since to expand Internet access to all residents of the Mount Rushmore State.
Through the initiative, and by partnering with the private sector, the governor is providing South Dakota’s schools with the tools they need to prepare students for the jobs of the future, and giving the state’s businesses a boost to become more competitive in the global economy.
South Dakotans have seen real results. In 2019, South Dakota was recognized for reaching the impressive milestone of equipping all of the state’s K-12 school districts with access to high speed Internet.
Even amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Noem has continued to make major strides. By securing new funding and working with the legislature to direct resources toward this critical need, Governor Noem has now committed more than $40 million towards efforts to expand internet access.
South Dakota’s KELO reported this week:
The Legislature provided a second round of $5 million for the initiative that Governor Kristi Noem began last year. Then another $6.5 million came from Congress through the CARES Act…Combined with $5 million of state grants last year that generated some $11 million of investments, the Noem administration will have accomplished more than $40 million of upgrades.
“Governor Noem was laying the groundwork to keep South Dakotans connected long before COVID-19 made the ability to work, learn, and live virtually more important than ever,” said RGA Communications Director Amelia Chassé Alcivar. “Governor Noem is giving South Dakota’s schools the tools they need to prepare students for the jobs of the future, giving businesses a boost to compete in the global economy, and preparing all South Dakotans for overcoming current challenges and leveraging future opportunities.”