RAPID CITY, S.D., Sept. 29, 2020 – The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $1.7 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in southwestern South Dakota and eastern Wyoming. This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.
“The ReConnect Program helps facilitate broadband deployment in areas of rural America that don’t currently have sufficient access to broadband,” said USDA Rural Development South Dakota State Director Julie Gross. “This project will provide high-speed internet e-Connectivity that will assist homeowners with gaining access to global markets, remote learning for school children, and opportunities for remote business operations. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural South Dakota in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Wally Wolski, USDA Rural Development Wyoming State Director, added, “This broadband project will cross the South Dakota border into rural eastern Wyoming to reach some of our most rural residents. Expanding access to this essential service will be most welcome by the area’s small communities.”
Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. will use a $1.7 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 218 people, five businesses, 65 farms and one essential community facility to high-speed broadband internet in Fall River and Custer counties in South Dakota and Niobrara and Weston counties in Wyoming.