Expanding internet access was a priority and promise Governor Kristi Noem made to the people of South Dakota. After less than a year in office, the governor has already made major strides, working with industry leaders, elected officials throughout the state, and federal partners to improve internet connectivity in the Mount Rushmore State.
This past week, thanks to Governor Noem’s leadership, South Dakota celebrated an impressive feat – 100% of K-12 school districts in South Dakota now have access to high-speed internet. Internet speeds in classrooms across the state are now 3.5 times faster than they were just a year ago. By providing reliable, high-speed internet to classrooms around the state, South Dakota students are properly equipped to further advance their education as they prepare for the jobs of the 21st century economy.
Through Governor Noem’s Connect South Dakota initiative, the state has aggressively pursued an all-hands-on-deck approach to close the broadband gap and deliver high speed internet access to the 88,000 South Dakotans who are lacking it. This past legislative session, the governor committed $5 million in grant funding for public-private partnerships to deliver high-speed internet access to nearly 5,000 households and 100 businesses. The program is also improving affordability – in the last year, the average cost of broadband in the state has decreased by over 58 percent.
Governor Noem is committed on building on of these accomplishments and delivering on her promise to expand broadband access to as many South Dakotans as possible.
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