South Dakota struggles to provide rural broadband access

Sioux Falls, SD (AP) – South Dakota is struggling to extend reliable internet service to all corners of the state as federal authorities consider investing billions of dollars in broadband access. So I plan to invest $ 100 million.

Data Reported Monday By Sioux Falls Argus Leader Many South Dakota schoolchildren and adults who worked from home during the pandemic suggested substandard high-speed internet access was struggling, especially in poorer counties and the less populated of the state. I am.

The “digital divide” in South Dakota and the rest of the United States claims to be due to two main factors. It is the lack of rural internet infrastructure and the relatively high cost of making broadband affordable for many in urban areas.

Broadband access is available to at least 88% of residents in about half of South Dakota’s counties (34 of 66), according to a Federal Communications Commission survey. However, in about half of the states measured by Microsoft (33 of 65 counties), only 28% of households actually have broadband access, according to USA TODAY analysis.

It helps explain why the South Dakota Parliament and Governor Kristi Noem got $ 100 million earlier this year – mostly Federal Pandemic Relief – Helping the telecommunications industry build fiber lines and antenna towers in rural areas.

Last month, President Joe Biden and a bipartisan parliamentary group agreed on a comprehensive infrastructure plan. It will allocate $ 65 billion to increase broadband connections from coast to coast. According to the White House, in South Dakota, 13% of residents do not have adequate broadband infrastructure and 48% live in areas with a single Internet provider.

The proportion of South Dakota households with broadband access varies widely. Only 5% in Mellette County and 9% in Ziebach County. Hyde County leads the state with 93%, Lincoln County with 77% and Potter County with 63%.

South Dakota struggles to provide rural broadband access

Source link South Dakota struggles to provide rural broadband access

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