Increasing High-Speed Internet Usage Across All of South Dakota

Over the past 3 years, over $1 million dollars in funding has been awarded through 154 grants in 74 communities across the state of South Dakota. The purpose of the funding was to purchase equipment needed to increase usage and adoption of high-speed Internet (broadband) services in order to improve economic opportunities and the overall quality of life.

The funding was made available through the South Dakota Broadband Initiative (SDBI), a project managed by the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT). This project provided opportunities for expert consultation, unbiased technical advice, and the acquisition of much needed robust enterprise level equipment. Grant funds were used to purchase technical devices and equipment, such as networking and wireless components, firewalls, and computers.

The grant funding, was available for any Community Anchor Institution (CAI) such as libraries, medical and healthcare facilities, K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, public safety offices (fire, ambulance, police, etc.), government offices (city, county, state, tribal, etc.), and other community support locations (YMCA’s, United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.).

These grant awards are quite diverse, and provide previously absent opportunities for the awardees, their communities and ultimately its citizens. For example, city and county offices are now offering secured public Wi-Fi at commission and board meetings, schools and libraries have more computers, faster networks and secured wireless access for students and patrons. Community centers have the opportunity to offer more technology access to their members and visitors.

Some South Dakota locations are difficult for providers to reach customers with high-speed Internet. Now, if citizens live in these very rural areas where their Internet capabilities are limited these grants help provide a location where they can gather to utilize high-speed Internet. These community anchor locations with publicly available, safe, and secure high-speed Internet access make a huge impact in our communities.

SDBI has created a document to showcase how each CAI utilized the grant funds. The document summarizes the equipment purchased and how it will be used to improve their community through increased usage and adoption of high-speed Internet services. The document can be found on the SDBI website at http://broadband.sd.gov/Docs/Awarded_Grant_Usage_and_Summaries.pdf.

Break down of the Community Anchor Institutions

#
Community Anchor Institutions Improved
34
K-12 Schools
31
Libraries
16
Medical & healthcare facilities
4
Public Safety offices
4
Higher education
42
Municipalities, Government & Tribal Offices
23
Community Support Locations

About the South Dakota Broadband Initiative:
 
South Dakota’s participation in the State Broadband Initiative is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce through the National Telecommunications & Information Administration. The purpose of the project is to identify high-speed Internet availability along with facilitating the integration of broadband and information technology into local economies. Broadband technologies can be a significant contributor and competitive advantage to growing our rural economy in the 21st century.  For more information, please visit http://broadband.sd.gov or connect with us at facebook.com/Broadbandsd or @Broadbandsd.

About the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications:
The South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) strives to provide a reliable, secure and agile infrastructure, deliver valuable services through advanced technology solutions and retain a highly skilled workforce to directly support clients and the services they provide to the State of South Dakota. BIT provides a variety of services, including: project management, technology integration, software and hardware, hosting, email capabilities, voicemail and phone services, document imaging, network storage, help desk support services, GIS, ongoing technology maintenance and much more. For more information, please visit bit.sd.gov or connect with us at blog.bit.sd.gov or @bit_sd.

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