Mount Rushmore

Nine providers will share $32.5 million in broadband funding from the state of South Dakota awarded yesterday. The awards were made through the state’s ConnectSD grant program.

The three biggest winners were all local telecom providers. Venture Vision, also known as Venture Communications, will receive $8.6 million. Golden West will receive two awards totaling nearly $7 million. And Alliance Communications Cooperative will receive $5.1 million.

Following them in amount of funding won were fixed wireless provider Leap Communications, which won two awards totaling $3.9 million; Midco, which will receive $3.2 million; and Gallatin Wireless, which will receive $2.2 million.

Three other providers each won $1.2 million or less.

The results in South Dakota are different from what we have seen in some other state broadband funding programs, in which major cable companies have been big winners.

Midco was the only name on the list of winners that will be familiar to many people outside South Dakota.

The projects are expected to connect 3,137 households, farms and businesses in Stanley County, parts of the southeast corner of the state and parts of the Black Hills region.

Providers will be contributing an additional $15 million to project costs.

“We are committed to connecting every corner of South Dakota with high-speed internet access, and this investment will allow us to overcome challenges that stand in the way of that mission,” said South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, in a press release.

The complete list of grant recipients can be found in the release.

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