OSP Fiber Plow Rural

South Dakota awarded $32.4 million in rural broadband funding on Friday. The funding will go to three small providers.

The biggest winner was Gallatin Wireless, which does business as Celerity Internet. The company was awarded over $15.2 million. The company began deploying fixed wireless service in parts of South Dakota in 2012 and more recently, has also deployed fiber broadband.

Just last month, Celerity won $16.2 million in rural broadband funding from a Wyoming broadband program.

The second biggest winner in this round of ConnectSD funding was South Dakota-based provider Santel Communications Cooperative, which was awarded over $13.4 million.

The third awardee was Long Lines Broadband, which is based in Iowa and does business as Jefferson Telephone Company. The company, launched in the 1890s, will take home over $3.7 million. The company has deployed both fixed wireless and fiber broadband.

The awards were made through the ConnectSD program, which is administered by the the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. According to a press release, the funding came from the 2021 legislative appropriation, relinquished projects and closed projects that came in under budget.

The awardees will contribute additional funding to the buildouts, which are expected to cost a total of $40.3 million. The buildouts are expected to make high-speed broadband available to 2,160 households, farms and businesses.

This is expected to be the final round of funding in the ConnectSD program.

Additional information about South Dakota broadband, including links to state resources and previous Telecompetitor coverage, can be found on the Broadband Nation web page for the state.

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