rural landscape

The Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative is getting a $1.7 million grant to provide services in South Dakota and Wyoming in the second round of funding in the USDA ReConnect program.

The grant will enable the firm to deploy a FTTN platform that will connect 218 people, five businesses, 65 farms and one essential community facility in Fall River and Custer counties in southwestern South Dakota and Niobrara and Weston counties in eastern Wyoming.

The ReConnect program has previously invested in South Dakota and Wyoming:

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  • In May, a $3.3 million South Dakota USDA Reconnect award went to SDN Communications for a fixed broadband network for Penningand Lawrence counties, SD. The footprint of the grant covers 13 square miles and potentially impacts 275 people, 14 businesses and two farms.
  • In December, 2019, The Valley Telecommunications Cooperative was granted $9.5 million to deploy a FTTH network in Brookings, Kingsbury and Moody counties in SD. The network will reach 1,750 households, 27 farms, 17 businesses and a critical care facility.
  • In November, 2019, The Heartland Telecommunications Company of Iowa, which operates as Premier Communications, got a loan of $7.2 million. The money will be used to make service available to 27 farms and 868 rural households in Iowa and South Dakota. The company will deploy FTTP networks capable of 1 Gbps symmetrical service.
  • Also in November, All West got a grant of $4.79 million for creation of a FTTP network in Sweetwater, County, WY. It will provide speeds as high as 1 Gbps in two service areas that include almost 320 households, 20 businesses, 18 farms and schools in Farson and Granger, WY.

Applications for the second round of the ReConnect program closed in April. The USDA received 172 applications for $1.57 billion in the $550 million round.

The first round saw the USDA invest $698 million to connect about 167,000 households, 17,000 rural small businesses and farms and more than 500 health care centers, educational facilities and critical community facilities in 33 states.

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