Broadband Access Expanding in Rural South Dakota

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Sometimes rural communities miss out on the latest tech. It turns out, rural South Dakota is keeping up with the times.

South Dakota has a low population density, in fact, three quarters of South Dakota is rural. However, a new report says broadband is becoming more accessible.

According to the report, South Dakota has more broadband internet access than many other predominantly rural states. The South Dakota Telecommunications Association says internet access allows rural residents to stay competitive in business and education.

“We think that life here is remote or behind the times but it when it comes to fiber deployment, the work that’s being done in this room stands out,” said Jared McEntaffer with South Dakota Dashboard.

Many rural South Dakotans get their internet via fiber optic lines. Those are plastic fibers about the size of a human hair that makes internet access possible. They can deliver potentially unlimited broadband.

It costs an average of $16,000 to install on mile of fibers in rural South Dakota.

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