Senator Thune Wants to See South Dakota Become More High Tech

Senator John Thune held a discussion panel today about the technological future of South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, SD— Senator John Thune led a panel discussion about the benefits of bringing high-speed broadband to rural areas.

Which he believes could help South Dakota be on par with other high-tech states.

“If you can have the productivity at the same speeds and the same type of digital clarity,” said Thune. “Just as you could in any other place in the country, there is more of an incentive I think for people to move here and bring their businesses here.”

Senator Thune says he has seen conversations like this one have an effect on the way the Federal Communications Commission distributes funds.

You could say South Dakota has received the fruits of that labor.

The State was recently awarded more than $700 million by the FCC to improve, maintain and expand broadband over the next decade.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr says one of the best ways to improve an area’s technology is by installing a 5G network.

“The reason it’s so important is 5G is not just faster phones it’s going to be more choices for internet access,” said Carr. “It’s going to be a whole new wave. It’s so important that everyone has a fair shot with this technology.”

Carr says that 5G can have a downloading speed of up to 100 times faster than 4G.

The conversation for the new network is already going on in Sioux Falls, as Mayor Paul TenHaken met with Carr about installing and developing 5G in the city.

“It would be transformative for our city for our workforce for bringing jobs here, bringing employers here. That’s why it’s important to me as the chief executive for the largest city in the state,” said TenHaken.

The City hopes to have 5G towers up and running by sometime next year.

Carr says Sioux Falls would be one of about 40 cities nationwide to have 5G installed.

A few cities that already have 5G are Atlanta, Orlando, New York, and Houston.

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