South Dakota Network, LLC

Project Connect South Dakota

South Dakota Network (SDN), a partnership of 27 independent telecom providers, proposed Project Connect South Dakota to add 140 miles of backbone network and 219 miles of middle mile spurs to SDN’s 1,850-mile fiber-optic network. This improvement in the network proposes to enable the delivery of at least 10 Mbps service to more than 220 existing anchor institution customers in rural and underserved areas of the state. The network also intends to connect more than 300 new anchor institutions, including public middle and high schools, libraries, universities, hospitals, clinics, public safety agencies, courthouses, government buildings, and National Guard facilities. Patients and hospitals are expected to benefit from the network through the use of telemedicine to update medical records, to conduct remote testing, and to provide diagnostic services. School children in sparsely populated areas are expected to benefit through improved participation in distance-learning programs.

Total Award: 
BTOP In Action

SDN Communications is moving swiftly to deploy the state’s new middle mile network before the ground freezes this winter. Throughout South Dakota, SDN crews are hard at work deploying a network that is the core of a $25 million investment to connect more than 300 anchor institutions – schools, hospitals, public safety agencies, and government offices – in 75 South Dakota communities.

SDN has two years to complete connectivity, an aggressive timeline since South Dakota winters will halt construction for four months a year. One of the first BTOP infrastructure recipients to break ground, the company put an estimated 50 construction workers on the job, not to mention the administrative workers and consultants managing the projects. Work started in Rapid City in August, and crews broke ground in Vermillion, Watertown, and Yankton in September. Vermillion’s nine anchor institutions will be service-ready by mid-November. The other three communities will be ready by year’s end.

To see local news coverage, please visit here. To experience the impact of the project up close, watch SDN’s BTOP Stimulus Project video.

Last Updated: May 9, 2011.

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