HURON, S.D., Oct. 27, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development South Dakota State Director Nikki Gronli today announced that the Department is providing $16.9 million to bring high-speed internet access to people living and working on the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Reservations.
“This is a historic broadband investment in rural South Dakota,” said Gronli. “Many of our tribal residents lack adequate access and this investment will provide positive change for Native farmers, ranchers and students living and working on the Cheyenne River Reservation.”
The $16.9 million grant comes from the third funding round of the ReConnect Program. As part of today’s announcement, for example:
- Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority is receiving a $16.9 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 488 people, 88 farms and seven businesses to high-speed internet in Corson and Dewey counties in South Dakota. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs. This project will serve socially vulnerable communities in Corson and Dewey counties and on the Cheyenne Rive and Standing Rock Reservations.
USDA is making 49 awards in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, Guam and Palau. This list includes awards to The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, and the utility authorities for the Navajo Nation and the Tohono O’odham Nation. Many of the awards will help rural people and businesses on Tribal lands.
In 2022, the Department has announced $1.6 billion from the third round of ReConnect funding.
Background: ReConnect Program
To be eligible for ReConnect Program funding, an applicant must serve an area that does not have access to service at speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) (download) and 20 Mbps (upload). The applicant must also commit to building facilities capable of providing high-speed internet service with speeds of 100 Mbps (download and upload) to every location in its proposed service area.
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov or contact the nearest USDA Rural Development state office.
Background: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
President Biden forged consensus and compromise between Democrats, Republicans and Independents to demonstrate our democracy can deliver big wins for the American people. After decades of talk on rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, President Biden delivered the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – a historic investment in America that will change people’s lives for the better and get America moving again.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $65 billion to ensure every American has access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet through a historic investment in broadband infrastructure deployment. The legislation also lowers costs for internet service and helps close the digital divide, so that more Americans can take full advantage of the opportunities provided by internet access.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/sd.
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