Broadband in rural South Dakota surpasses national average
A new report shows South Dakota is above the national average when it comes to rural areas having access to broadband.
Those findings are from the independent consulting group 'South Dakota Dashboard'.
They were hired to review broadband access and internet providers say the results show their investments are paying dividends.
The report shows a promising future for broadband access at a time when the current system rates above national averages.
"In many cases our member companies are planning their communications networks to handle data traffic two and three decades into the future." Richard Coit with the South Dakota Telecommunications Association says his group asked an indepenent technology consultant group based in Rapid City called the South Dakota Dashboard to review rural broadband access in the state then report back on if the current system was good or not.
The results? "The lines that we serve....65% of all those lines are fiber to the home, fiber to the business."
That means 65% of rural customers services by S-D-T-A members have broadband access via fiber optic line. By comparison the national average is 40%.
"Being able to be connected with a reliable service line in order to be able to offer value back to our clients has been indispensable." Jennifer Reecy is the Chief Learning Officer with N2Growth, an international executive search company. She works out of her Dell Rapids home but says she wouldn't be able to if she didn't have quality, high speed broadband.
And she says providing it to as many rural areas as possible could save those smaller towns from fading away. "A huge benefit to the technology is to be able to sustain the quality of life that we have here in Dell Rapids and across the Midwest and know that we can still service clients again locally, nationally and internationally."
And another sign of the importance of broadband availability is something a realtor recently told Rich Coit. "It's getting to the point where it's hard to sell a house if they don't have good broadband in the house."