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Feds Fund South Dakota Broadband Map

South Dakota has launched a statewide broadband mapping project, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The new site,, has cool interactive features allowing citizens to submit data on local Wi-Fi spots and test their own speed. The site is also chock full o' maps. Here's who's got signal, as of April 2011.

DSL availability in South Dakota, as of April 2011DSL (light blue means you've got it)

South Dakota: Wireless Internet Service, April 2011Mobile Wireless (tan means you've got bars)

South Dakota: Fixed Wireless Internet, April 2011Fixed Wireless (pink blobs, like Sioux Valley's WiMax in Madison, Hartford, and Brookings, and the Sioux Valley microwave signal I'm using to publish this post!)

South Dakota: Fiber to the Home Availability, April 2011Fiber (brown)

South Dakota: Cable Broadband Availability, April 2011Cable (darker blue is cable Internet; light blue is lakes)

And these are just the plain old looky-looky maps. Check out the clicky-cliky interactive map, where you can get composite data for your address and anywhere else in South Dakota. Yum yum!

Governor Dennis Daugaard stops short of taking the United Nations line that Internet access is a human right (Michael Woodring breathes a sigh of relief). But his administration appears committed to the principle of hoooking everyone up to fast information access:

...From families, government, agriculture, economic development, education for adults and our children, public safety, EVERYONE in South Dakota can benefit from better broadband.

This project will serve to increase access to and use of broadband to better serve our citizens. With broadband everywhere, we can realize improved economic development, access to education and health care, enhanced public safety, improved government efficiencies, increased tourism, greater access to telework opportunities and more [ Benefits, downloaded 2011.06.25].

The governor's new website recognizes the potential of telework to boost local economies. The site even goes so far as to say "The lack of high-speed service in the rural areas totally extinguishes the possibility of new small business start-ups." The Education Benefits page says broadband is "essential to the quality of education." The governor may not be amending the state bill of rights to include broadband, but makes a pretty strong statement that every South Dakotan needs quality access to the Internet.


  1. Nick Nemec 2011.06.25

    What's with the fixed wireless leaking down from North Dakota up in the northwest corner of the state?

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.06.25

    Nick, that fixed wireless service appears to be coming from Consolidated Telcom, based in Dickinson. I wonder: maybe Consolidated has a transmitter in Bowman?

  3. Douglas Wiken 2011.06.25

    A few years ago Goldenwest installed new copper cable to farms in Tripp County. I asked if they were also running fiber optic cable at the same time. The response was more or less something like, "Of course not, what would any farmers ever need that kind of bandwidth for? It might have added 5 or 10 cents per foot of trench. Even if it was "dark" cable at the time, it would have made sense.

    "Utility foresight" is a bit of an oxymoron.

  4. Nick Nemec 2011.06.25

    My rural telecom, Venture Communications, fill be plowing fiber optic cable to my house this summer. The work is going on around the county right now.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.06.26

    Doug, those guys missed an opportunity there! Their thinking reminds me of IBM president Thomas Watson in 1943: "...there's a world market for maybe five computers."

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