Alliance closes digital divide for residents north of Sherman

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In News, Internet

Alliance Communications, based in Garretson, S.D., received a grant from the State of South Dakota to bring fiber-optic broadband Internet to an underserved area north of Sherman, S.D.

“Connecting homes and businesses directly to a 100 percent fiber-optic network gives users the fastest and most reliable Internet connection available anywhere,” said Ross Petrick, general manager for Alliance Communications.

The project will bring reliable broadband to homes, farms and businesses and create new telecommuting opportunities to locations in northeastern Minnehaha County and southeastern Moody County along SD Highway 11. Network construction to approximately 65 homes and two businesses will begin this spring and will be completed late Fall 2019.

Initially, customers will be able to receive symmetrical speeds of up to 200 Mbps. The network will have the capacity to reach 1 Gbps when customer demand reaches that level.

“This area is currently lacking broadband services from both wireless and wireline providers,” Petrick said. “The providers currently serving the area are battling aging facilities or great distances to core network facilities. Current speeds regularly don’t exceed 3 Mbps and trouble calls take days or even weeks to fix.”

This project will allow people to support their farming or dairy operations and provide new telecommuting opportunities, Petrick said. Many families in this area are experiencing the broadband homework gap today, and one large dairy operation is struggling with no broadband capability, he said.

The total project will cost roughly $600,000, and the State of South Dakota is investing $269,429 into the project.

“Alliance Communications would like to thank Gov. Kristi Noem and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development,” Petrick said. “We are honored to be selected as a grant recipient. Once the network is completed, these customers will have access to an elite communications network that will rival those found in America’s largest cities.”

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