broadband

SD Public Utilities Commission

A tax on internet service ended this summer, resulting in modest savings for South Dakota consumers and big holes in government budgets.

Meanwhile, governments are spending billions to expand high-speed internet access across the country, even as politicians grow increasingly resistant to imposing any internet taxes or fees that could pay for the expansion.

Gov. Kristi Noem welcomed the tax repeal.

Seth Tupper / SDPB

John Gomez only gets 50 gigabytes of monthly data from his satellite internet service.  

“So basically no video is allowed in this house,” he said. “After the 50 gigs they basically throttle you and you have very slow internet.” 

To enforce that no-video rule, he’s had to get militant. 

Public Utilities Commission

Some providers who received state broadband grants last year installed service where a competitor was using federal money to do the same. 

Gov. Kristi Noem created the Connect South Dakota program when she took office in 2019. Her goal is covering the approximately 12 percent of the state that lacks internet service fast enough to be described as “broadband.” 

Jackie Hendry

As the legislative session enters its final weeks, Governor Noem is reminding the public of her priorities for the legislature’s upcoming budget. In an address to the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, Noem leads with a commitment to increased broadband service.

Noem says gaps in internet service have cost small towns business opportunities. She says it also puts children in the k-12 school system at a disadvantage.

Chynna Lockett

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The Internet fuels our educational opportunities, our social interactions, our economic prosperity, our political influence, our community engagement, and our access to lifesaving healthcare services. 

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