SDN Communications is entering its second phase of installing hundreds of miles of fiber optic cables to bring high speed broadband service to rural communities.
At the South Dakota State Fair, SDN Communications celebrates completing more than half of its $25 million project, funded largely by a federal grant to bring broadband service to rural communities.
"Our big challenge is basically the distance between our towns and some of the centers of government," SDN Communications CEO Mark Shlanta said. "I think we can shorten these distances with advanced networking."
Huron is one of the newest cities to receive broadband, as well as Rapid City, Watertown, Yankton, Vermillion and Canton. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard says the high-speed broadband is already helping those communities.
"Teachers used to have to schedule the usage of online video streaming. Today, multiple teachers can do online video streaming and it is as smooth as if you had the DVD in the machine right there," Daugaard said.
The project is expected to be completed in December of 2012, but South Dakota's weather hasn't been forgiving to the rigorous timelines.
"It has been a struggle to stay ahead of the schedule. Long winters and spring flooding all go to impact your construction schedule," Shlanta said.
Despite its challenges, SDN Communications says they are well on their way to bringing new fiber and connectivity to more than 300 sites.
SDN Communications will soon reach other communities near Huron including Madison, DeSmet, Lake Preston, Arlington and Volga in the coming months.