SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Midco is moving towards fiber optic networks. 

In an announcement Tuesday, the regional internet, TV and home phone provider said a $500 million investment was going to bring 10G speeds through the “Fiber Forward” plan. Midco said Fiber Forward will deliver fiber fast internet speeds to homes and businesses through 22,000 miles of fiber cord. 

Fiber-optic internet is a broadband connection that sends data as fast as about 70% the speed of light. Currently, Midco offers 5G download speeds in some select areas. 

According to industry tracking firm BROADBANDNOW, 44% of South Dakotans have access to fiber-optic internet service. In June, South Dakota was ranked the 37th most well-connected state, but 61.9% of the state’s population has access to gigabit speeds.

Areas of Sioux Falls that will benefit from the Fiber Forward plan

Midco says the Fiber Forward will deliver “incredible reliability, enhanced speeds and lower latency to increase performance and support revolutionary innovations.” Some examples include remote health diagnostics, more advanced medical care, high-resolution graphics and interactive video walls for entertainment and business. 

Midco said $100 million of investment will go to Sioux Falls and the surrounding area first. Areas include Brandon, Baltic, Canton, Colton, Crooks, Elk Point, Lennox, Madison, Renner, Tea and Worthing. 

Fiber Forward is a privately funded investment to upgrade Midco’s existing services, but Midco does partner with the state of South Dakota. 

Gov. Kristi Noem has announced the state has committed $100 million to help connect rural residents through broadband internet.

According to BROADBAND NOW, here are some of the guidelines for the speed you would want:
Check email and browse the web: 1-5 Mbps minimum
Stream HD content: 15-25 Mbps minimum
Stream 4K content and play competitive online games: 40-100 Mbps minimum
Stream 4K content, play online games, and download very large files: 200+ Mbps minimum

KELOLAND News was at Tuesday’s announcement, look for more coverage online and on-air.