Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2010Blog written by SDN Communications
YANKTON, SD (OCT. 28, 2010) - SDN Communications kicked off its Yankton fiber optic construction today at the Yankton County Courthouse & Safety Center. Yankton is just one of 75 communities in its $25 million statewide project that will bring increased broadband access to more than 300 hospitals, schools, government facilities, and public safety offices.
SDN was selected in December 2009 to receive the $20 million grant as part of the Department of Commerce's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The company will contribute an additional $5 million to the project. SDN was likely the first company in the nation to begin construction on the BTOP initiative.
SDN started work in Rapid City in August, Vermillion and Watertown in September, and Yankton this month. Currently, SDN has ten outside plant crews working in these locations. Between the construction crews and the engineers who map out the construction, more than 55 workers are employed in the effort.
SDN's application was one of the nation's first 18 funded, making it among the top 1 percent of the telecom companies receiving an award. Yankton Mayor David Knoff and First Circuit Presiding Judge Arthur Rusch praised SDN for its application saying the project will improve the lives of South Dakotans.
"From electronic filings to statewide access to court documents and video arraignment capabilities, the increased bandwidth will improve the court's service to the public not to mention possibly save taxpayer dollars," Judge Rusch said.
Mayor Knoff said: "I'm excited about the economic development potential. The bigger, faster broadband pipes will be a key selling point to businesses looking to locate in Yankton."
SDN CEO Mark Shlanta thanks SDN's 17 owner companies - the cooperative, municipal, family and tribal-owned telephone companies - for the support in applying for the grant. The entire project will add 359 miles of new fiber optic cable and will be completed by December 2012.