Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2010Blog written by Super
WATERTOWN, SD (SEPT. 20, 2010) - SDN Communications kicked off its Watertown fiber optic construction today - just one of 75 communities in its $25 million statewide project that will bring increased broadband access to 305 hospitals, schools, government facilities and public safety offices. SDN marked the occasion at the South Dakota State Offices in Watertown.
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 started work in Rapid City last month, Vermillion in early September, and Watertown this week. SDN was likely the first company in the nation to begin construction on the BTOP initiative.
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. Watertown Mayor Gary Williams and Regional Manager for the Department of Social Services Sandra Albertsen praised SDN for its application saying the project will improve the lives of South Dakotans.
"This can be a key economic development tool for Watertown," Mayor Williams said. "When a business is looking to locate in our community, one of the first things they ask is - ‘What kind of broadband service is available?' "
Albertsen said: "These bigger, better, faster broadband pipes will allow employees to get more done in their days and better serve our customers - the taxpayers of South Dakota."
Shlanta praised SDN's owners - 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.