Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) announced today that Midstate Communications, Inc., a Kimball-based company, will receive a $6.3 million federal grant and a $2.7 million loan to increase broadband access to customers near Chamberlain and Oacoma. Today’s funding is part of the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture’s release of funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to expand high-speed Internet access across the country.
“This stimulus funding will help increase access to quality, high-speed internet to customers in Chamberlain and the surrounding area,” Johnson said. “The expansion of high-speed broadband is crucial for us to compete in a global economy, and improve education and public safety services.”
Today’s funding will allow Midstate Communications, Inc. to expand Internet access to approximately 3,715 individuals and 176 businesses. The project is also expected to create as many as 99 jobs, as well as provide a foundation for job creation and economic development for years to come.
Johnson is an advocate of legislation ensuring rural telecommunications providers can continue to offer affordable services to rural residents, and has co-sponsored several pieces of legislation to improve telecommunications in South Dakota.
The stimulus package signed by President Obama is focused on tax cuts for the middle class, infrastructure investments and job creation. This funding is a prime example of the kind of resources the legislation provides to help improve communities while advancing South Dakota’s economy.