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Noem Fails to Thank Biden for Funding Rural Broadband

Governor Kristi Noem’s weekly propaganda column touts her promotion of broadband to support “our rural way of life”:

When I was first elected, I pledged to connect every corner of South Dakota to high-speed broadband, but it looked like this would take 10 years to accomplish. Because of South Dakota’s tremendous tax revenues, we managed to fully fund our broadband program in just a couple years. We have connected thousands of South Dakotans to high-speed internet. Families in small towns now can get Wi-Fi access right at home. Farmers can get internet to monitor various aspects of their operations [Gov. Kristi Noem, weekly propaganda column, 2022.09.23].

Those “tremendous tax revenues” have accrued thanks to the federal government’s bail-out of an economy that would have tanked amidst coronavirus. And we’re actually using President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act funds to cover the state’s match for the broadband money we’re getting from President Biden’s big infrastructure bill:

In 2021, the state appropriated $75 million in general funds and $25 million in federal coronavirus relief funds toward rural broadband expansion grants. In 2022, state legislators passed Senate Bill 55, which appropriated $50 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to broadband expansion. This money will allow the state to recover and replace some of the general funds appropriated for broadband in 2021. The GOED notes the state intends to use half of these ARPA funds as match dollars required for broadband funding the state will receive through the recently passed federal infrastructure bill [Heidi Kolbeck-Urlacher, “South Dakota Broadband Resource Guide,” Center for Rural Affairs, June 2022, p. 12].

Governor Noem won’t say one good word about President Biden’s  American Rescue Plan and his infrastructure bill. But without those big Biden plans, Noem wouldn’t have nearly as much broadband to brag about.

Related Reading: On Thursday, the USDA announced another $502 million in loans and grants to 32 high-speed Internet projects in 20 states, brought to rural America by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.


  1. Jad 2022-09-25 09:45

    Broadband may be coming available but is it affordable. In my case the phone cooperative requires you purchase a bundle package at over $100 per month. That is not my definition of affordable

  2. All Mammal 2022-09-25 10:13

    She is steady making SD look like an ungrateful, superficial, tumor state.

    Until you govern a self sufficient, self reliant state; show some grace while you accept billions in welfare. I cannot think of anything tackier than that woman. Not even a creature wearing an ensemble of polkadot socks with sandals and a plaid toobtop with white trousers after Labor Day are as obnoxiously tacky as the big haired governor with bejazzled bottoms and hula hoop door knocker earrings. Yeah, SD looks better being the hardworking, honest and humble state with common sense and morals. And with crazy hair

  3. P. Aitch 2022-09-25 10:54

    The federal government saved America during the pandemic. Not states and not businesses. That’s why workers are “quiet quitting” and doing only enough to get by at their jobs. These workers now realize that their bosses can’t and won’t be there in a crisis. Those bosses and their companies will quickly revert to selfishness when a Rubicon comes. Why should workers be loyal when their loyalty is ignored? Never has the time for a strong central government been more apparent than post Covid and with the challenges of Republican attacks on American democracy.

  4. Francis Schaffer 2022-09-25 18:17

    Interesting how socialism like broadband infrastructure is viewed differently than unemployment/ medicaid/social services type socialism by some.

  5. John 2022-09-26 06:35

    Jad’s spot on. The business model that should be used is that of the rural electric co-ops.
    It’s baffling why rural electric co-ops didn’t pick up the internet broadband baton. Not in one’s charter or law? Change it. Rural America is over-represented in congress.

  6. V 2022-09-26 06:41

    As much as I disliked Janklow, I give him credit for wiring all the schools in S.D. for the internet with the help of prisoners who stayed at local hotels. Teachers were trained in computer applications like Word, PowerPoint, and the use of spread sheets and offered low interest loans from local banks to purchase computers to use at home so they could become proficient before teaching it. Such a welcome in schools like ours that lacked resources such as textbooks. Broadband is a necessity as public schools prepare students for jobs that don’t even exist, yet here we are behind in technology availability. This also contributes to the brain drain S.D. is experiencing.

    PS Francis….Close to 14 years ago, some public schools required all teachers to become proficient and implement the use of the Promethean Board. It’s like a large screen t.v. where all lessons and materials are presented by the instructor, including interactive instruction. All the lessons were online for parents to access through a portal. We found that it worked really well when country kids could not attend school on a snow day while town kids could or when students were ill or out of town.

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