FCC visits S. Dakota broadband landscape

Aug. 10, 2005 at 12:18 PM
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PIERRE, S.D., Aug. 10 (UPI) -- An FCC commissioner will trek the lonely roads of South Dakota this month on a fact-finding mission about broadband networks in rural areas.

Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein and three South Dakota public utilities commissioners embark on "The Broadband Road Trip" Aug. 24-25 with visits in Sioux Falls, Deadwood, Pierre and five other stops on the itinerary.

Adelstein told the Rapid City Journal -- his hometown paper -- that the expedition will focus on expansion of broadband service in rural areas that might not support a private broadband enterprise.

"Congress has placed a high priority on the rural concerns in the Telecommunications Act," he said. "We need to ensure that quality service at affordable rates is available to everyone in this country whether they live in rural or urban areas."

South Dakota has seen some degree of broadband expansion in small-town or reservation phone companies as well as in the livestock industry and Deadwood's gambling halls. Issues remaining include voice over Internet Protocols and intercarrier compensation.

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