Sen. John Thune looks to bring South Dakota into the Digital Age
STURGIS, S.D. — Sen. John Thune was in Sturgis Wednesday morning for a Round Table discussion on bringing faster Internet connections to rural communities.
The senator answered questions about the initiative, highlighting the importance of bringing down barriers that prevent growth in South Dakota.
“It has such an impact on not only our economy but on our quality of life,” Thune explained. “You know if you’re somebody who lives in a rural area and want to say connected to the world and you want to run a business for example, you got to have high speed Internet service to make that work.”
One of the reasons Sen. Thune is moving South Dakota forward with rural broadband is so the state will be a lucrative investment for companies that will soon be hosting 5G networks.
The senator referenced examples of farmers and ranchers with better broadband access who could regulate fertilizer, pesticides, and water seeds at a much more precise level, allowing them to maximize their yields.
“5th generation technologies will mean you’ll have download speeds that are 100 times faster, they’ll be easier to access, with way more connectivity,” the senator continued. “We want to make sure that South Dakota is positioned so that those companies that provide 5th generation mobile services look at this as a place to invest.
Sen. Thune referenced the universal service fund several times as a gateway to getting broadband out to rural communities.
He also referenced introducing telemedicine and telehealth for rural communities as being an added benefit of greater broadband access.