|May 03, 2013 --
The communities of Chamberlain and Oacoma are bustling communities in South Central, South Dakota, that were being stifled in future development and access to the world outside the communities by the lack of adequate Broadband service. In 2000, Midstate Communications had their first opportunity to provide services to consumers in these communities through the purchase of the cable TV systems. With the purchase of a cable system Midstate was able to begin providing services, along with a more robust broadband experience for citizens living inside the boundaries of the two towns. Unfortunately by delivering broadband services via coax plant Midstate was limited in the amount of bandwidth available to customers and was not able to provide services to customers living in the rural areas of these communities.
How Rural Development Helped:
In 2010, Midstate Communications, Inc. received an award through the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) including a grant of $6,365,610 and a loan of $2,728,118. Midstate will use this award package to offer fiber-to-the-home access in the Chamberlain and Oacoma areas with broadband service speeds of up to 1 Gbps. The network will make services available to 1,486 households, 176 businesses, and 28 anchor institutions.
Since the mid-1980’s, Midstate has also received five RUS Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans totaling over $49 million, as well as one RUS Farm Bill Broadband Loan for $414,221. The 2008 Infrastructure loan was requested to deploy 146 new miles of fiber as part of an overall development of 1,767 miles of fiber optic cable so that all subscribers would have fiber to the home. The loan also provided funds for installing central office electronic equipment.
Access to the Internet provided by Midstate Communications Inc. has affected other businesses that build on their service, such as Prairie Productions of Kimball, SD. Prairie Productions’, products are 100% developed on, delivered through, or based on broadband Internet connectivity. Prairie Productions was established in 2005 with the primary purpose of providing video marketing solutions for agribusiness products. Prairie Productions hopes to employ approximately 10 employees and delivers their services to 750-1,250 customers in the future thanks to the broadband access provided by Midstate.
Over the past seven years, the technology has allowed for the founder of the company, Tia Jandreau, to expand the business and she was able to become a full time employee. She was previously a full-time teacher and working on Prairie Productions part-time. She hired another part-time employee for the company. “Without the level of Internet service that Midstate Communications provided Prairie Productions would still be an organization that mailed VCR tapes and DVDs to distribute the products we develop,” Mrs. Jandreau stated. Mrs. Jandreau also noted that as a result of the available broadband service, the company can reach wider audiences and the demand for their products has increased. Now with these new opportunities, “organizations who never dreamt of having a web site are now seeking ways to deliver their products through e-commerce,” explained Jandreau.
For more information on the Telecom Program or any of its success stories, contact Mary Campanola at 202-720-8822 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the full story