FCC commissioner visits Lead, Rapid City, and Pine Ridge Reservation

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - One of the five members who make up the Federal Communications Commission in Washington D.C. is visiting Western South Dakota, focusing on expanding rural access to broadband internet.

Cropped Photo: jeanbaptisteparis / CC BY-SA 2.0 (MGN)

Thursday, Commissioner Brendan Carr will be part of a field hearing on the benefits of rural broadband in Sioux Falls. The hearing is being held by Senator John Thune..

Carr says he's here to see firsthand the challenges of getting broadband into hard-to-serve areas, and the opportunities that come when you get that connection.

Tuesday he was in Lead looking at how connectivity plays a key role in the success of the Sanford Underground Research Facility. Wednesday he made several stops on the Pine Ridge Reservation before heading to a farm in Midland.

"Right now, precision agriculture is bringing so much efficiency to the farm, and unless you have that broadband connection to the facility, you're not gonna realize that full potential. So whether it's precision ag, whether it's educational opportunities, tele-health, bringing broadband to a community can be a game changer," Carr says.

Carr says, there's a lot of innovation that comes out of rural America, and getting broadband connections will help people realize their full potential.