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Knight Center of Digital Excellence Partners with Technology and Community Leaders to Provide High-Speed Internet Access to Rural South Dakota

Akron-based Knight Center of Digital Excellence announced today their partnership with TelServ Communications and the North East Council of Governments (NECOG) to create the Northeast South Dakota Rural Broadband (NESDRB) Project, which aims to bring a wireless broadband super-highway linking 12 contiguous counties in rural Northeast South Dakota. AKRON, OH, September 02, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ — Akron-based Knight Center of Digital Excellence announced today their partnership with TelServ Communications and the North East Council of Governments (NECOG) to create the Northeast South Dakota Rural Broadband (NESDRB) Project, which aims to bring a wireless broadband super-highway linking 12 contiguous counties in rural Northeast South Dakota. In an effort to reach the most citizens possible, the Knight Center, TelServ and NECOG have submitted an application for funding for the NESDRB Project to the Broadband Information Program (BIP), part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"The Knight Center’s mission is creating connected communities, and we believe that the partnership with technology provider TelServ and community leaders in NECOG will have a substantial impact on the state’s ability to provide high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved citizens in South Dakota," said Scot Rourke, CEO of the Knight Center of Digital Excellence.

The NESDRB Project will bring wireless broadband connectivity to more than 60,000 people, and uniquely position Northeast South Dakota for the development and deployment of advanced public safety, e-government, telemedicine, agricultural, biotechnology and learning applications. The project is expected to generate an economic impact of more than $22 million a year, including preserving and creating more than 50 immediate, high-paying jobs directly involved with implementation and 470 indirect jobs.

"NECOG is excited to assist in this regional effort to provide wireless broadband coverage, a project that will truly position Northeast South Dakota for success in the global economy," said Rich Galbraith, Revolving Fund Loan Manager for NECOG.

The Knight Center of Digital Excellence serves 26 U.S. communities and is operated by Cleveland-based technology non-profit OneCommunity, in partnership with The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The organization is dedicated to creating connected communities by utilizing information technologies to drive civic progress and economic development. For further information please contact Doug Adams at 216.923.2256 or by email at [email protected]

Tel Serv is a managed service provider in Northeast South Dakota, providing out-sourced IT services, and maintaining a full-time Network Operations Center and helpdesk. Tel Serv has an established, well-structured sales and operational support system, and works closely with partnering regional IT service providers, to include Midcontinent Communications (Midco) and Rural Tower Network (RTN) to ensure that direct network management, provisioning, and customer care is maintained at all stages of operation.


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