Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai came to South Dakota to look at ways to expand internet services in rural areas.

Pai was appointed to the commission by President Barack Obama in 2012 and appointed to the top spot earlier this year by President Donald Trump.

Pai says he met with small companies that want to expand broadband networks in rural South Dakota.

“All of them were focused on South Dakota consumers access to high-quality, high-speed internet access. It was really interesting to hear their perspective from serving bigger cities and some of the smaller towns. Certainly, it’s a perspective I’m going to take with me when I go back to Washington.”

Beyond the ability to stream video and play video games, Pai notes other various applications that would utilize more internet bandwidth.

“It’s incredibly important for other things too like quality health care, educating your kids, starting a business, precision agriculture. These networks are increasingly vital to American life and we need to make sure every American has the opportunity to take advantage of it.”

From an FCC perspective Pai believes universal high quality internet service for all Americans is a reasonable goal. During his time in the state, Pai also listened to concerns about the lack of internet technology on the Rosebud reservation.


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