Following Oklahoma’s expansion of broadband service


An update where Oklahoma’s efforts to expand broadband service to more than 55,000 homes and businesses will be given Wednesday to the Oklahoma Broadband Expansion Council.

The Council will meet Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock in the State Library and members will receive reports regarding the progress on broadband infrastructure expansion projects in 57 counties. Eventually, 142 approved projects will result in expanded broadband service in rural areas of the state where currently none exists.

Funding of $374 million is coming from the federal government through ARPA STate and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. The $374 million in grant funds will be matched with more than $90 million from 31 internet service providers who submitted proposals for service expansion.

Nearly six months ago, the Federal Communications Commission released its newest version of the National Broadband Map which shows the number of homes and businesses without internet access and how it is going down. In November 2023, an estimated 7.2 million locations lacked high-speed internet access compared to the 8.3 million shown on the May 2023 map.

The accuracy and reporting are getting better because “robust participation in the challenge processes continues to play a valuable role in correcting data shown on the Map,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in releasing the map in November of last year.

“The results of 4.8 million challenges to provider reported availability information and over 1.5 million accepted location challenges. Since our last release, we’ve initiated mobile coverage audits in a number of states. We’ve also seen hundreds of corrections to provider-reported data based on FCC-initiated verification efforts.”

The Oklahoma  Broadband Expansion Council’s meeting will be available online. Below is the agenda.

1. Call to Order, Welcome, and Determination of a Quorum

2. Compliance with Open Meeting Act

3. Public Instruction regarding Comments on Grant Processes

4. Opening Remarks by Chair

5. Status Report from Oklahoma Broadband Office

6. Planning Update and Possible Discussion on the America Rescue Plan Act – State and Local Fiscal
Recovery Fund (“ARPA – SLFRF”), America Rescue Plan Act – Capital Projects Fund (“ARPA – CPF”),
Digital Equity Act (“DEA”), and Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (“BEAD”) Programs and
the Affordable Connectivity Program (“ACP”)

7. Discussion and Possible Action on Committee Structure and Membership

8. Committee Reports with Possible Discussion and Action

a. Geographic Areas Committee report
b. Service Sustainability Committee report
c. Universal Service Fund Committee report

9. Next Meeting, Closing Remarks, and Announcements

10. Adjournment