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About the Oklahoma Broadband Initiative

Oklahoma is comprised of vibrant cities and towns while remaining substantially rural throughout the majority of its 77 counties. Access to technology for the provision of enhanced education, healthcare and emergency services plus job growth and development, have long been identified as one of the most essential tools a community must have to expand its economic potential and community livability. Government and education leaders, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, state and local Chambers of Commerce and statewide policy organizations are unanimous in their support for the need to provide a statewide network of easy and accessible broadband for high-speed Internet access. The Oklahoma Broadband Initiative is dedicated to expanding easy and accessible broadband services to citizens, community anchor institutions (health care facilities, schools, libraries, town halls), and businesses across the state.

The first phase of this Initiative is the Oklahoma Broadband Mapping Project which will collect the necessary data to identify broadband assets, gaps in broadband services, and opportunities for expansion of broadband services. This data will be consolidated onto a map of Oklahoma depicting what areas of the state are served, underserved and unserved by broadband. This will enable Oklahoma’s technology community to integrate information among the government, non-government, and private sectors, and for policy leaders to use comprehensive mapping data to make decisions for the allocation of resources to unserved and underserved areas.

Oklahoma Community Anchor Network (OCAN)

The second phase of this Initiative is the Oklahoma Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) Grant Application to build the Oklahoma Community Anchor Network (OCAN). This network will present an unprecedented opportunity for Oklahoma to meet the demands of life in the 21st century. Easy and reliable access to technology for Oklahomans to travel along the information highway is as essential in today’s world as the construction of rail was to Oklahoma’s settlement.

OCAN will expand infrastructure capacity to vastly improve the delivery of educational and workforce development services, and improve access to health care and public safety services. OCAN will be a catalyst for technology to position Oklahoma more competitively in the global economy. The disparity in broadband infrastructure between the urban and rural areas of the state is increasingly problematic as key community anchor institutions request more bandwidth which is either not available or not affordable. OCAN will directly address the demand for better access to broadband infrastructure, stimulating opportunities for advanced and expanded applications.