WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Oklahoma received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Oklahoma is receiving $5,882,087.78 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.
"Equitable high-speed Internet access is essential for closing the digital divide," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "I commend Governor Stitt for his commitment to connecting all Oklahomans."
“I appreciate the efforts of our federal partners to work with us to expand high speed internet to every corner of Oklahoma, especially to our rural communities,” said Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. “Expanding broadband infrastructure in our state has been a priority of mine since Day One and is critical to becoming a Top Ten state.”
“These funds will be crucial to building out our broadband network. Having quality, reliable broadband services across the state will increase quality of life, education outcomes and make Oklahoma more attractive to business expansion and for businesses who are looking to move here,” said Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat.
“Access to broadband equals access to economic opportunities. High-speed internet is no longer optional in today’s society, but is necessary infrastructure every bit as critical as transportation and utilities. These funds provided by NTIA are vital as we work to bring high-speed internet to 95% of Oklahomans by 2028. Expansion of broadband will ensure a brighter, and more connected, future for our state,” said Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall.
All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About Oklahoma’s Planning Grants
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs.
Oklahoma will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Development of a comprehensive, informed Five-Year Action Plan identifying Oklahoma's broadband access, affordability, equity, and adoption needs;
- Research and data collection, including initial identification of unserved locations and underserved locations;
- Development of a preliminary budget for pre-planning activities.
The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.
Oklahoma will receive $882,087.78 to fund various activities including:
- Staff recruitment and program management assistance;
- Community and stakeholder engagement;
- Data collection and analysis.
Internet for All
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward Internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit AffordableConnectivity.gov to learn more.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.