Oklahoma approves $374M for broadband infra projects

The Oklahoma Broadband Governing Board voted last week to authorize 142 broadband infrastructure expansion projects that will leverage a total of $374 million in grant funding.

The money was made available through Oklahoma’s ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. 31 internet service providers will receive funding for projects across 57 counties, covering more than 55,000 locations. The winning providers will also contribute more than $90 million in matching funds.

The final list of funded projects is subject to some modification, said the Oklahoma Broadband Office (OBO), and the list doesn’t indicate how much funding each ISP received.

However, providers have indicated plans to use fiber for more than 100 projects, while the remaining projects will use fixed wireless.

Resound Networks, a wireless internet service provider (WISP), was approved funding for ten projects, one of which aims to cover more than 4,500 locations with fixed wireless in Oklahoma’s Garvin County. That’s the largest number of locations a provider intends to cover in a single project.

Other grant recipients include AT&T, which will undertake 10 fiber projects in Latimer, Alfalfa, Bryan, Marshall, Wagoner, Osage, McIntosh, Canadian and Logan counties, Cox Communications, which will work on 16 fiber projects spanning 13 counties (Delaware, Mayes, Washington, Osage, Rogers, Wagoner, Oklahoma, Logan, McClain, Seminole, Tulsa, Canadian and Creek), and Dobson Fiber, which received approval for 14 projects.

The complete list of approved projects can be found here.

According to Jim Meek, chair of the Oklahoma Broadband Governing Board, the state’s broadband office received hundreds of applications and over $5.1 billion in funding requests.

“I commend the board for its dedication and the broadband office staff for its expertise in bringing to fruition this historic first grant program to bridge the digital divide,” said Meek in a statement.

Proposed projects were submitted in October and the OBO conducted a “thorough overbuild prevention contest process” to prevent awarding grant funds to homes and businesses with existing or planned service.

Grantees have until the end of 2026 to complete their projects.