USDA awards $31 million to Oklahoma for rural broadband development


The US Department of Agriculture has announced it will award more than $31 million to Oklahoma to provide high-speed Internet access to rural residents and businesses in seven counties.

Valliant Telephone Company, Southern Plains Cable LLC and the Osage nation will receive federal money through the USDA’s ReConnect program to connect Oklahoma residents, businesses and farms to high-speed Internet.

ReConnect provides federal loans and grants to state and local governments, Native American tribes and businesses to build broadband infrastructure and provide high-speed Internet access to rural communities.

Counties receiving federal rural broadband broadband support include Choctaw, McCurtain, Osage, Caddo, Comanche, Cotton and Grady counties.

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In the announcement, Kenneth Corn, Oklahoma’s director of rural development, acknowledged how the state prize money will benefit the state’s rural areas.

“Access to broadband will strengthen the ability of rural communities to thrive by expanding opportunities for businesses to grow, expanding access to critical healthcare, opening the doors to educational programs and the barrier to transportation for some of our rural residents decrease,” Corn said.

The USDA has broken down how the $31 million will be used his announcement:

  • Valliant Telephone Company Inc. will deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network connecting 200 people, 16 businesses and an educational institution in Choctaw and McCurtain counties to high-speed Internet.

    • Valliant Telephone Company Inc. will make high-speed Internet affordable by implementing the FCC Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs and offering four Internet packages.
  • Southern Plains Cable LLC will deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will connect 7,093 people, 230 businesses, six farms and 29 schools in Caddo, Comanche, Cotton and Grady counties to high-speed internet.

    • Southern Plains will make high-speed Internet affordable by participating in the FCC Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs. This project will serve the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache-Fort Sill Apache Tribal Statistical Area and vulnerable communities in Cotton County.
  • The Osage Nation will deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 831 people, 18 businesses and 128 farms in Osage County to high-speed Internet.

    • The Osage Nation will make high-speed Internet affordable by participating in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program.

In this latest round of ReConnect fundingUSDA announced $502 million for rural broadband development in 20 states including Oklahoma. To learn more about the ReConnect program, visit the USDA website or contact Oklahoma State Office for Rural Development.





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