Network operators in Oklahoma requested a total of $5.1 billion in funding in a state broadband program to cover some of the costs of deploying service in rural areas lacking high-speed service. But with a budget of $374 million, the program is way oversubscribed.
“The overwhelming response to our request for submissions speaks to the tremendous need for high-speed internet access in rural Oklahoma,” said Mike Sanders, executive director of the Oklahoma Broadband Office, in a prepared statement.
“With almost $14 requested for every dollar available from this first grant program, the competition is strong and that bodes well for ensuring the most efficient use of funds.”
The state received more than 300 proposals, a spokesman for the Oklahoma broadband office told Telecompetitor.
The $374 million that the state has available to award came from the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) that was created in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Oklahoma expects to announce funding awardees early next year.
Fortunately, Oklahoma will have an additional $1.3 billion to award for rural deployments in the future. The state received $167.7 million from the ARPA Capital Projects Fund and is slated to receive $797.4 million in the BEAD program.
Both of those programs are federally funded but administered by the states.
More information about Oklahoma broadband, including links to state resources and Telecompetitor coverage, can be found on the Broadband Nation web page for Oklahoma.