OKLAHOMANS PROJECTED TO BENEFIT
ESTIMATED PROJECT DURATION
more than 24 months
Nowata; Osage; Rogers; Tulsa; Washington
Rural America has been left behind in the internet age. The lack of reliable broadband in these areas is due to the high costs to build and the lack of density, which make the high construction cost non-feasible. The events of the last two years have shown the growing need for fast and reliable internet for most Americans. That need is ever present in Project Relialink for Green Country?s service area, with the NTIA mapping showing 10,902 people being underserved and 20,141 being unserved. Project Relialink is seeking funding to bring a fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) solution throughout the service area with minimum speeds of 100/100 Mbps. This service area includes 31,316 homes and 1,077 businesses equaling approximately 70,945 Oklahomans. Project Relialink for Green Country is requesting 30% ($47,309,100.00). Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative will contribute 70% ($110,369,000.00) for a total investment of $157,697,000.00. This historic broadband investment would bring reliable internet to five counties, and twenty-one communities.
Analysis of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Indicators of Broadband Need mapping tool provided us with numbers of unserved and underserved in our project counties. The tool illustrates each county?s population, percentage without internet access, and speed test data. Areas of Tulsa, Rogers and Washington counties within the project service area represent a total of 11,395 residential, commercial and industrial members identified as underserved with speeds of <100/20 and 25/3. Additionally, areas of Tulsa, Rogers, Washington, Osage and Nowata counties represent a total of 20,853 residential, commercial and industrial members as unserved with speeds of <100/20 and 25/3.
The pandemic magnified the rural/urban digital divide most Green Country residents knew existed. In most areas, internet access is non-existent and if service is available it isn?t affordable or reliable. The elderly and low-income households in Green Country have been left behind, living on fixed incomes, they can?t afford the high cost of unreliable low bandwidth internet service. The elderly, children and working adults continue to struggle to find ways to participate in telehealth, virtual classes and/or work from home options as those in urban areas easily transitioned to online access to critical services. Absent this investment, there is no economic incentive for a broadband provider to build throughout Rural Green Country. The impact of the lack of broadband access was not a factor considered by most when choosing to live in a rural area, the pandemic forced that reality upon nearly every rural citizen. Without an investment in this community, Green Country business owners and residents of all ages, will continue to struggle to engage in an ever-changing world that has come to depend on a high-capacity broadband connection in order to access health care, commerce, education, remote work, and social engagement.
Project will begin immediately. Year 1, buildout of 476 fiber miles, passing 3,273 residential homes with 696 residential customers. Year 3, buildout of 2,673 fiber miles, passing 22,9111 residential homes with 9,738 residential customers. Upon completion in year 5, buildout of 3,576 fiber miles, passing 31,093 residential homes with 13,215 residential customers. The collection and analyzing metrics will change over time, but will remain important. The focus will shift from addressing availability to focusing on the health of the broadband market, its performance and affordability.
ONGOING INVESTMENT AMOUNT
ONGOING INVESTMENT DESCRIPTION
ONGOING INVESTMENT REQUIRED
Able to continue operation without additional funding from the State of Oklahoma
Investments in Water, Sewer, and Broadband
Broadband: ?Last Mile? projects
FEDERAL GRANT AMOUNT
FEDERAL GRANT DESCRIPTION
Other non or not-for profit entity
Data source: Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services / More information »