OKLAHOMANS PROJECTED TO BENEFIT
ESTIMATED PROJECT DURATION
The fund request will expand construction of a 100% fiber network within Okmulgee County. EcoLINK is already committed to building a fiber network to serve East Central Electric?s membership. This project would expand that coverage outside of the East Central Electric serving areas. The request is supported by the City and County officials as evidenced by the attached letters of support. The ongoing pandemic gives strong evidence that reliable high-speed internet connectivity is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Every home, business, and school in small towns and rural areas should have access to high-speed internet and phone capabilities. Oklahoma has a large digital divide with over 42.22% of its population not having access to broadband. That is almost 1.7 million people. In terms of broadband coverage, Oklahoma ranks 49th out of 50 states only beating Arkansas by a few percentage points. It is estimated that one in four Oklahoman children does not have access to broadband at home. The lack of broadband creates social and economic hardship and drives businesses away from a community. Given these facts, the importance of building broadband infrastructure in Oklahoma cannot be overstated.
A 2014 Fiber Broadband Association study found higher per capita GDP (1.1%) in communities where gigabit Internet was available. In dollar terms, the 14 gigabit communities analyzed by the Fiber Broadband Association enjoyed approximately $1.4 billion in additional GDP over other, similarly situated communities. In addition, fiber provides: ? Highest Satisfaction Rating ? Highest Reliability based on reported outages ? Highest Speeds and Lowest Latency based on random speed tests. ? Lowest Cost per Mbps ? Increase in value to Real Estate - Increasing the value of homes by 3.4% https://www.fiberbroadband.org/page/economic-impact https://www.fiberbroadband.org/blog/latest-fba-research-underscores-fiber-is-the-superior-broadband-technology
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of broadband connectivity. Students have transitioned to online learning, and many professionals have shifted to teleworking arrangements. Applying for unemployment or small business assistance programs typically requires filing documents online. Individuals and households lacking an internet connection are cut of from friends and family. A survey of Oklahoma school districts in the early stages of the pandemic found that 24% of students lacked an internet connection at home. This program will provide access across all population groups for uses such as telemedicine, work-from-home, and distance learning.
Project performance will be provided using a random sample test performed during peak hours for 1 week, once a quarter, using a combination of on-premise router test data and Ookla speed test data. EcoLINK will demonstrate network and project viability by demonstrating the following: ? Take rate of 15% or greater ? System uptime demonstrating 99% availability ? Project summary of progress using maps and overview ? 100/100 Mbps available across the entire project relevant to test area ? Project support letters and satisfied customers letters
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
EcoLINK has been awarded CAFII and RDOF subsidies for areas outside of this request.
Other non or not-for profit entity
Data source: Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services / More information »