Oklahoma Broadband Office Launching ARPA Grant Competition
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Broadband Office (OBO) is launching an open process for internet service providers (ISPs) to compete for $374 million in ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to expand access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet service in Oklahoma.
Today, the OBO released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the program. Starting Monday, September 18, competitive proposals can be submitted by ISPs through a portal on the office’s website. The portal will close on October 9.
This is the first grant program administered by the office. Others will follow, including $167.7 million from the ARPA Capital Projects Fund and $797.4 million in Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment funds.
“Today marks an important step in making good on our commitment to bring this critical service to those who need it most,” said Mike Sanders, OBO executive director. “Many months of hard work lie ahead but make no mistake, we are going to deliver for Oklahoma’s rural and unserved communities.”
After the proposal submission window closes, an Overbuild Prevention Contest Process will be launched to allow ISPs to review the proposals and help ensure no funding is awarded to provide service to homes and businesses that already have high-speed internet access.
The Oklahoma Broadband Governing Board gave its approval to the process earlier this week. The board, which provides oversight of the OBO, will have final approval over projects recommended by the office for funding. That action is anticipated to occur in January.
Full details about the ARPA grant process, including the NOFO, can be found here.
Current data from the Federal Communications Commission show more than 728,000 people, or some 18 percent of Oklahomans, lack access to high-speed internet service.
About the Oklahoma Broadband Office
Oklahoma has launched a bold and transparent effort to ensure fast and affordable broadband internet service is available throughout the state and the Oklahoma Broadband Office is a key component.
Created in 2022, the office is on a mission to develop and administer federal grant programs to make affordable, high-speed internet available to all Oklahomans. It also coordinates efforts throughout the state to ensure broadband expansion is conducted effectively and efficiently.
For more information contact:
Tim Allen, Director of Communications & Media Relations