Falling in the middle of the 50 states, Oklahoma is currently ranked as the 26th most connected state. While most residents living in bigger cities have access to a broadband connection, thousands of others reported not having any internet connection in their area. The latest report for statewide average speed in Oklahoma was 66.2 Mbps.
The Digital Divide in Oklahoma
The digital divide in Oklahoma can be categorized by affordability and availability.
Our data reveals that 57.8% of Oklahoma’s population has access to broadband coverage. Only 52.5% have access to a wired internet plan at an affordable rate of $60 or less per month.
A closer look at broadband speeds in the state shows that 80.7% of residents have access to wired broadband of 25 Mbps or faster. 75.6% of Oklahoma residents have access to broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or faster. While this may seem decent, there are still 635,000 people who don’t have access to a wired connection that can handle 25 Mbps download speeds. Not only this, but 531,000 people in Oklahoma have access to only one wired provider, with no other options to switch. Another 339,000 don’t have any wired providers at all where they live.
The best-connected town in Oklahoma is Jenks, while the best-connected city is Edmond. The next three towns that follow close behind are Owasso, Grove, and Bixby. In these five towns and cities, all of the residents have access to affordable broadband and the majority have access to wired broadband.
On the other side of the spectrum, the worst connected towns are Rufe, Kiamichi Christian Mission, Swink, Loveland, and Picher. None of the residents in these areas have access to affordable wired broadband.
The government of Oklahoma has worked for the past few years to collect and process information relating to the availability of broadband for its residents. The Oklahoma Broadband Mapping Project was put into place to determine where broadband services should be expanded.
Since 2010 the Oklahoma Broadband Initiative has also been awarded over $3,800,00 in federal grants to further connect their communities. It should also be noted that since 2011, access to a wired connection of at least 10 Mbps has improved from 73.9% to 88.8% of all Oklahoma residents. The state was also awarded an additional $83 million to help all broadband infrastructure efforts.