Several Oklahoma Counties To See Better Internet Service
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - Thousands of people living in rural areas across Green Country may soon get access to high speed internet with the help of funding from the FCC.
Users said new fiber optic services already made a huge difference in their internet speeds.
Lake Region Electric Cooperative CEO Hamid Vahdatipour said they’re getting $4 million over ten years of the millions the FCC recently granted to rural broadband companies in Oklahoma.
That means they can provide high speed fiber optics services to Cherokee, Wagoner, and Muskogee counties.
“The slowest speed is 100 Mbps, it goes up from that. Fiber optic backbone is the tech to have," Vahdatipour said.
They’ve built 1200 miles of fiber optic lines already that serve about 4 thousand people.
With the $4 million they can expand that to serve 3 thousand more people.
“Everyone who buys a home or wants to build a home wants to try to find a location with fiber optics available," he said.
“It’s important for our business and personal life," said Jasen Wright.
Wright is the co-owner and broker for Century 21 Wright Real Estate.
He said he doesn’t know how he survived without the high speed services, and it’s the first thing home buyers ask about.
“It was almost unusable before," he said, "to properly conduct your business and get through the day.”
The Lake Region internet plans start at $50 a month.
Eventually, the Co-Op said they would like all their 24,000 meter owners to have fiber optic access, a $70 million dollar project all together.
The Lake Region Electric Co-op says they hope to get more funding from the FCC.
They said other rural co-ops in Oklahoma are looking to use the money to expand high speed internet as well.