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The Federal Communications Commission has assigned $113.6 million in support over the next 10 years to help wire rural Oklahoma. Todd Pendleton/The Oklahoman

Oklahoma ranks 47th for broadband connectivity, highlighting how rural areas struggle with access to high-speed internet.

A report from the Kansas City branch of the Federal Reserve showed Oklahoma also lags behind nearby states for competition among providers. About one in three Oklahomans have fewer than two providers from which to choose.

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The average internet speed, however, is near the top of the seven states within the Kansas City Fed’s regional borders.

Policymakers widely believe poor access to broadband hurts education opportunities, health care access and economic development. A recent study by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, for example, found that “rural electric cooperative members are missing out on nearly $70 billion annually” because they lack high-speed internet.


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