Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Broadband Internet Providers Struggling to Keep Pace With Rural Oklahoma Oil Boom

The oil and gas boom has meant a lot of business for communities like Elk City and Weatherford, but the technological demands of the modern energy industry is encountering roadblocks in rural Oklahoma.

There just isn’t enough high-speed broadband internet in Oklahoma’s oil patch, The Journal Record‘s Sarah Terry-Cobo reports, and telecommunication companies are racing to lay fiber-optic cables and expand wireless access:

“What we’ve seen in some smaller rural towns, if they don’t have high-speed broadband, it is crippling economic growth,” said Kerry Graves, vice president of sales for transport and telecom solutions with Dobson.

Graves said it can be a challenge to expand in cities where other cable or Internet service providers have operated without competition. He said it also can be difficult to convince customers of the value of fiber-optic networks. Fiber-optic cables are made of glass, so they are more expensive than DSL connections, which are made of copper.

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