A federal grant will help to bring high speed broadband to rural Oklahoma and Connors State College will be an anchor institution for this project. The Oklahoma Community Anchor Network (OCAN) is a partnership among the Oklahoma State Regents for higher Education (OSRHE), the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. In August 2010, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), awarded Oklahoma a $74 million grant to fund the OCAN project and expand broadband services across the state.
Communities will access OCAN’s expanded network through OneNet, a division of OSRHE and Oklahoma’s only statewide Internet service provider. Educational institutions, health care providers, public services and nonprofits will have the opportunity to connect to the network through OneNet. In addition, local telecommunications providers can partner with OCAN to extend services to the private sector. Through these public-private partnerships, OCAN will provide opportunities for small businesses and spur economic growth in Oklahoma’s rural communities.
The new network will connect 32 community anchor institutions, including state colleges, universities, hospitals and local libraries, to the state’s existing networks. These connections will be vital to advancing economic development and improving educational, public health and safety services in Oklahoma’s rural communities. “This new project will serve as an equalizer for our institution,” said Connors State College President Dr. Tim Faltyn. “We will have the same advantages as the rest of the college world with this new broadband. Our students will be able to access all they need from right here,” added Faltyn.
Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) Reporter Cathy Tatom spent the afternoon on January 14 with Connors State College President Dr. Tim Faltyn and IT Director, Health Hodges interviewing and exploring the opportunities that the new broadband will bring to Connors State College. The feature aired on OETA on Friday, January 18. If you missed the program, watch it here!