ADA, OK -- Starting August 1st, Oklahomans in rural communities will be able to access better and faster Internet.
The Oklahoma Community Anchor Network, or OCAN, will spread over 1000 miles and cover 35 counties through the different community anchor institutions, like ECU.
"We all know technology is important for elementary aged, to high school, to college, and everyone in between. But what's most important is the access. OCAN is going to be that avenue to provide that to the community," ECU Director of Communications and Marketing, Amy Ford, said.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education teamed up with the Office for Management and Enterprise Services and ODOT to create the program.
State Regents Executive Director of OneNet, Vonley Royal, says the network will provide better connections and improve not only the technology, but quality of life as well.
"They've been limited on the types of interactions that they could have," Royal said. "Now with the new infrastructure in place, it puts them on par with all the metro areas at a very high level so it changes the quality of life for these rural communities."
Royal says the network will reach the communities through 33 different community anchor institutions, which include hospitals, colleges, and libraries in cities like Ada, Ardmore, Atoka, Coalgate, Durant, Hugo, and Idabel.
He says they hope to expand the network and include more institutions over the next 2 years.