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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.7 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Expand Broadband Service in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.7 million grant to the city of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, to construct a fiber optic network for the city’s business district. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant will provide for the design, construction, and operations of a fiber optic network to bring high-speed, reliable internet service to Tahlequah’s business district. The EDA investment will be matched with $430,080 in local funds.

“The coronavirus pandemic shined a bright light on the need for reliable high-speed internet. President Biden recognizes this and is committed to ensuring that all Americans have the tools they need to succeed in our increasingly digital economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will serve as a down-payment for the further broadband investments coming from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by providing the critical broadband internet service needed to facilitate telework, e-commerce, and telemedicine in Tahlequah.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support the city of Tahlequah as it seeks to improve the area’s economic opportunities,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will help to ensure a bright future for Tahlequah by providing the reliable, high-speed broadband the city’s business district need to grow, thrive and create new jobs.”

“It is pertinent that all Oklahomans have adequate access to reliable internet and this grant strategically aligns with our vision to expand broadband across the state,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “I am thankful for the contribution of the EDA, as they invest in the future and development of rural Oklahoma.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Eastern Oklahoma Development District (EODD). EDA funds EODD to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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