Please enter a valid search term.

Istock 1319659551

Jackson County Oklahoma


The Jackson County, OK Broadband Team has completed its community technology assessment. The results of the assessment can be found by clicking the symbol for each of the sections below. The Recommended Actions section includes steps the community can implement to improve the broadband and technology ecosystem at a local level.


Connected Infrastructure in Jackson County, Oklahoma

Broadband access refers to the infrastructure that enables a high-speed internet connection. There are two primary types of broadband connections: fixed and mobile.

Fixed broadband is delivered to a user via several technology platforms including cable, digital subscriber line (DSL) over phone lines, fiber optics, and fixed wireless. Fixed broadband is designed for stationary use at a fixed location such as a home, business, or institution. From one location, however, fixed broadband service is often broadcast as a Wi-Fi network to connect nearby devices.

The following map shows where broadband is available in the community.


Recommended Actions

The following recommendations are presented to assist Jackson County in expanding broadband access and adoption throughout the community.

A residential survey was deployed in Jackson County between September 2023 and January 2024 to assess the connectivity, affordability, and general technology needs of the county’s residents. Based on data from this countywide survey, online research, and direct community feedback, the following recommendations are presented to Jackson County.


Objective: Identify a community champion who is dedicated to the expansion of broadband access, adoption, and use across Jackson County.

To ensure the success of the community action plan and to equip Jackson County with the necessary tools for broadband growth, the community should centralize broadband expansion and improvement efforts in a single entity: a broadband liaison. Ideally, this broadband liaison will: 1) promote broadband and technology access, adoption, and use; 2) serve as the go-to resource for broadband and technology needs for internet service providers and community partners; 3) seek ways to educate and empower the community regarding broadband and related technology; 4) take priority action on recommendations from the community action plan and implement other programs that are necessary and beneficial to the growth of the community; and 5) monitor broadband funding programs and seek beneficial partnerships for the community.

Action 1Identify and appoint a broadband liaison for Jackson County.

The broadband liaison will serve the county on broadband matters. The liaison should be knowledgeable about broadband, understand Jackson County's demographics, and be prepared to collaborate with community organizations and ISPs. The liaison should be appointed or approved by the Commissioners Court. It is important for the local government to take ownership of this appointment, as the liaison will be the leading voice on broadband matters.

Action 2Identify an agreed-upon list of duties for which the broadband liaison will be responsible in his/her official capacity.

Responsibilities of the broadband liaison could include:

  • Serve as the go-to resource for broadband information within the immediate community.
  • Educate county leaders and residents on broadband programs, opportunities, and benefits.
  • Stay informed on current broadband grant programs at the state and federal levels, apply to programs as they become available, or pursue partnerships as needed.
  • Work with community organizations and ISPs on broadband initiatives.

Action 3Identify community organizations and county stakeholders who can support local broadband planning efforts. 

Much of the work in the broadband space is driven by partnerships. Having a group of trusted community leaders and organizations augment the work of the broadband liaison will be valuable to promoting the community's connectivity goals.

Organizations to consider partnering with:

  • Altus Chamber of Commerce
  • Altus/ Southwest Area Economic Development Corp.
  • Southwest Technology Center
  • South Western Oklahoma Development Authority
  • Altus Public Library
  • Internet service providers


A broadband liaison should be appointed as soon as possible to ensure the county can begin organizing efforts for broadband programs and funding.

Responsible parties

Local and county governments, business leaders, community, and regional organizations


Broadband readiness

Broadband leadership

Objective: Ensure all residents have access to the internet and speeds that meet their needs for work, education, telehealth, and quality-of-life purposes.

The state of Oklahoma was allocated $797 million under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) via the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program and the Digital Equity Act (DEA). These programs will fund projects that help expand high-speed internet access and ensure Oklahoma communities have the information technology capacity they need for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy by promoting diverse digital advancement projects. This federal funding opportunity is a once-in-a-generation infusion of money that will be administered by the Oklahoma Broadband Office (OBO) and provided to eligible entities via a competitive grant program. As this is a generational funding opportunity, Jackson County must track broadband developments at the state and federal levels to ensure community needs are promptly met.

Action 1Establish and maintain open communication and positive relations with internet service providers (ISPs) working or scheduled to work in the county, as well as ISPs interested in expanding in the county.

ISPs are key partners for communities looking to expand broadband access. Checking in regularly with ISPs allows community leaders to stay abreast of construction and expansion progress or plan changes, identify challenges they face, and communicate community goals and objectives. This open communication allows ISPs to better understand community needs and for communities to better understand the obstacles and barriers ISPs face. This understanding can encourage creative problem-solving, which can lead to finding solutions through public-private partnerships. Public-private partnerships are arrangements between public entities, such as local governments, and private entities, such as ISPs, to achieve a common goal. They are often, but not always, funding arrangements.

Additionally, the county should strive to be an environment amenable to business. This means having easy-to-use websites that allow ISPs and vendors quick access to relevant information, as well as fostering a business environment that rewards open communication and timely resolution of concerns. Fostering open communication with ISPs is critical for broadband development. As part of BEAD applications, ISPs must demonstrate local support; therefore, having relationships with local leaders will be crucial to ensuring successful grants and deployment according to county needs.

Action 2Provide survey data to all local providers.

When meeting with ISPs, community leaders should address the survey results, highlighting the need for faster service at an affordable price. It is important for ISPs to understand the consumer base in Jackson County in order to provide the best customer service experience. Twenty-five percent of households with a broadband subscription report being dissatisfied with their service, citing slow speeds (50%), unreliable connection (100%), and high prices (50%) as the leading reasons for dissatisfaction. Despite the long list of ISPs available in Jackson County, 80% of those surveyed would like improved or additional options for home internet service. Armed with this information, ISPs can strategically address their service areas and improve access and education about services throughout the county.

Action 3Pursue state and federal funding for broadband advancement.

As mentioned previously, the infusion of federal funds via BEAD and DEA to the state is an opportunity for Oklahoma communities to support ISPs and other entities that are looking to expand infrastructure and programs that support robust broadband delivery. Jackson County should explore the best ways to support ISPs that are considering buildouts in the community. This may include engaging with and supporting ISPs looking to secure BEAD and other federal and state funding resources.

In addition, other funding sources, such as the U.S. Economic Development Association or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, promise opportunities for broadband. Funding guides have been linked in the resource section. Capitalizing on this once-in-a-generation funding opportunity will ensure Jackson County residents have faster, more reliable broadband for years to come.

Action 4Partner with local ISPs to promote low-cost broadband programs.

In Jackson County, the average monthly cost of internet is $72.86. Cost is one of the leading factors for dissatisfaction, with 50% of respondents citing the monthly cost as a hefty burden. The county should work with community leaders and institutions to publicly promote programs and opportunities designed to reduce the cost of broadband service.

Below are some programs and resources that are available to residents.

  • Resources to locate affordable internet service or computers: Using online resources, Jackson County residents can identify local and national ISPs that offer special low-cost services for vulnerable populations, older adults, and low-income families with children. Resources include EveryoneOn (, which helps residents locate low-cost internet services and affordable computers by ZIP code and need based on their participation in assistance programs.
  • State and federal low-cost programs: Two critical programs offer discounts for broadband to eligible households:
  • Lifeline is a federal program administered through the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Universal Service Administrative Co. that lowers the monthly cost of phone or internet services for eligible consumers. Consumers can get up to $9.25 off the cost of phone, internet, or bundled services each month. Households can qualify based on income or participation in federal or tribal assistance programs.
  • The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)* was created to help households struggling to afford internet service. The ACP provides a $30 a month credit toward internet coverage ($75 a month for qualifying residents on tribal lands) and up to $100 for the purchase of a device. Households can qualify based on income or participation in federal or tribal assistance programs. To receive the connected device discount, consumers must enroll in the ACP with a participating ISP that offers connected devices. The ISP will provide the discount to the consumer and then seek reimbursement. Find out which ISPs participate by clicking here.
  • The ACP tool kit is a great resource that communities can use to promote the program to residents.

*The ACP is set to expire in spring 2024 unless Congress appropriates more funds. As this is an expiring program, it’s more important than ever for community leaders and residents to partner with local ISPs to provide low-cost broadband programs to bridge the affordability gap so no home is left offline. 

Additionally, ISPs often offer their own low-cost options or subsidized programs to consumers at a greatly reduced cost. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021 requires ISPs that receive federal grant money to offer low-cost service to eligible low-income households. Local advocacy for internet affordability, using Jackson County-specific data, will be essential to ensuring residents can continue accessing online information and virtual resources.


The sooner Jackson County can begin infrastructure development and improvement, the better. Residents and businesses benefit when there is good broadband and open communication between ISPs and end users.

Responsible parties

Local and county governments, business leaders, broadband liaison


Objective: Partner with libraries and community organizations to provide digital literacy training.

Broadband connects people to the world and opens the door to opportunity. Where there is broadband, there is development, achievement, and innovation. In rural Oklahoma, broadband looks like economic development, greater scholastic achievement, advancement in agriculture and farming, connection to telehealth services, infrastructure improvement, and general technological advancements.

In Jackson County, it is important to embrace broadband for how it can both contribute to and improve the current way of life. To engage online, an individual must have the digital skills necessary to safely navigate the internet. It is critical for residents to take advantage of applications that support their education, health, and workforce needs. Many organizations and institutions locally and nationwide provide digital training support to their clients to ensure they can access programs online. Promoting these opportunities and encouraging new partnerships to ensure all residents have the digital skills necessary to participate in the digital world will increase engagement, adoption, and use of the internet in Jackson County.

Action 1Develop curriculum for free community workshops.

Community leaders should partner with local and regional organizations to facilitate free digital literacy and digital skills workshops designed to increase digital engagement across the county. Workshop curriculum should be curated using material created by the county and publicly available programs, such as AARP and Digital Learn (resources linked below). Classes could be offered at local facilities, such as the school gym, library, or community center, and be advertised through the local media. The intention is for residents and community leaders to understand the importance of digital engagement and to feel comfortable using online platforms. The more the community engages online, the more residents will reap the benefits of a digital lifestyle.

These efforts would mirror statewide efforts of organizations and nonprofits working to close the Digital Divide. As evidenced by a 2023 digital asset inventory from the OBO, many organizations currently offer digital literacy classes and programs. The state’s Digital Equity Plan highlights the ongoing trend and need for digital inclusion. Visit the OBO’s website for the latest version of the plan.

Workshop topics can include:

  • How to teleconference
  • Cybersecurity 101
  • Microsoft Office skills
  • Intro to social media and website building
  • Telehealth basics

Connected Nation provides digital literacy training classes to Connected communities free of charge. To learn more, reach out to us today!

Action 1AProvide varied formats for greater community involvement.

In addition to hosting in-person workshops, the general curriculum should be available for pickup at frequently accessed public locations in the form of paper handouts. Handouts function as a “grab-and-go” resource for residents to take with them to review later. In this way, everyone can benefit from the content in whatever way is most compatible with their schedule and preferred learning method.

Action 2Partner with community stakeholders for workshop execution.

Finding broadband champions who can share the impact of technology from their perspective can help class participants understand the broad impacts of connectivity. Industry leaders can speak to the importance of broadband in their respective lines of work. For example, a banker can discuss the benefits of online banking, while the school IT Director can discuss the importance of online safety. Building on local expertise will help drive workshop attendance and meet the unique needs of Jackson County residents. For example, Jackson County is home to Altus Air Force Base. Courses designed for military spouses, such as remote work opportunities, military health care benefits, and virtual meet-and-greets could be helpful given this local population. When you know your audience, you can invite guest speakers, select specific curriculum, and pick class times/locations that are most convenient for the end user that will promote greater engagement.

An integral part of the Jackson County community is the Altus Public Library. In 2023, the library hosted the OBO as part of its summer listening tour. The event yielded valuable feedback about the connectivity needs of residents of Jackson County and the surrounding communities. The library is an integral part of the community, offering public computers, free Wi-Fi, technical support, community programming, such as chair yoga, and general information support. The Altus Public Library boasts helpful staff, a large meeting room, dedicated space for children, and a robust calendar of events. Augmenting these efforts with community advocates who are likewise dedicated to closing the digital gap would be invaluable to the digital landscape of Jackson County now and in the future.


Digital literacy and digital skills workshops for residents and businesses should be available throughout Jackson County by fall 2024. The community should routinely assess the curriculum to determine if updates are needed.

Responsible parties

Community institutions such as businesses, schools, libraries, organizations, local government leaders and elected officials, ISPs, and community residents


Digital literacy


Action 1Pursue grants to advance local community development using broadband technologies (e.g., workforce development, telehealth, digital literacy, etc.).

In conjunction with the countywide Connected Engagement program, Jackson County has been allocated grant-writing funds to continue closing the Digital Divide. Broadband has far-reaching impacts on community development, including health care, education, business, public safety, and overall economic development. These grant-writing funds are specific to each county and can be used to further the community’s connectivity and infrastructure goals.

Armed with locally sourced data from a residential survey, Jackson County is uniquely positioned to pursue opportunities now — especially as funds flow from state and federal programs. Through countywide partnerships and collaborative efforts, the community can advocate and provide equitable, affordable, and reliable broadband access for all residents, businesses, and community anchor institutions.

Every community anchor institution has a role to play in closing the Digital Divide, and funding opportunities are available to make that happen. For example, local schools may consider opportunities through the U.S. Department of Education, libraries may consider grants through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, while the Chamber of Commerce may consider opportunities through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). For specifics and further information about the grant-writing funds, please contact Connected Nation.