Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

February 6, 2014

RBSC president discusses broadband service

TAHLEQUAH — Roy Choates, president and CEO of Rural Broadband Service Corporation [RBSC],  told members of the Tahlequah Kiwanis Club Wednesday that installation of a new broadband internet network is underway.

“We are talking about rapid deployment,” Choates said. “We reached our agreement [with the Tahlequah Public Works Authority] in October, submitted our drawings in November, we opened our engineering and construction office in December. We started construction the first week of January and the northern part of the network will be completed by Feb. 14.”

Choates added that electronics will be in place by Feb. 16 and service provided to initial customers in March.

As he has during previous meetings and presentations in Tahlequah, Choates explained the service will be provided to commercial customers and municipal entities, and that residential service is a project for the future.

“In Phase I, we will take about 15 business customers and make sure that it works - that it does everything we said it would,” he said. “We clean up our processors, make sure everyone is happy…. We do not do residential. We are partnering with the TPWA to eventually do the residential piece.”

Operating locally as RBSC Oklahoma LLC, the broadband provider entered into agreements with the city, the TPWA and the Tahlequah Industrial Authority during 2013. Eezinet Corp., another broadband provider, was also given permission.

Choates recalled his discussions with Mayor Jason Nichols, who insisted that RBSC forfeit any materials installed on utility poles if the system failed.

“That was basically how we wanted it to work,” Nichols said. “In exchange for them attaching to our poles, we wanted the network to become ours if there was a problem.”

However, local businesses and the city are enthusiastic about the start of service.

“I can’t wait for them to get it lit and see how it all works,” Nichols said.

David Moore, director of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce, sees it as a positive move for Tahlequah.

“I’m glad to see both providers coming here. Not only will there be broadband access, but plenty of options within that access,” Moore said.

In July 2013, the TIA approved a 25-year commercial license lease agreement with RBSC. Per the agreement, Choates said RBSC wants to hire 25 local employees, which would allow the company to recover all lease payments to the TIA.

“We are working with [Indian Capital Technology Center] through a co-op program, which I am very familiar with,” he said. “I came through the co-op program at Georgia State University. We will work to give people training and learn the right skill set to work on this network, not only to install the service for customers, but also to maintain it.”

The RBSC website states that Tahlequah was chosen as the “proof of concept” city for the first phase of its Thirty Smart Communities Objective for Rural America. The first phase calls for the provision of broadband service to 10 cities in Oklahoma by the beginning of 2016.

“I believe someone has to take the lead on providing gigabit networks to rural America,” Choates said. “No one is bringing it to cities as small as Tahlequah. There is no financial model. Our idea was to find an area that has the potential, build a fiber network, offer gigabit service and do what nobody else is willing to do - to prove that it can be done and be profitable in a city of this size.”


Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest