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ARC Sponsors Conference of Rural Telecommunications Congress

September 2005


WASHINGTON, September 9, 2005—The Appalachian Regional Commission is once again a sponsor of RuralTeleCon, the annual conference of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. Hosted by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the conference will take place October 9–12 in Lexington and is expected to be the highest-impact rural technology conference in the United States.

The October conference, the ninth in a series, is set to address important technology issues, including broadband infrastructure expansion, technology-based community and economic development, state success stories, e-health and education applications, and broadband policy and regulation. Themed "States as Broadband Laboratories," the conference will bring together government leaders from federal, state, and local levels; technology professionals from a broad range of fields; and rural and small business owners. Space will be limited to the first 500 registrants.

Speakers at the event include Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher, Congressman Hal Rogers, University of Kentucky head basketball coach Tubby Smith, Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Anne B. Pope, and Office for the Advancement of Telehealth Director Dena Puskin. Each of these keynote speakers brings to the conference a different perspective on the importance of broadband technology and its impact on community and economic development.

In 2004, Fletcher unveiled his Prescription for Innovation, a comprehensive technology deployment and adoption plan. The initiative was featured in July 2005 at the National Governors' Association annual meeting in Des Moines, Iowa. The Federal Communications Commission recently recognized that Kentucky leads the nation in growth rate of broadband subscribers.

Rogers, representing Kentucky's fifth district, serves as chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and has long been a proponent of broadband technology and its role in the economic development of rural communities.

Understanding the potential economic and social impact of broadband access in rural communities, Pope and the Appalachian Regional Commission have long supported regional technology initiatives.