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Telecommunications: Information Age Appalachia

Access to advanced telecommunications infrastructure for all Appalachian communities is essential for the Region to reach economic parity with the nation. Unlike other infrastructure systems, such as water and highways, the responsibility for building telecommunications infrastructure lies mainly in the private sector. But building advanced telecommunications infrastructure in low-density rural areas is difficult for private companies to achieve without subsidies to assist with construction costs. 

ARC, through its Information Age Appalachia (IAA) program, is engaged in helping make advanced communications systems a reality in all of Appalachia.  IAA is built around four main pillars: access to infrastructure, training and education, e-commerce and tech job creation. The program is also geared toward assisting in the uses of an advanced telecommunications infrastructure, including

  • distance learning applications for rural school systems;
  • advanced telemedicine applications for rural health clinics;
  • high-speed internet access for business applications; and
  • access to training curriculum for workforce training.
ARC partners with public entities and non-profit institutions as well as with information providers and other private-sector companies in an effort to spread access to telecommunications infrastructure and applications throughout the Region.

Information Age Appalachia: A Rural Digital Divide Program (PDF: 290KB)

Program and Impact Summary: Telecommunications and Technology in Appalachia

Telecommuncations Links

Research Reports
Examples of Projects
Additional Resources