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