Upcoming Summit Focuses on Lack of Rural Wireless

Oct 10, 2011

With wireless internet almost fact of life, there remain sections of America where residents don’t have fast and easy access to the internet.  The Center for Rural Strategies in Whitesburg next week co-hosts a discussion on how improve broadband internet service in central Appalachia.  Center spokesman Tim Marema says access to digital communication is a modern must.

“Education, healthcare, economic development, and it’s critical infrastructure in that we think of water, sewer and electric as critical infrastructure so it’s important that we level the playing field and get people online,” said Marema.

Marema say among the obstacles are inaccessability, undependable service and exorbitant costs.

“We need our policymakers to remember what it’s like for the parents whose kids can’t get on line to do their homework, who can’t apply for jobs because they can’t get on line. These days, even simple things like registering to vote or getting your automobile registered down at the courthouse require a broadband tool,” said Marema.

Marema says those areas that don’t get fast access are pretty much guaranteed to be left behind in the future. Jonathan Adelstein will attend the summit.  Adelstein manages the U-S Department of Agriculture’s rural broadband program. The discussion takes place October 12th at the Appalshop Theater in Whitesburg.