Having grown up in the Appalachian region of the country, I know just how bad the Internet situation is. If you live up one of the “hollers,” you’re either stuck with dial-up or expensive satellite Internet. The problem comes from ISPs not wanting to foot the bill when it comes to laying line up all of the extensive backroads. The perception of people in Appalachia being ignorant backwards folk doesn’t help either. Thankfully, there are people out there changing that and Intel has joined the movement.
The Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative Task Force announced today that Intel has joined up with them to bring broadband to Ohio’s Appalachian region. The support is coming in the form of a large financial contribution as well as offering their expertise in the field to those working in the region. The latter will be provided by their appointment of Intel’s business development manager, Linda Kenworthy, as chair of CABI’s technology sub-committee.
“Intel is pleased to support this critical initiative to help ensure that all citizens have an opportunity to participate in the innovation economy,” said Kenworthy. “This is an exciting project which will benefit Ohioans – knowledge, technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation are core economic drivers.”
Stu Johnson, co-chairperson for the Task Force and executive director of Connect Ohio, finds that having the backing of Intel helps them overcome hurdles like equipment adoption barriers. He also feels that Intel’s involvement will take their efforts in Appalachian Ohio to a “whole new level in terms of credibility and global exposure.”
Global exposure is what the Task Force, which is made up of leaders from public, private and governmental organizations, needs. To make a real positive change in these regions, including better access to Internet, groups like CABI have to work extra hard so people realize that people from the region aren’t worthless. Access to Internet has done wonders for other regions of the world and it’s a shame that people in our own country are denied such access on account of where they live.
If you live in the region and want to help CABI bring broadband to Appalachian Ohio, you are welcome to attend their next meeting on April 19 in Cambridge, Ohio. At the meeting, members will discuss how they can get Appalachian Ohio in line with state and national standards of broadband adoption before 2014.