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Fiber for Breakfast 2023 Week 30 – Revitalizing Appalachian Communities through Broadband

Appalachian communities see connectivity as key to economic revitalization. Yet today, only 21% of people living in the region’s most distressed counties have high-speed internet connections in their homes. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is working to change that by investing roughly $30M/year on broadband projects in the region, while also helping communities prepare for the $65B freight train of federal funding heading their way.

In this Fiber for Breakfast, Curtis Hansen, who leads ARC’s broadband work, introduces this unique agency and shares upcoming initiatives to watch.

Webinar Guest:

Curtis Hansen, Broadband Program Manager, Appalachian Regional Commission

Curtis Hansen is a program manager at the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), where he leads the organization’s efforts to close the digital divide by expanding broadband access throughout Appalachia. Curtis has worked as an engineer for over ten years, most recently at an internet service provider where he led broadband planning efforts for fiber and cellular networks in some of the most rural and remote parts of the United States and the Caribbean. In that role, he helped lead the company’s participation in federal broadband funding programs, including RDOF, CAF2, Mobility Fund, E-Rate, ReConnect, and CARES. Prior to his work in rural broadband, Curtis served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force where he was an R&D Program Manager.