Bowen named to state Internet agency
RALEIGH - State Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight announced his appointment of Wally Bowen of Buncombe County to the North Carolina Rural Internet Access Authority on Tuesday (Dec. 5).
"Access to the Internet is critical to any community's economic success," said Basnight, (D-Dare). "I am confident that Mr. Bowen has the experience and knowledge to help the commission expand Internet service throughout
North Carolina and I am grateful for his service to our state."
Bowen is the founder and executive director of the Mountain Area Information Network, a nonprofit Internet access cooperative and community network that serves 14 western North Carolina counties.
"I am very honored to be appointed to the RIAA, and I will work to achieve a level playing field for North Carolina's rural citizens in the realm of Internet access. Affordable, high-speed access is essential to strengthening our civic and economic well-being," Bowen said.
Earlier this year, the Rural Prosperity Task Force led by Erskine Bowles identified a number of proposals to improve North Carolina's rural economy, including the creation of a commission to help provide rural areas with high-speed broadband Internet access.
The 21-member commission will advise the governor, the General Assembly, and the N.C. Rural Economic Development Authority regarding the best way to achieve the task force's objectives. Legislation sponsored in the North Carolina Senate by Sen. Eric Reeves, D-Wake, created the commission.
Bowen is one of Basnight's six appointees to the Commission. The other appointees include Don Altieri of Union County, Edwin McDaries of Cumberland County, Patricia Ferguson of Bertie County, and Bill Kress and Paul Ridgeway of Wake County.