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Connecting an iDelta

18% of the Delta Regional Authority’s 252 rural counties and parishes lack high-speed Internet service. The percentage of Delta region school districts operating a website lags behind the national average, 54% compared to 62%. There are significant disparities between the Internet services and pricing available to rural and metro-area small businesses, according to the Small Business Administration.

The Delta Regional Authority iDelta initiative will expand broadband infrastructure, increase computer and internet adoption, and ultimately increase the number of companies, workers and students using information technology in the rural Delta counties and parishes. Economic development efforts can be enhanced, exponentially, through the proper application of technology.

As part of the iDelta initiative, DRA partnered with Connect Arkansas to increase awareness, use and deployment of broadband resources in Desha, Phillips, and Arkansas Counties. A pilot, demonstration wireless broadband was launched in Coahoma County, Mississippi to promote adoption by public and private entities. 

iDelta Volume I: Report and Data for Information Technology in the Delta

iDelta Volume II: Recommendations for Information Technology in the Delta

Eight-State Broadband Summit

In coordination with DRA's partnership with Connect2Compete (C2C), the DRA hosted the first-ever Regional Broadband Summit for the Delta on October 23. The conference hosted more than 100 community leaders, economic developers, broadband providers, and broadband advocates. This summit provided an unprecedented forum for regional leaders and federal officials to continue the conversation on how best to expand access to broadband service to all Americans.

Broadband Summit Agenda

As an example of the role of broadband in providing increased access, the summit was livestreamed by Arkansas Capital Corporation through their ConnectAR broadband initiative. 

Broadband Resources