Untapped Potential

For many of us, a high-speed Internet connection has become more than just part of our evening’s entertainment plan. We’re working from home, joining video conference calls, uploading reports to work and sending homework to teachers. If you hadn’t thought before about how important Internet connection was between business and organizations working remotely, you surely have in a world where COVID-19 makes it difficult to interact in person.

IRON, with its grassroots community-led members, is a not for profit corporation. Since its founding, its goal has been to provide high-speed and low-cost network access for higher education, research and healthcare institutions. Its mission, however, has always been to support Idaho’s unique challenges in crossing the digital divide. As a result of its success in the research and higher education fields, IRON is well positioned to provide network access to other nonprofits that are in need right now.

More than ever, Americans are looking for ways to utilize broadband for issues like telemedicine and K-12 education. As we all come to terms with the long-term effects of the COVID-19 crisis, it is clear that communities, especially rural ones, need consistent access to high-speed broadband. It is essential that nonprofits like health and education facilities have continued access to their patients and students even when the unexpected happens. Local government, emergency management, medicine, education; these are all issues that are top of mind as we look to how we can protect our communities and safeguard our essential services. The rugged, mountainous terrain means there are many communities in Idaho that struggle with the digital divide, and don’t have dependable Internet access. IRON is uniquely positioned to support non-profits that want to provide essential services fairly to all Idaho citizens.