Thursday's conference does not include speakers or panelists who plan to specifically discuss the routers or the state's use of the $126.3 million federal grant.
"We did not want to spend eight hours discussing something we have no control of," said Paul Miller, a CARN consultant who plans to talk about innovative broad policies passed in other states. "It may come up, but we didn't want it to be the focus of the summit."
Other speakers include Dan O'Hanlon, chairman of the West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council; Edyael Casaperalta, a researcher with the Center for Rural Strategies; Tony Simental, West Virginia GIS coordinator; and Herb Smith, broadband director for the city of Philippi.
O'Hanlon plans to talk about the Broadband Deployment Council's grant program, while Casaperalta will outline telecommunications issues in rural areas.
Simental plans to spotlight broadband plans being developed by regional development agencies.
Smith will discuss Phillipi's city-owned broadband network.
"This is an example of how broadband service can work in the absence of a private-sector model," Miller said.
The Central Appalachia Regional Network, which is based in Huntington, serves Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
In April, the group issued a report, recommending that states regulate broadband service, fund projects and develop policies to expand and market high-speed Internet to low-income households.
"We're trying to collect a consensus and move the state forward in terms of broadband," Patterson said. "Hopefully, we can do something productive that's in the best interests of the citizens. Rural people tend to be excluded unless something is done to remedy the situation and make sure they're not."
To register for Thursday's conference, visit www.carnnet.org. There's no fee to attend, and lunch will be provided.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.