No, this isn't a joke.
Moogfest, a multi-day festival that includes workshops and panels on experimental electronic music and concerts by headliners such as Kraftwerk and the Pet Shop Boys, will kick off April 23rd with a panel discussion on "Wiring Silicon Mountain: Nurturing Innovation Through Technology in Western North Carolina". The panelists will include McCrory, Asheville mayor Esther Mannheimer, Hickory mayor Rudy White and others.
I'm not sure what McCrory will offer besides his usual platitudes and the usual Republican talking points about private businesses being the best way to get encourage high tech.
By coincidence, a consortium of Triad and Triangle universities, working with local governments, has announced their preferred vendor for offering high-speed next generation Internet in those areas. If you'll notice the map in the linked article and this information on the consortium's board, you'll notice that this high speed network will basically create to large islands of ultra-fast Internet in the state, with the rural areas in between and surrounding them still poking along on virtual dirt roads in an information desert.
Private companies haven't been stepping up to the table to wire rural areas of North Carolina. What Internet access is available in rural areas of the state, particularly in the mountain region, is spotty and expensive. While some have argued that state and Federal governments should step up to the plate to encourage coops for Internet access in rural areas, similar to the rural electrification efforts that transformed rural America and Appalachia throughout the 30s, 40s and 50s, Republicans like McCrory are deaf to such talk. The Bush administration put us decades behind other developed nations in Internet access and the gridlock in DC hasn't done any more for the effort during the Obama years.