Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced Thursday the creation of a cabinet-level position to help expand affordable broadband solutions for rural communities.
Former Nashville, Indiana, town manager Scott Rudd will serve as the state's first director of broadband opportunities.
Rural broadband development is currently scattered across different agencies. Crouch says that’s why it’s important for the state to create a single point of contact.
“Who everyone can go to and know that they, in turn, will work with our partners and connect the providers and communities with resources,” Crouch says.
Rudd says his first step will be to convene a summit for later this year.
“To gather stakeholders across the state and brainstorm the best solutions on how we can provide broadband to our rural communities,” Rudd says.
Rudd’s salary will come initially from existing funds within the Department of Agriculture and the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Crouch says she hopes the General Assembly will provide dedicated funding and a small staff in the next state budget.