Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch announced that interested candidates are now able to apply for the new position of Director of Broadband Opportunities. This role will be held within Crouch’s office, who serves as the Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, and will focus on supporting broadband coverage throughout Indiana.
“The lack of quality and affordable broadband in rural Indiana is an issue that is regularly brought to my attention as I am visiting these communities,” Crouch said. “We want students, businesses and healthcare providers to be able to have the same access as more urban communities, wherever it is most convenient for them. To do that we need to ensure that they can get high-speed and cost-effective broadband anywhere in the state.”
The Director of Broadband Opportunities will serve as a liaison and work with the federal government, telecommunications industry, universities, local communities, economic development organizations, agricultural and rural organizations, state agencies and all other related entities involved in broadband related topics and issues.
“In order to keep Indiana’s economy thriving, we must give rural communities the ability to compete with our urban centers,” Crouch said. “After hearing from numerous Hoosiers, organizations and businesses across the state, there is a clear need of a systematic effort to connect fast, reliable and most of all affordable broadband services throughout Indiana.”
Crouch said that designating a single point of contact in state government to organize efforts will help improve broadband access across the state. This individual will serve as a conduit between local communities and the telecom industry, as well as develop an understanding of best practices and models for improving broadband availability. Additionally, this person will have a knowledge of federal funding and programs dedicated to improving broadband services.
“As a part of the governor’s 2018 Next Level Agenda, there is a call for an increase in the availability and access to affordable broadband services, and creating this position is an excellent step towards making that happen,” Crouch said. “When educators, businesses and local government have access to high-speed broadband, education, economic development and services can thrive.”
Visit https://bit.ly/2qFgu4N to fill out an application.