Indiana Fosters Relationships in Preparation for Federal Broadband Funds

The state partners with educational institutions and service providers to maximize public funding.

Indiana Fosters Relationships in Preparation for Federal Broadband Funds

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2022 – Indiana state broadband officials emphasized Wednesday that the state has fostered relationships with anchor institutions and the private sector that they say will benefit the state as it prepares to deploy federal funding.

Indiana’s broadband office partnered with educators at Purdue University to develop digital literacy initiatives in preparation for the $2.75 billion Digital Equity program, which allocates funds to promote digital literacy activities as part of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act, said the officials at a Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. State officials estimate that the state will receive between $500 million to $1 billion from the IIJA.

Educators across the state are being trained in digital literacy initiatives, said Earnie Holtrey, program manager for the director of the Indiana broadband office. Digital literacy initiatives focus on the adoption of broadband by helping community members understand the limitations and potential of new technologies.

Furthermore, the state’s $100 million broadband grant program, which is currently in the third round of funding, fosters relationships between local providers and government agencies as they work together to apply and implement the grant funds.

Screenshot of Earnie Holtrey of the Indiana broadband office

State officials and service providers meet regularly to discuss the granular details of broadband deployment, said Holtrey. The state responded well to the Covid-19 pandemic and will respond well to federal grants due to these established relationships, he continued.

Indiana has several other state broadband programs. The Broadband Ready Community program, established in 2015, recognizes cities that meet certain broadband deployment requirements. The Community Champions program recognizes individuals in the community that improve broadband connectivity in the area.

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022, 12 Noon ET – Summer of Broadband: Indiana

State broadband offices will play a critical role in the rollout of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program. In the months of July and August, Broadband Breakfast will take the pulse of broadband efforts at the state level in visits to about half-dozen states across the country. On July 20, we will speak with key officials, including the State Infrastructure Administrator and Chief Broadband Officer of the Office of Gov. Eric Holcomb, the Program Manager for the Director of the Indiana Broadband Office of Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, and the director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development. Join us at 12 Noon ET to learn what the Hoosier state is doing in bringing a plan together on broadband policy.


  • Earnie Holtrey, Program Manager for the Director of the Indiana Broadband Office, State of Indiana
  • Jodi Golden, State Infrastructure Administrator and Chief Broadband Officer, State of Indiana
  • Roberto Gallardo, Director, Purdue Center for Regional Development
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

Earnie Holtry was served as the Broadband Project Manager for the Indiana Broadband Office since early 2020. Prior to this he served as a community liaison for the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, both under the direction of Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. Holtry works with communities and providers offering technical assistance for planning, inclusion/equity, and construction funding. He also administers the broadband ready communities’ program as he fulfills the Office’ mission of serving as the “one-stop-shop” for all things broadband in Indiana. Earnie has a B.A. in Psychology from The Ohio State University.

Jodi Golden was appointed State Infrastructure Coordinator in March of 2022, and previously she served as Co-Chief of Staff/Chief of Agency Operations for Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. Golden identifies, analyzes and assists in prioritizing the types of funds available through the bipartisan infrastructure law, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. She leads and coordinates activities across relevant state agencies, local governments and stakeholder groups in anticipation of the formula and competitive grants through the IIJA. In her work as Chief of Agency Operations, Golden oversaw the agencies within the Lt. Governor’s portfolio. These consist of the Indiana Department of Agriculture, Office of Community & Rural Affairs, Indiana Destination Development Corporation, Indiana Housing & Community Development Association & the Indiana Broadband Office. Before that, she served as Executive Director of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the Illinois Capital Development Board and the Indiana Education Savings Authority. She holds a B.S. in Speech Communication: Public Relations and a M.P.A. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Roberto Gallardo is Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development and an Agricultural Economics associate professor. He holds an electronics engineering undergraduate degree, a master’s in economic development, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration. Gallardo has worked with rural communities over the past 17 years conducting local and regional community economic development, including use of technology for development. He has authored more than 100 articles and reports including peer-reviewed and news-related regarding rural trends, socioeconomic analysis, industrial clusters, the digital divide, and leveraging broadband applications for community economic development. He also has assisted the state of Indiana implement their broadband programs acting as their Next Level Broadband Connections Director for six months. He is also the author of the bookResponsive Countryside: The Digital Age & Rural Communities,” which highlights a 21st century community development model that helps rural communities transition to, plan for, and prosper in the digital age. Dr. Gallardo is a TEDx speaker and his work has been featured in a WIRED magazine article, a documentary, and a RFDTV documentary.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

Photo by Braden Egli used with permission

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