The Leading Event for Broadband Systems Operators

Chad Rupe

Broadband Program Manager
State of Montana


Chad Rupe currently serves as the State of Montana’s Broadband Program manager. He has over 16 years of community banking experience and most recently served as the 21st administrator of USDA’s Rural Utilities Service during the Trump administration. Rupe led the ReConnect broadband program, and implemented the 2018 Farm Bill changes to rural broadband, including smart grid deployment of fiber for rural electric cooperatives’ distribution networks. In his time as administrator, he deployed over $18 billion in federal loans and grants for rural broadband, rural electric cooperatives and investor owned utilities, as well as rural drinking water systems throughout the United States for over 8,000 utility borrowers. He served as Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s representative to the FCC Precision Agriculture Task Force and co-chaired the American Broadband Initiative for 23 federal agencies. Rupe also led coordination with the U.S. Department of Energy for deployment of developed emerging technology to improve resiliency, reliability, affordability, and security of the electric grid. Prior to his time in Washington, he served as USDA rural development state director in Wyoming, where he worked with the state on delivering its State Broadband Plan following recently passed state legislation. Rupe is a veteran of the U.S. Army, following his graduation from the United States Military Academy, and earned his MBA from the University of Phoenix. He holds a Top Secret security clearance. He is also the managing member of Rural America Strategies L.L.C., where he provides strategic consulting service for rural communities to bridge the digital divide and for a resilient and reliable electric grid. Additionally, he serves on the advisory council for the Rural Cloud Initiative to advance adoption of precision agriculture.

May 2-5, 2022

Marriott Marquis in Houston, Texas

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