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07/27/2021
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WorkScoop

A boot camp for tribal broadband

Over the July 4 weekend, members of three tribal nations in Northern California — met with experts from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the Internet Society and the University of Washington. The gathering, attended by about 20 people, was a chance for tribes that received 2.5 GHz spectrum licenses from the Federal Communications Commission last year to build their technical skills, ask questions and meet knowledgeable wireless broadband experts who could help the tribes develop broadband networks not controlled by big commercial ISPs. “We talked about how to make better decisions and not let ourselves be bulldozed by the larger companies that aren’t really invested like these people would be,” Linnea Jackson, general manager of the Hoopa Valley Tribe's public utility district, told StateScoop. Colin Wood reports.


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It's the money, not the motive

At least 70% of city, county and tribal government leaders have “shovel-ready” projects to expand broadband in their regions, but lack the funding to advance, according to a report published Monday by the technology firm Cisco. Eighty percent of respondents said broadband was “critical,” but 75% said they were also concerned about the high price tag associated with broadband. “[The] pandemic has highlighted disparities created by lack of broadband for students and businesses,” one a city manager said. “Progress is blocked by the unavailability of funds.” Ryan Johnston has more.


Data Lab: They want to help the recovery

The Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University on Monday announced a new partnership with the National Governors Association to assist state government officials working on data-driven projects as they help their communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The training and technical assistance program, called Data Labs: Roadmap to Recovery, intends to pair state governments with data scientists and subject matter experts to take on issues including housing and homelessness, small business support, higher education and workforce. “We’re really looking to equip states with an actionable plan to address one of these four issues,” said Tyler Kleycamp, a Beeck Center fellow and former chief data officer in Connecticut. Colin Wood has the story.


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