Inside the next steps for Texas broadband expansion

On this week’s Priorities podcast, the director of the Texas Broadband Development Office says a new broadband infrastructure fund will give the state “flexibility” to expand broadband across the state.

Texas broadband lead Greg Conte outlines the plan for the new fund, which was established last month after voters in Texas passed a constitutional amendment. The new fund adds to the $3.3 billion the state’s getting from the federal Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment program.

Also on the podcast, Illinois Chief Information Officer Sanjay Gupta shares his top priorities. And Arizona CIO J.R. Sloan explains his approach to digital services expansion.

In the news this week:

North Carolina’s technology office is seeking public comment on a draft of the state’s digital equity plan. The 138-page draft plan identifies the need for all state residents to have fast, reliable access and comes from more than 20 listening sessions held across the state. After the plan is completed, the state will submit the proposal to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is suing Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. Knudsen claims Instagram was intentionally designed to be addictive and that some of the content available on the platform violates the state’s consumer protection laws. The lawsuit is Montana’s latest attempt at taking social media companies to task — earlier this year, Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a bill prohibiting app stores from offering TikTok for download. That bill is currently on hold after a U.S. District judge issued a preliminary injunction.

The Detroit Smart Parking Lab has received half a million dollars in funding and grants from the state government to support emerging parking technologies. The lab’s testing site launched in 2021 and has supported 20 startups to test parking-related mobility, logistics and electric vehicle tech. The new funding comes from the state’s Mobility Funding Platform.

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