On this week’s episode of the Priorities Podcast, North Carolina’s Nate Denny explains how his state is tackling the digital divide with the federal broadband funding in the infrastructure law and American Rescue Plan.
Denny, the North Carolina Department of Information Technology’s deputy secretary for broadband and digital equity, says his state is working to make sure the relief funding builds on what the state has already been doing to close the digital divide. A key focus, he says, is incentivizing the private sector to build out service in lesser-connected areas.
Last week, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration published nearly 100 pages of guidance for the $45 billion in federal broadband funding it’s distributing under last year’s infrastructure law.
Later in the show, New Hampshire CIO Denis Goulet talks about how his state is approaching relief funding from the American Rescue Plan. In total, states and localities received $350 billion from the 2021 pandemic-relief law. Goulet says the money is — and will continue to be — used on everything from modernization to digital government.
In the news this week:
California plans to merge its data analytics bureau with its innovation and digital services agency. The office would focus on efficiency, as well as provide a place for agencies to pilot IT projects. The final decision on the merge will come next month when the legislature votes on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget.
Bloomberg Philanthropies and several nonprofit groups are working to help local governments find information, resources and technical assistance related to more than 400 grant programs included in last year’s federal infrastructure law. The organizations, including the National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors, are calling their project the Local Infrastructure Hub
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan recently signed three cybersecurity bills, which he called part of an effort to “further strengthen Maryland’s standing as the cyber capital of America.” The legislation codifies the state CISO, creates a cyber preparedness unit to work with local governments and sets cyber planning and incident reporting requirements for water and sewer systems.
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