Benjamin Freed

State IT officials say they're getting 'fair share' of relief funds

State IT officials are starting to see the effects of federal pandemic recovery money flowing in, and are using the funds to better equip remote workforces, improve network security and expand broadband. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that President Joe Biden signed in March 2021 included $350 billion tailored for state and local governments.

Hawaii officials push broadband as key to post-pandemic economy

Critical to building a “Hawaii 2.0.” economy, as Gov. David Ige (D-HI) termed it in his annual State of the State address, is building out a broadband infrastructure that was not, in officials’ estimation, prepared to support the needs of widespread remote work, telehealth, and virtual learning. “A critical part of re-programming our economy is also the creation of a healthy statewide broadband network,” Gov Ige said.

Senate bill would create rural broadband office at FCC

A recently introduced Senate bill would create a dedicated office for rural-broadband expansion inside the Federal Communications Commission. If enacted, the legislation would order the FCC to create an Office of Rural Broadband. That new agency would coordinate with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service and the Universal Service Administrative Company — an FCC-backed nonprofit that distributes broadband funds to underfunded areas — to maintain information on federal rural broadband programs.