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'Quicker, better and faster'

States are rolling out new broadband connectivity programs in their rural communities faster and more efficiently than the federal government, despite a lack of clarity and communication between the two levels, according to a panel of state legislators and broadband officials that met this week at a Pew event. “There’s been a disconnection between federal and state governments,” said Tamarah Holmes, the director of Virginia’s broadband office. “States are doing it quicker, better and faster,” said Teresa Ferguson, Colorado's head of federal broadband engagement. Ryan Johnston reports.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

All it took was a Gmail tweak

A federal grand jury in Seattle indicted a Nigerian national on Thursday on multiple counts of wire fraud and identity theft in connection with schemes to claim phony payouts from COVID-19 pandemic relief programs, including enhanced unemployment benefits and small-business loans. Federal prosecutors said the man, Chukwuemeka Onyegbula, allegedly used variations on a single Gmail address to bypass states' fraud-detection systems en route to collecting nearly $290,000 in phony claims between April 2020 and February of this year. Benjamin Freed has details.

Ron Galperin's latest website

Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin on Thursday announced the launch of a new data dashboard tracking the city’s finances in real time. The "Inside L.A. City Finances" site includes charts and graphs visualizing updates on more than 800 city funds, including municipal payrolls and expenditures. The site is the latest release from Galperin, who since taking office in 2013 has released dozens of tools, dashboards and data sets designed to increase government transparency or direct residents to critical services. Colin Wood has more.

Ransomware Task Force gets a boost

The Institute for Security and Technology received a $450,000 donation from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to continue its work combatting ransomware, the organization shared first with CyberScoop's Tonya Riley. The money will go towards continuing the work started by the Ransomware Task Force, a public-private group that earlier this year released a sweeping framework on how governments should fight ransomware, which it deemed a growing national-security threat. “IST has the people to help get the people to get the problem solved,” Craig Newmark said. “It’s all hands on deck because of the neglect of cybersecurity over the past few years.” Read more on CyberScoop.

Utah extends two vehicle-data contracts

The Utah Department of Transportation will spend more than $2.7 million to reduce congestion and improve safety along its roadways through software from Iteris, a company that develops traffic-measuring sensors and software, the company announced this week. The state’s DOT will extend contracts to continue using a pair of Iteris tools: “Inspect,” for vehicle inspections, and another for data-storage tracking the state’s use of commercial vehicles. Ryan has the story.


What government CIOs need for AI to succeed

Kirke Everson, principal in KPMG’s Federal Advisory practices shares insights from federal and state CIOs on AI adoption into their agencies’ processes. It’s no longer if, but when and how AI begins to facilitate government mission. He reports on what our government leaders are asking for. Read more from Everson.

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