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Why wait for the FCC?

Faculty at Virginia Tech are building a new statewide broadband coverage map to get accurate coverage data to policymakers more quickly than the FCC currently does. The university's Center for Geospatial Information Technology is currently building a portal for Virginia-servicing broadband providers to submit their coverage data directly to state officials, which could result in the creation of a statewide broadband map by next July, way ahead of the FCC, which “hasn’t put any teeth” into its new data-collecting methodology, according to Virginia Tech researcher Brandon Herndon. Ryan Johnston reports.

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Pa. and IBM settle unemployment suit

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry announced Tuesday settled a four-year-old lawsuit with IBM over a contract for an unemployment processing system that officials say IBM did not fulfill. The suit was filed in 2017, four years after the expiration of a contract with IBM to design and build a new unemployment claims system, which was running years behind schedule and about $60 million over budget. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but the state eventually went with a different vendor to launch a new cloud-based unemployment system that launched in June. Benjamin Freed has more.

Big pledges from Biden's cyber summit

The Biden administration on Wednesday announced initiatives to bolster supply chain and natural gas pipeline security, following a White House private sector cybersecurity summit where major companies pledged billions of dollars in cyber spending. Meanwhile, tech giants, insurance companies and educational organizations exited the summit with cybersecurity commitments of their own, including Microsoft, which pledged $150 million in technical services to help federal, state, and local governments with upgrading security protection. CyberScoop's Tim Starks has the details.

Does this stimulus come with instructions?

On a new episode of the Priorities podcast, state CIOs outline their plans for statewide technology upgrades as they await American Rescue Plan funding, but say they're also exercising caution because the federal government hasn’t made the allowable uses entirely clear. "That's what makes it difficult because there are several places where it does specifically refer to things like technology infrastructure but then could you just go take on a big ERP project and fund it? Well, the answer is maybe,” Utah CIO Alan Fuller tells host Colin Wood. Listen to the podcast.

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