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Congressional watchdog warns FirstNet's future in jeopardy

The Government Accountability Office urged members of Congress this week to find a permanent home for FirstNet, the country’s dedicated public safety broadband network, before the statute for its parent organization runs out in 2027. The authority is currently an independent agency within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which itself is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. But the whole network is at risk if action isn't taken soon, the GAO said. Ryan Johnston has the details.

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Illinois agency leaders share optimism for new data center

Although the state’s data center modernization project is at least two years away from being completed, Illinois agency leaders are already excited with the potential it holds in improving how they deliver services, acting Chief Information Officer Jennifer Ricker told StateScoop. The state’s existing facility, though a consolidated data center, was built in the 1970s and can’t handle the needs of modern technology, Ricker said,   Colin Wood has the story.

Could incoming federal funding close the broadband gap for good?

On this week's episode of the Priorities Podcast, Colorado CIO Tony Neal-Graves says that if the state can’t connect unconnected residents with incoming federal broadband funding, the governor “should fire all of us.” Neal-Graves isn't alone in thinking that the influx of broadband funding could close the broadband gap permanently, with Chris Mitchell, the director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, saying it's possible if "states are smart" with their spending. Listen to the podcast on StateScoop.

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