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Commerce Department issues another $49M for tribal broadband

A pair of tribal nations in Mississippi and Oklahoma are due to receive $49 million for broadband upgrades, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced last Thursday. Officials said the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians are getting about $8.4 million to install direct fiber connections to nearly 2,200 homes, while the Oklahoma-based Osage Nation will receive about $40.7 million to build out a fiber network and erect wireless towers, which will serve more than 3,100 homes. Benjamin Freed has more.

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.

California fights misinformation with COVID-19 chatbot

On this latest episode of the Priorities Podcast, Yurina Melara, the multiethnic press secretary for the California Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, says a chatbot has processed more than 4,000 conversations in two languages since it launched in April. Melara, along with her fellow press secretary, Ashley Clark, tells StateScoop’s Colin Wood the task force built the WhatsApp-based chatbot to help spread accurate information about the vaccines for COVID-19, specifically in an effort to reach Hispanic communities been swarmed by misinformation about the jabs. Listen to the podcast.


Advancing AI/ML in state and local government

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are making headway in helping state, county and local governments improve citizen services. In a new interview, IT experts from Arizona and Hewlett Packard Enterprise discuss the practical examples of how AI/ML are speeding up Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court’s work that supports public service. Watch the interview.

North Dakota's interstate cyber operations center expands to 10 states

The interstate cybersecurity operations center that North Dakota officials launched last year recently expanded again and now features participation from 10 states, with plans to add at least five more before the end of the year. North Dakota CISO Michael Gregg told StateScoop last week that the center has allowed IT and cyber officials from member states to share threat intelligence with each other directly, without intermediaries like a federal agency or the MS-ISAC. While he declined to name the participating states, he said the list includes states on the East and West coasts in addition to other parts of the Midwest. Ben has details.

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