President Joe Biden recently signed the American Rescue Plan, which aims to provide $1.9 trillion in federal aid for state and local governments to improve their cybersecurity and IT infrastructures. While the full funding will be distributed over time, these entities are currently receiving $350 billion in funding. Let’s take a look at some examples of how different local and state governments are planning to modernize IT with the American Rescue Plan funding.
North Carolina to improve statewide broadband access
The North Carolina state government is focusing on improving broadband access. In late May, North Carolina approved a bill that allocates $400 million from American Rescue Plan funding for statewide broadband expansion. Specific use of these funds will be detailed in a future bill to create the Completing Access to Broadband Grant program.
They decided to focus on improving their broadband access after performing a study that explored the relationship between how many households in specific counties had access to broadband-based telehealth services and how many deaths occurred in those areas. As a result, the state government has prioritized updates to its broadband infrastructure with the goal to provide county residents with more reliable and accessible telehealth services.
Arkansas to focus on boosting cybersecurity
Two Arkansas state committees recently endorsed a proposed use of American Rescue Plan funds to help boost state government cybersecurity. This includes moving forward with a plan to allocate $33.5 million towards the cybersecurity data center modernization plan for the Department of Transformation and Shared Services.
Colorado invests in a new cloud-based system
The state of Colorado has recently invested in new cloud-based technology. Its new system will be used by claimants of the state unemployment insurance program as well as programs that resulted from the pandemic relief legislation from the federal government. Colorado expects that modernizing these technologies will streamline communication between various government entities and claimants.
McLeod County municipalities are urged to invest in broadband infrastructure
Minnesota’s McLeod County Administrator, Sheila Murphy, recently announced plans to give state townships, cities, and counties the option of how to spend their relief funds. While the state is giving municipalities the power to decide how to best allocate funds, they are urging local governments to invest in broadband infrastructure.
New Hampshire allocates $30 million to cybersecurity and modern IT
The state of New Hampshire has recently shared plans to use a chunk of its funding to invest in cybersecurity and a more modernized IT strategy. They plan to allocate $30 million of their federal aid towards cybersecurity and pandemic-related computer hardware and software.
Tribal citizens of the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah proposing to use funds for broadband
The Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, is expecting to receive $1.8 billion of relief funds from the American Rescue Plan. They have recently shared a proposal for their spending plan, which includes dedicating 3.57% of their budget specifically to broadband infrastructure.