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What IT Improvements Can Governments Do With the COVID-19 Relief Package?

With the American Rescue Plan passing into law in March 2021, $350 billion in flexible aid will be distributed to state and local governments. These free dollars are a unique opportunity for government entities to invest in technology to improve engagement with their local communities.

From modernizing legacy and outdated IT systems to improving cybersecurity posture, let’s take a closer look at how you can best use these free dollars.

Ensure Your IT Infrastructure Supports the Citizen Experience

Expectations have drastically shifted over the past few years thanks to the advancement in technology within the private sector. Citizens are expecting a digital experience from their government.

While many government organizations have not made the switch to digital services, it is something that is top of mind for many organizations. According to NASCIO’s 2020 State CIO Survey, CIOs identified the increased attention on digital government services and citizen experience as top priority business processes. Using your relief funds to bring in technology experts that work with government organizations can help you get ahead of the curve. They can evaluate the health of your infrastructure and provide managed IT support, freeing you to focus on delivering a better citizen experience.

Increase Bandwidth To Prepare for the Future of Broadband Deployment

The COVID-19 relief package has funds allocated to support more specific technology-focused areas. This includes $7 billion dedicated to broadband deployment for rural and low-income communities.

Money for these underrepresented groups can be hard to come by, so you can use these funds to proactively prepare. Increasing and improving your bandwidth will be key — extending your LAN or WAN, or even ensuring you are set up to provide high-speed Internet access to your stakeholders can help you prepare.

The increase of remote work and remote learning during the pandemic has only accelerated the need for accessible broadband within low-income communities. The City of Hopewell, located 25 miles outside Richmond, Virginia, was able to secure funding to provide municipal broadband to low-income areas of their community. TPx helped this local community enable connectivity to over 3,000 families. Learn more about how City of Hopewell used grant funds to provide public-access WiFi.

Follow the Lead of the Federal Government and Prioritize Modern Cybersecurity

One strategy for allocating funds is to follow the lead of the federal government. The COVID-19 relief package has allocated $650 million federal-level funds to support the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). As a result, federal governments will use the funds to focus on modernizing their cybersecurity approach.

To show a cohesive vision between various levels of government, state, and local entities would be wise.

Government organizations have increasingly become a target of cyber attacks with ransomware being the primary way municipal assets are attacked. Organizations need to understand their vulnerabilities to ransomware so they can better defend themselves against attacks. For a limited time, TPx is offering a free ransomware evaluation to help organizations improve their security posture. Governments can also take advantage of cybersecurity advisory services that will audit your proficiency in core security areas.

Whether you need assistance improving your IT infrastructure, enhancing your cybersecurity or providing municipal broadband, TPx can help. Contact us to learn more about how we can help with your IT needs.