Members of a key House cybersecurity subcommittee and a panel of expert witnesses agreed at a May 5 hearing on the pressing need to disrupt ransomware-driven cyber attacks, and aired a variety of strategies to more toward that goal.

New research on broadband accessibility found that 77 percent of Americans now have access to low-priced wired broadband plans in the first quarter of 2021.






Labor Secretary Marty Walsh told members of Congress last week that between $600 and $700 million of Federal funding approved under the American Rescue Plan Act will be used to pay for technical assistance to states to improve their unemployment insurance (UI) systems.






remote learning

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on April 30 released a draft of a proposed order for the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund, which would reimburse schools and libraries for their purchases of devices and broadband connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.






The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the start of the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program, which will allow eligible households to receive a monthly discount off broadband service costs from an approved provider as of May 12, 2021.






A bipartisan group of senators has reintroduced the Rural STEM Education Act, which would provide Federal support for STEM training in rural schools and instruct the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide grants to support training for rural STEM teachers.






Senate Democrats and Independents reintroduced legislation this week to expand the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window.






superhero

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a new graphic novel on National Superhero Day, but its superhero might not possess your typical superpowers. The fictional story Bug Bytes intends to educate the public on the dangers of dis- and misinformation campaigns, with cybersecurity and journalism skills saving the day.






The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in testimony to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee that the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) hasn’t provided BIE-funded schools with guidance on distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.






Numerous tech-related issues were front and center in President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, as he delivered pitches backing up his infrastructure-themed American Jobs Plan issued in late March, the American Families Plan unveiled this week, and a preliminary Fiscal Year 2022 budget wish-list made public on April 9.






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