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Artificial Intelligence Task Force, State Cybersecurity, ADTRAN Offers Rural Funding Guidance

Elijah Labby

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Photo of Rep. Anna Eshoo by the U.S. Congress

Over twenty technologically minded organizations teamed up on Tuesday to support the creation of a task force for a proposed national artificial intelligence research cloud.

The task force would be created via the passage of the National AI Research Resource Task Force Act, which aims at providing academic institutions and tech companies with the tools to perform artificial intelligence research.

The group includes universities such as the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins and Princeton, as well as tech companies as big as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google.

“A National AI Research Resource will help accelerate US progress in artificial intelligence and advanced technologies... Google recognizes this is an important opportunity for innovation, built on the principles of interoperability and open standards,” said Jeff Dean, senior vice president at Google Research.

Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, and Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., introduced the bill in the House. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., founding co-chairs of the Senate AI Caucus, introduced the bill in the Senate.

Bipartisan Senators introduce NDAA amendment

A bipartisan group of senators filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Department of Homeland Security to have a federally funded Cybersecurity Coordinator in each state, responsible for fielding threats to their respective states’ cybersecurity.

Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Rob Portman R-Ohio, introduced the amendment Monday.

Hassan and Cornyn also introduced an amendment that would expand the National Guard’s ability to support individual states’ responses to cybersecurity threats.

The senators said that the move was a necessary one amid the coronavirus, when resource-strained localities are prime targets for hackers.

“Cyberattacks can cause enormous disruption at any time, but they can be particularly devastating during a public health crisis,”  Hassan said. “…The federal government needs to do more to strengthen cybersecurity preparedness in communities across the country, and both of these bipartisan amendments would help do so.”

ADTRAN offers RDOF guidance to broadband companies

ADTRAN announced Tuesday that it will offer assistance to companies looking to bid in the Federal Communications Commission’s October Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction.

In a press release, the company said that its experience and available resources would be invaluable to those participating in RDOF.

“ADTRAN’s domain experience, technical expertise and portfolio breadth empowers service providers with the full spectrum of qualifiable RDOF broadband access solutions and support to address the wide range of geographic and network topologies,” the company said.

Robert Conger, head of portfolio strategy at ADTRAN, further explained what the company offers to prospective broadband infrastructure companies.

“Rural service providers have long benefited from ADTRAN’s extensive broadband access network experience,” he said, ”and our RDOF Technical Assistance team exists to address many operators’ chief consideration as they prepare for the RDOF bidding process — creating the most robust auction bid strategy possible.”

Interested companies can apply on the ADTRAN website.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story stated that Sens. Hassan, Cornyn, Peters and Portman introduced the NDAA amendment expanding the National Guard’s ability to respond to individual states’ cybersecurity threats. Only Hassan and Cornyn introduced the amendment.

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