Governors Highlight Cybersecurity, Broadband at Winter Meeting


Governors presented a long wish list at the winter meeting of the National Governor’s Association held yesterday in Washington D.C. Expanding broadband and improving cybersecurity, where two of the top items on that list.

In public remarks, Govs. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) and Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.) noted that cyber-attacks cost the US some $300 million each year. “The foundation of today’s economy, national security and the daily operations of government are increasingly dependent upon the security and reliability of communications technology and other digital infrastructure,” Governor Sandoval said in his keynote address at the meeting. “In order to be successful at thwarting threats, the federal government must view states as primary sources of intelligence, as well as priority recipients of intelligence from the federal government. States should be seen as full-fledged partners in gathering, analyzing and disseminating intelligence in the fight against cyber terrorism.”

Both governors said that the NGA was ready to be a source of leadership. CivSource spoke at length with NGA Chair McAuliffe when he first unveiled the organization’s playbook for cybersecurity at a summit in October. “This isn’t just another initiative,” he says. “We have created real deliverables. At the end of the year, I want governors to have gone through the checklist and be able to say they have a real plan for cybersecurity.” Governor McAuliffe added that he was hopeful that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Designee Gen. John F. Kelly would listen to the concerns voiced by members of the NGA, when it comes to cybersecurity and other issues.

Broadband expansion was also high on the agenda. Governor Sandoval highlighted efforts underway in Nevada to expand internet access. The governor noted that broadband expansion should be a part of any new infrastructure spending that might be on deck if President Trump’s agenda moves forward.

“We want to work with Congress and the relevant federal agencies to strengthen our nation’s energy infrastructure, including expanding and improving the electric power grid and bringing broadband networks to underserved, and often remote, areas,” Governor Sandoval said.


Image source: NGA