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FCC greenlights $200M pilot for school and library cybersecurity

FCC greenlights $200M pilot for school and library cybersecurity
The commission also approved an item to help bolster the security of a core data routing algorithm.

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FCC Approves $200M Pilot Program to Enhance Cybersecurity in Schools and Libraries

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given the green light to a three-year pilot program aimed at studying the use of agency funding to support cybersecurity services and equipment for school and library networks. The unanimous vote authorizes the allocation of up to $200 million from the Universal Service Fund to provide better equipment and services to help prevent cyberattacks against schools and libraries.

The move comes in response to a surge in cyberattacks targeting educational and library institutions, with the Seattle public library still recovering from a ransomware attack that occurred in late May. The FCC's decision has been strongly backed by the American Library Association, which sees it as an important step forward in addressing the escalating costs of securing library systems and data.

In addition to the pilot program, the FCC has also advanced a proposal that would require the nine largest U.S. broadband providers to regularly file plans aimed at enhancing the cybersecurity of the Border Gateway Protocol, a core data routing algorithm used for data transmission across networks.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel emphasized the need for a multifaceted approach to the issue, involving collaboration between local, state, and federal entities, including the Department of Education and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The move is part of a broader effort to address the growing threat of cyberattacks against educational and library institutions, with the private sector also announcing voluntary commitments to support cybersecurity efforts in schools.