Gov. Carney, Lt. Gov. Hall-Long, Sen. Carper, Rep. Blunt Rochester Announce $110M Universal Broadband Investment  

Delaware aims to be first state to reach every home and business with high-speed, wired broadband service 

Broadband infrastructure investment is funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed into law by President Joe Biden 

BRIDGEVILLE, Del. – Governor John Carney, Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, members of the General Assembly, and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) on Thursday announced a $110 million investment to cover every “last mile” of Delaware with high-speed, wireline broadband internet service.  

The broadband infrastructure investment – funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed into law on March 11 by President Joe Biden – aims to make Delaware the first state to provide wireline broadband access to every Delaware home and business.  

“Delawareans rely on stable internet connections to apply for jobs, help their children do homework, work from home, or continue their education online,” said Governor Carney. “This significant investment will recognize that reality, and make sure all Delaware families have access to high-speed broadband service. We know that’s more important than ever after the lessons we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank Delaware’s federal delegation for voting to approve the American Rescue Plan Act, and President Joe Biden for signing this important legislation into law.” 

Currently, about 11,600 Delaware homes and businesses lack access to high-speed, wireline broadband service. The broadband infrastructure project announced on Thursday will target investments to areas currently unserved or underserved, lacking a wireline connection, and will prioritize projects that achieve “last mile” connections to households and businesses. 

Click here to view maps of areas most in need of expanded of broadband networks across Delaware

 

“Access to broadband is infrastructure. Just like when our roads, bridges, and railways are broken we fix them and we need to do the same for our access to broadband and close these gaps,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “This critical investment from our federal government is a once in a generation opportunity for us to make a real difference and deliver meaningful investments. I’m excited about the opportunity to really put our state in a position of strength to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”   

“The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how much Americans rely on the Internet for school, running a business, or simply getting health care. Unfortunately, too many people across the First State do not have access to a reliable Internet connection,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “When our Congressional delegation was working on the American Rescue Plan, we knew we needed to provide robust and flexible funding for states to address their own unique needs. I’m so glad the state is using funds from the American Rescue Plan to address this digital divide, and I applaud Governor Carney’s leadership in combatting this pandemic and moving Delaware forward.” 

“Reliable access to high-speed internet is becoming more and more critical for success in the 21st century,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Today’s news will connect thousands in Delaware to broadband services. With the current challenges of COVID-19, we have particularly felt the strain associated with unreliable internet across our state. Whether it’s connecting kids to schools, seniors to doctors, or rural farmers to state-of-the-art agricultural data, this $110-million investment of federal funds will expand broadband availability, increase internet speeds, and make Delaware one of the most connected states in America.” 

“Access to affordable and reliable broadband has been an issue for students, families and businesses throughout Delaware for years, especially for those in the most rural and urban areas of the state,” said U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the critical need for high-speed broadband service as Delawareans found themselves learning, working and educating from home now more than ever. With $110 million secured through the American Rescue Plan that I voted to pass in March, Delaware will now be able to invest in major updates to our broadband infrastructure in the areas that need it most.” 

“Many of the local officials have long said that additional investment must be made in broadband connectivity,” said State Senator Brian Pettyjohn. “As the events of the past year have painfully shown, the infrastructure required to support business, remote learning, and other activities vital in the modern world are simply not in place. This investment will make our communities more competitive in a global economy, allow our students to have equal access to information for learning, and provide health, safety, and security enhancements to even the most remote areas in our state.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home just how integral broadband is for modern life,” said State Senator Nicole Poore, chair of the Joint Capital Improvement Committee. “Delawareans logged on for work, school, doctor’s visits and just to spend a few minutes with their loved ones. Others turned to the high-speed internet to keep their businesses going. Here in the 21st century, we can’t afford for whole towns and communities to be without this vital service, and I applaud Governor John Carney for keeping his promise to close the last remaining gaps in broadband service for our rural communities.” 

“Building upon our prior investments in fiber and wireless broadband, it is our goal to be the first state to provide a wired internet connection to every Delaware residence and business,” said CIO Jason Clarke. “Working with our state internet service providers to deliver a reliable and scalable solution will position Delaware to meet current and future broadband demands.” 

Photos from today’s event can be found here.

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Delaware High School Students Named “National Cyber Scholars”

30,000 Students Across the Country Sought to Qualify for Cybersecurity Competition hosted by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation

 

Wilmington, Del. — Delaware’s Governor John Carney, Secretary of Education Susan Bunting, and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Jason Clarke today announced that four of Delaware’s most promising high school students have earned the coveted title of “National Cyber Scholar” after winning the rigorous 48-hour competition designed to evaluate aptitude in combating cyber threats, and showcasing the best of what the First State’s schools have to offer as part of CyberStart America. Winners included Kelsey Mulrooney, Molly Shapiro and Annamarie Warnke from Padua Academy and Albert Opher from Sanford School.  At the college level, Kirolos Boghdady from the University of Delaware and Evan Timko from Delaware State University ranked highest in Delaware and won scholarship awards. This is the fifth year Delaware has participated, with over 400 students taking part during this round. Overall, Delaware had 39 semifinalists, 7 finalists, and the final 4 Cyber Scholars that ranked high in the competition. Please see the complete list of Delaware’s winners here.

Over 30,000 high school students across the country sought to qualify for this year’s CyberStart America competition, and only 5,000 advanced to the first round. Of those students, only 600 nationwide performed well enough to earn the title “National Cyber Scholars.” These students each won a $2,500 scholarship and an invitation to participate in the Cyber Foundations Academy, a multi-week training and certification course.

“Providing our young people with the opportunity to learn about the high-tech, high-impact of the field cybersecurity is extremely important given the cyber threats that persist in digital world we live in today,” said Governor John Carney. “Congratulations to the National Cyber Scholars and to all the students who participated, and a special thank you to the SANS Institute for continuing to sponsor this incredible program.”

“Congratulations to the four Delaware winners and to all of the students who participated in this year’s competition. This type of opportunity allows students to hone valuable and highly marketable skills that will serve them well after graduation,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.

“Delaware, like other states across the nation, needs trained cyber security specialists and it is encouraging to see so many young people take up this challenge and their interest in this field,” noted CIO Jason Clarke. “We hope they are able to discover a passion for technology and continue to develop their skills.”

Cybersecurity is a critical issue facing this country with the potential to impact our nation’s government, defense, communications and financial systems. According to recent studies, in order to properly defend our infrastructure from attack, we need to train more than 3 million cybersecurity professionals. This scholarship and competition are designed to attract and incentivize more students to enter the field.

“Competing in the Girls Go Cyberstart and Cyberstart America competitions have been incredibly rewarding experiences for me,” said Padua student Molly Shapiro. “I started my first competition in 2018 with no knowledge of cybersecurity and finished my final competition this year with the confidence to pursue a degree in cybersecurity. These competitions allowed me to realize and chase my passion for cybersecurity and have given me the skills and preparation I need to eventually enter the industry as a cybersecurity professional.”

“This scholarship recognizes high school students who have demonstrated exceptional cybersecurity talent,” noted David Brown, executive director, National Cyber Scholarship Foundation. “The NCSF mission is to help close the critical cybersecurity skills gap by identifying and developing the next generation of cyber professionals. Each and every student who participated in this competition has the potential to develop their skills and build a successful career in cybersecurity.”

There are several qualification pathways for the National Cyber Scholarship Competition including CyberStart America, a free online program that helps students discover their interest in cybersecurity and develop their talent and skills. The NCSC offers 600 college scholarships to top-ranking competitors. Additionally, National Cyber Scholars, along with the competition’s 1,000 finalists, are invited to participate in the Cyber Foundations Academy. To learn more visit: National Cyber Scholarship Foundation.

Delaware’s National Cyber Scholars will also be recognized during the annual Secure Delaware workshop on October 28. This event will be held both virtually and in-person at the Chase Center on the Riverfront.

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About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information

The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.

About the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF)

The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation (NCSF) is a national nonprofit whose mission is to identify, nurture and empower the next generation of cybersecurity experts; and eliminate the cybersecurity skills gap in the United States. NCSF aims to support the entry of thousands of talented students to the cybersecurity industry by providing enrichment opportunities, world-class training, and scholarships to fund degree-level study.

About CyberStart America

CyberStart America is a free national program for high school students, aiming to uncover hidden cyber talents, and to identify and develop the next generation of cyber superstars. CyberStart’s immersive gamified learning platform can take students from zero cybersecurity knowledge to possessing the skills necessary to compete in a national-level Capture the Flag challenge in a matter of weeks. Students new to the field with a strong aptitude, as well as students with existing interest in the field, can use the platform to train and qualify for the National Cyber Scholarship Competition, allowing them to compete for life-changing college scholarship opportunities.


ALEINE COHEN NAMED DTI DEPUTY CIO

DOVER, Del. — Delaware’s State Chief Information Officer (CIO) Jason Clarke today announced that the Department of Technology and Information’s (DTI) former Deputy Attorney General Aleine Cohen will be joining the Office of the CIO as Deputy CIO. Aleine’s general counsel experience to DTI for the past six years has enabled her to collaborate across divisions and with DTI’s partners.  In this new position, Aleine will drive and execute the strategic goals of the organization as well as oversee the Human Resources, Fiscal, and Procurement teams. Responsibilities will include the development and implementation of a well-defined strategic roadmap which charts the future direction and growth of the agency, procurement and contract life cycle management, asset/investment management, license tracking, and privacy compliance. She will also lead DTI’s recruitment efforts.

Aleine Cohen, Deputy CIO
Aleine Cohen, Deputy CIO

“Aleine has been an integral part of our team, serving as our Deputy Attorney General for the past six years. She brings with her a wealth of experience in, contract negotiations, data retention and usage, IT procurement and project management, cyber security, privacy, constitutional, labor, employment and administrative law, and has been very involved  in DTI’s broadband and COVID-19 response efforts,” said DTI CIO Jason Clarke. “Her extensive experience within State government makes her an asset to DTI and I am honored that she has decided to take on this challenge. We look forward to her helping us deliver innovative technology solutions to Delaware.”

Aleine began her career in 2007, serving as a judicial law clerk for then President Judge James T. Vaughn, Jr. in the Delaware Superior Court followed by Chief Justice Myron T. Steele in the Delaware Supreme Court in 2008. In 2009, she joined the Delaware office of Edwards, Angell, Palmer, & Dodge, which later became the Delaware office of DLA Piper LLP, where she practiced intellectual property and technology, corporate, and complex commercial litigation. This was followed by a move in 2013 to the New Castle County Office of Law as an Assistant County Attorney. For the past six years, Aleine has been part of the Civil Division of the Delaware Department of Justice, serving as Deputy Attorney General and now as the Unit Head for the Department and Agencies Unit.

Aleine is an alumna of Fordham University and the University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law.  She enjoys outdoor activities, cooking, travel, reading, and spending time with her family. Aleine’s husband is a middle school English/Language Arts teacher and basketball coach. They have two wonderful young children, a senior English Bulldog, and a cuddly cat.

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About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information

The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.

www.dti.delaware.gov


Gerald Whisman Named DTI Chief Operating Officer

DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is pleased to announce that Gerald “Jerry” Whisman has been promoted to serve as Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Jerry administers a portfolio of $38.5M and is responsible for the Network Operations Center, Output Management, Systems Engineering/Systems Administration, Mainframe, Telecom, Collaboration Services, Automation, Data Center and Facilities.

“Jerry is a valuable and experienced team member. His ability to think about the collective team, work with his peers, stay up to date on technologies, and drive execution make him a great fit for our Chief of Operations,” said DTI CIO Jason Clarke. “I am honored that he has accepted the challenge to take on this role and we’re pleased to welcome him to our Senior Team.”

Leveraging experience from the private sector, in 2007 Jerry joined the Division of Professional Regulations within the Delaware Department of State. In 2012, he transitioned to DTI as a Service Support Administrator on the Enterprise Desktop LAN team. His work ethic and direction led DTI toward global desktop management and remote support — resulting in Jerry being named DTI’s Employee of the Year in 2014. He has since served in key leadership roles at DTI in the areas of Service Support, Infrastructure and Engineering. Most recently, Jerry served as the Director of Infrastructure and Engineering where he led technical, diverse, high-performing operations teams. Together with his teams, Jerry upgraded server and infrastructure monitoring/alerting by retiring antiquated systems and replacing them with enterprise class tools. Under Jerry’s guidance, the department increased overall service availability for our IT centralized agencies. He restructured the team, implemented tooling and processes that reduced total incident ticket volume by 50.34% over the last four years, and reduced Severity 2 tickets by 62.71%. After-hours tickets have also seen a 57.41% decrease over the last four years.

 

Jerry holds a number of professional certifications, including CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA CDIA+, and AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, among others. He enjoys classic cars and spending time with his family, including his wife Lisa and their three daughters, Abbie, Hannah and Leah.

 

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About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information

The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.

www.dti.delaware.gov

 


Delaware Launches Free CyberStart America Challenge

National online cybersecurity talent search and competition open to all Delaware high school students


Dover
 – Governor John Carney today announced Delaware’s participation in CyberStart America – an innovative, online cybersecurity talent search and competition sponsored by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation and SANS Institute. Delaware’s high school students are encouraged to explore their aptitude for cybersecurity and computer science by participating in the program and will have the opportunity to win scholarships, as well as prizes and recognition for their schools.

The CyberStart America program is a series of 100% online challenges that allow students to act as cyber protection agents, solving cybersecurity-related puzzles and explore related topics such as code breaking, programming, networking, and digital forensics. The program can be assigned as part of homework, can form the basis of an extracurricular club, or students can just try it on their own. Participating students and their teachers do not need knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to take part. Everything they need can be learned in the game. The program is free for schools and students, and all Delaware students in grades 9-12 are invited to participate. Building on the success of last year’s Girls Go CyberStart program, this year’s CyberStart Game is open to all high school students. Anyone who reaches level 5 in Game will qualify for the national competition to win scholarships. To further encourage participation of young women and JROTC cadets, communities are offering additional support and community-specific awards within the overall scholarship competition.

“This is a great program that builds on our statewide efforts to provide students with real-world experience and technology skills that will be valuable in any career,” said Governor John Carney. “These competitions offer fun activities for young people to explore and learn about the high-tech, high-impact field of cybersecurity.”

“CyberStart is a great way empower and inspire young people to pursue STEM fields including cybersecurity,” said Acting Chief Information Officer Jason Clarke. “In a pilot of the program last year we had over 180 students participate and 16 succeeded in reaching the national finals. This year we hope to triple the number of students participating and reaching the scholarship round.”

“The CyberStart challenge is both a fun and educational experience that gives students the chance to engage in lively hands-on learning and the opportunity to earn valuable college scholarships. We hope even more students will participate in the challenge this year,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.

The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation anticipates awarding scholarships worth a total of $2 million for use at any accredited college to 600 high-scoring students across the nation who participate in the competition in 2021, with students able to compete for state-specific and community-specific prizes as well as national championship status. There will also be incentives for Delaware high schools to encourage more students to reach the qualifying level in CyberStart Game, including exclusive access to additional cybersecurity education resources and recognized cyber skills mastery badges for their students.

Complete details may be found at www.cyberstartamerica.org. High school students may register for the program beginning October 30 and may begin playing the CyberStart Game at 12:00 AM EST, November 15. They may continue playing, and invite their friends to join them, through February 28, 2021. Students will be informed that they qualify for the CyberStart National Scholarship Challenge Round (the “Nationals”) as soon as they have achieved sufficient progress, but they are allowed to continue playing and learning in order to build more skills that will be useful to them in the Nationals. To see the types of challenges students will face in the games, visit https://go.cyberstart.com.

Participating students and schools are encouraged to share updates on social media with #cyberstartDE.

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About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information

The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.

www.dti.delaware.gov

www.digiknow.dti.delaware.gov


About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS provides cyber security training and certification to professionals at governments and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach over 50 different courses at more than 200 live cyber security training events as well as online. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community.

https://www.sans.org