Emergency communications, cybersecurity, broadband in the spotlight

Posted on Oct 31 2022

Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres on Thursday greeted and spoke to visiting delegations from Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the U.S. mainland representing regional governments, federal and state entities, and policy bodies throughout the Pacific who are meeting to discuss broadband, cybersecurity, and emergency communications. Torres thanked them for coming together to share their respective challenges and opportunities in the spirit of collaboration for growth.

“We are one. Every single one of us here today are here to see how we may improve the quality of life our people. Equal and greater access to broadband (such as highspeed Internet) lifts everyone. The Torres administration is investing millions of dollars to ensure faster delivery of educational material, consistent, efficient delivery of online government services, reliable and affordable access to broadband,” said Torres.

“The more interconnected our islands become, the more criminals will exploit the internet for cyber-related crimes. The MS-ISAC, in partnership with the Marianas, will bolster a safe and secure connection for all our citizens,” said Brendan Montagne, CIS Stakeholder Engagement Operations, MS-ISAC. MS-ISAC is a resource of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for cyber threat prevention, protection, response and recovery for the nation’s state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.

The Marianas Working Group, or MARWork, is a policy working designed to address issues of mutual concern and benefit among and between Guam and the CNMI. The working group has since garnered interest from throughout Micronesia and various federal entities. Thursday’s technology symposium focuses on broadband, cybersecurity, and emergency communications, involving 60-plus subject matter experts.

“This symposium highlights some of the priorities that are top of mind for both the CNMI and Guam. Buildup of cyber defenses and broadband infrastructure enables a secure and connected internet experience, while emergency communications assure first responder agility to crisis events,” said the CNMI chief information officer Clifford Aldan.

MARWork has seven working groups:

• Group 1: Labor

• Group 2: Commerce

• Group 3: Homeland Security & Public Safety

• Group 4: Public Health & Food Security

• Group 5: Education, Finance & Taxation

• Group 6: Land, Environment & Veteran’s Affairs

• Group 7: Infrastructure and Telecommunications.

Culture, language, indigeneity, and gender is integrated into each of these working groups.

With critical matters constantly at the forefront, Torres strongly encourages the working group to formulate new ideas based on data-driven information and input from regional and national experts.

“We are one. Regional collaboration is key to improving the life, health and safety of our people,” said Torres.

For additional information about the Mariånas Working Group, contact executive director Joe Mesa, at (670) 237-2200 or email at joe.mesa@gov.mp. You may also contact Governor’s Chief of Staff Wil Castro via email at wil.castro@gov.mp. (PR)

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