Briefs: New Jersey to Review Legacy IT Systems

Oakland, Calif., cuts IT department budget; White House wants additional spectrum for wireless broadband.

by / June 29, 2010

Oakland, Calif., Cuts IT Budget

Oakland, Calif.'s City Council has voted to trim the budget of the city's Information Technology Department as part of a plan to bridge a $30 million budget deficit.

The department's budget reduction came along with a decision to lay off 80 police officers and also cut funding for the fire department, City Administrator's office and City Council.

Oakland, a city of 360,000 in California's Bay Area, has suffered in recent years as corporations have fled the state's sour economy. Like many municipalities across the country, Oakland has been forced to cut costs because of declining revenue.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


New Jersey to Review Legacy IT Systems

New Jersey State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff will conduct a review of the state's legacy IT systems in the coming weeks, he told the Press of Atlantic City.

Some of the state's IT systems are three decades old, including its payroll system, which was started in 1969. Sidamon-Eristoff said the old systems should be addressed after New Jersey's budget process for this year ends.

In recent years some of the state's departments have modernized their computer systems through the stimulus or federal funds, but many more remain antiquated -- data stored solely on paper and unable to increase capacity or add capabilities.

Source: Press of Atlantic City


Obama Orders FCC to Free up Spectrum for Wireless Broadband

In a memorandum Monday, June 28, President Barack Obama ordered the FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to free up additional spectrum for wireless broadband.

Obama wants a total of 500 MHz of spectrum to be made available over the next 10 years, for both mobile and fixed broadband use.

The additional spectrum is needed to support "the forthcoming myriad of wireless devices, networks and applications that can drive the new economy," according to the presidential order.

The FCC is directed to create a timetable by Oct 1 that would plan how the additional spectrum will be released.

Obama's request for more spectrum dovetails with the goals contained in the National Broadband Plan, according to the FCC.

"Broadband is about investment, innovation, jobs and opportunity, and spectrum is vital infrastructure for broadband. The administration's strong action (Monday) is a critical step toward ensuring that America will lead the world in mobile broadband," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement Monday.