KTSP: New website tracks broadband access and internet speed across Minnesota

KTSP: New website tracks broadband access and internet speed across Minnesota. “The Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition is asking people to take the speed test on their website. Participants give their address or a nearby location data. The website then measures the download and upload speeds of the internet connection. The results are then recorded and displayed on a map. Green dots indicate a fast connection; red dots equal a slow connection.”

BetaNews: How lockdown has affected global broadband speeds

BetaNews: How lockdown has affected global broadband speeds. “Average broadband speeds during COVID-19 lockdown measures that limited people’s activities dropped by an average of 6.31 percent globally, according to a new report. Internet advice site Cable.co.uk analyzed data from the Oxford Coronavirus Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT), and over 364 million broadband speed tests courtesy of M-Lab to compare average internet speeds in 114 countries both during and outside of their most stringent COVID-19 lockdown periods.”

New York Times: Doing Schoolwork in the Parking Lot Is Not a Solution

New York Times: Doing Schoolwork in the Parking Lot Is Not a Solution. “Like Ms. [Autumn] Lee, many other Americans sheltering from Covid-19 are discovering the limitations of the country’s cobbled-together broadband service. Schooling, jobs, government services, medical care and child care that once were performed in person have been turned over to the web, exposing a deep rift between the broadband haves and have-nots. Those rifts are poised to turn into chasms, as the global pandemic threatens another year of in-person schooling for American children.”

Ars Technica: The remote British village that built one of the UK’s fastest Internet networks

Ars Technica: The remote British village that built one of the UK’s fastest Internet networks. “B4RN started planning to roll out its fiber-to-the-home network in Clapham in 2014, and by the end of 2018, around 180 homes out of 300 in the village had been hooked up with an affordable full gigabit-per-second symmetrical connection (currently only around 10% of homes in Britain are even capable of receiving such a connection). The speeds are impressive, especially in a rural context where Internet connectivity lags horrendously behind urban areas in Britain. Rural download speeds average around 28Mbps, compared to 62.9Mbps on average in urban areas. B4RN, meanwhile, delivers 1,000Mbps.”

AllOnGeorgia: New Broadband Availability Map Shows 1 Million+ Georgians Without Reliable Internet Access

AllOnGeorgia: New Broadband Availability Map Shows 1 Million+ Georgians Without Reliable Internet Access. “Governor Brian Kemp announced Wednesday the publication of Georgia’s Broadband Availability Map, a new tool that will bring more transparency about the internet marketplace and clarify which Georgia households do not have access to high-speed internet. Currently, more than a million Georgians lack access to reliable high-speed internet service, defined by the Federal Communications Commission as twenty-five megabits per second download and three megabits per second upload (25/3 mpbs).”

Techdirt: The Most Important Privacy Case You’ve Never Heard Of

Techdirt: The Most Important Privacy Case You’ve Never Heard Of. “One of the most important privacy cases you’ve never heard of is being litigated right now in a federal district court in Maine. ACA v. Frey is a challenge by the nation’s largest broadband Internet access providers to a Maine law that protects the privacy of the state’s broadband Internet users. If the broadband providers prevail, this case could eliminate sector-specific privacy laws across the nation, foreclose national privacy legislation, and have broad implications for broadband regulation generally.”

Techdirt: It Shouldn’t Have Taken A Pandemic To Make Us Care About Crappy U.S. Broadband

Techdirt: It Shouldn’t Have Taken A Pandemic To Make Us Care About Crappy U.S. Broadband. “…Americans have paid some of the highest prices in the world for broadband service that’s not only spottily available, but routinely ranks as mediocre across a wide variety of metrics. From telecom linked think tankers and hired economists to consultants and lobbyists, there’s an entire secondary industry dedicated to pretending this problem is either overblown, or doesn’t exist at all. Needless to say, it shouldn’t have taken a pandemic to expose the superficiality of such claims, or the fact that US telecom issues deserved more attention. With millions of Americans hunkered down at home, a brighter light than ever is being shined on the fact that 42 million Americans lack access to any broadband whatsoever (twice what the FCC claims). Millions more can’t afford service because we’ve allowed an essential utility to be monopolized.”

Gov. Kemp: DCA Launches New Resources for Georgians to Access High-Speed Internet (Georgia)

Brian Kemp, Governor of Georgia: Gov. Kemp: DCA Launches New Resources for Georgians to Access High-Speed Internet. “To support social distancing requirements, broadband providers are offering various options for Georgians to connect to the internet. By visiting broadband.georgia.gov, Georgians can find locations to which they can drive for accessing WiFi around the state, made available from telecommunications cooperatives and government agencies. While many public libraries are currently closed, some are still offering limited services such as WiFi outside their buildings.”

AlticeUSA: Altice USA Brings Free Broadband to K-12 and College Students During Coronavirus Pandemic

AlticeUSA: Altice USA Brings Free Broadband to K-12 and College Students During Coronavirus Pandemic. “Altice USA is committed to helping schools and students stay connected during this unprecedented time. For households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, we are offering our Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household within our footprint.”

Digital Trends: Coronavirus exposes digital disparities between students as learning goes online

Digital Trends: Coronavirus exposes digital disparities between students as learning goes online. “With universities across the country closing their campuses, canceling classes, and moving everything online, the coronavirus pandemic has complicated learning for many students and faculty, despite the wide use of technology to keep classes going. Perhaps the most basic issue is what students will do when they do not have reliable high-speed internet access.”

The Auburn Plainsman: Charter Spectrum to offer free internet services to students affected by coronavirus closures

The Auburn Plainsman: Charter Spectrum to offer free internet services to students affected by coronavirus closures. “Charter Spectrum is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription, according to a release from Charter Spectrum. To enroll in this service call 1-844-488-8395. The company is waving installation fees for new student households.”

The Verge: As COVID-19 pushes classes online, some students are caught in the broadband gap

The Verge: As COVID-19 pushes classes online, some students are caught in the broadband gap. “As COVID-19 spreads within the United States and across the globe, public health officials are calling for fewer public gatherings — which is pushing many activities online. The issue is particularly severe for schools, where the risk of spreading the disease is high. But as many US schools try to shift to online lesson plans, they’re running into the limitations of our threadbare broadband networks, which leave many students unable to connect to their new online classrooms.”

New York Times: No Cell Signal, No Wi-Fi, No Problem. Growing Up Inside America’s ‘Quiet Zone’

New York Times: No Cell Signal, No Wi-Fi, No Problem. Growing Up Inside America’s ‘Quiet Zone’. “Welcome to Green Bank, population 143, where Wi-Fi is both unavailable and banned and where cellphone signals are nonexistent. The near radio silence is a requirement for those living close to the town’s most prominent and demanding resident, the Green Bank Observatory, home to the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope. To protect the sensitive equipment from interference, the federal government in 1958 established the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area near the state’s border with Virginia.”

Report: Two-Thirds of Counties Average Internet Speeds Slower Than Broadband (Route Fifty)

Route Fifty: Report: Two-Thirds of Counties Average Internet Speeds Slower Than Broadband. “New data, crowdsourced from an app that tests internet connectivity speeds, found that 65% of counties across the United States are averaging connection speeds slower than the FCC’s definition of broadband.”