The Verge: New York State just passed a law requiring ISPs to offer $15 broadband

The Verge: New York State just passed a law requiring ISPs to offer $15 broadband For low-income households, which seems quite a thing to leave out of the headline. “According to NY Assembly member Amy Paulin (via Bloomberg), the average price of broadband in New York is currently $50. This new bill caps the price at $15 for regular broadband and $20 for high-speed broadband, but only for those who qualify as low income. That’s still over 7 million people in 2.7 million households according to a press release from Cuomo’s office.”

CNET: Biden’s $100 billion broadband plan is already getting pushback

CNET: Biden’s $100 billion broadband plan is already getting pushback. “President Joe Biden wants to spend $100 billion to connect every American to affordable high-speed internet. It’s a lofty goal that’s hard to dispute, right? Lobbying groups representing cable and telecom companies that deliver those services, however, are worried Biden’s hefty spending plan will leave them out of the running for government grants and subsidies that could be used to offset the cost of building new infrastructure.”

Route Fifty: Lawmakers Urge Internet Companies to Join New Discount Broadband Program

Route Fifty: Lawmakers Urge Internet Companies to Join New Discount Broadband Program. “The $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, approved in December, will offer a $50-a-month discount to eligible households. The Federal Communications Commission is working to get the program up and running by the end of April, and lawmakers said providers should do their part to let consumers across the country know about it.”

CNET: Which internet speed test should you use to test your connection at home?

CNET: Which internet speed test should you use to test your connection at home?. “Fortunately, there’s an easy way to keep an eye on your home’s internet speeds and that’s with an internet speed test. You’ve got lots of free options online to choose from and might even be able to run one from the same app that you used to set up your router. In most cases, running a test is as easy as pressing ‘Go.’”

Internet Society: New Guide to Federal Broadband Funding Opportunities in the U.S.

Internet Society: New Guide to Federal Broadband Funding Opportunities in the U.S.. “Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of the Guide to Federal Broadband Opportunities in the U.S. By creating this consolidated resource, especially as large amounts of funding become available as a part of COVID-19 relief and Tribes begin utilizing their Educational Broadband Service spectrum, the Internet Society hopes to assist our community to access these vital funds.”

Mashable: How to help slash your community’s digital divide in education

Mashable: How to help slash your community’s digital divide in education. “Before COVID-19 hit, 30 percent of K-12 public school students lived in homes without internet connections or devices they could use for remote learning, according to an analysis of the most recent data, from 2018, from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics. But the pandemic has brought this issue into stark contrast, because some students have stable home internet and others don’t, says Katrina Stevens, who worked on best practices in digital learning in the Obama administration and is president of the Tech interactive, a family-friendly science and technology center.”

Techdirt: Crappy US Broadband Is Also Hampering Equitable Vaccine Deployment

Techdirt: Crappy US Broadband Is Also Hampering Equitable Vaccine Deployment. “s our recent Greenhouse policy forum on broadband made abundantly clear, COVID is shining a very bright light on US broadband dysfunction. The high cost of service, spotty coverage, slow speeds, and high prices are all being felt acutely in an era where having a decent broadband connection is the pathway to education, employment, healthcare, and opportunity.”

CNET: As COVID-19 ravages the world, closing the digital divide is more critical than ever

CNET: As COVID-19 ravages the world, closing the digital divide is more critical than ever. “If there’s one thing the coronavirus has shown, it’s that we all need high-speed internet access to survive in an age when everyone’s stuck at home. Unfortunately, at least 14.5 million Americans don’t have that access (a number that may be artificially low). It’s a staggering number, especially when you consider how essential online access is for work, school and just about every facet of our lives. Broadband access is as critical as running water or electricity, even if it isn’t anywhere near as available.”

Techdirt: The Cost Of Broadband Is Too Damned High

Techdirt: The Cost Of Broadband Is Too Damned High. “How much do consumers pay for internet service in the United States? The question might seem relatively simple, but the answer has stymied the federal government for years—because no agency collects this data. Throughout 2020, my organization, New America’s Open Technology Institute, published the Cost of Connectivity series to crack open the black box of internet pricing. The collective takeaway of these studies is clear: the cost of internet service is alarmingly high, and there is substantial evidence of an affordability crisis in the United States.”

Internet 2021: Here’s what the new year will (and won’t) bring (ZDNet)

ZDNet: Internet 2021: Here’s what the new year will (and won’t) bring. “I’m lucky. I have decent cable internet to my home office. It’s not cable gigabit, which is not the same thing as real fiber gigabit, but at 300Mbps, it’s more than good enough. But, most people aren’t so lucky. The FCC official broadband definition is a mere 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. Soon to be out of office FCC chairman Ajit Pai would like to have reduced that number to 10 Mbps in 2018. That’s not enough speed for the 2010s, never mind the 2020s. Today, and well into 2021, many of us will still work from home, go to school virtually, and the only movies we’ll be watching will be the ones we’re streaming. That takes up a lot of bandwidth.”

Neowin: UK government sets less ambitious gigabit broadband goal

Neowin: UK government sets less ambitious gigabit broadband goal. “The UK’s Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced that the country’s original plan to bring gigabit broadband to every home in the country by 2025 has been scaled back so that the technology will be available in 85% of residences. While those in towns and cities around the country will likely be unaffected by the watering down of the plan, those out in more rural areas will be left with poorer internet connections.”

ComputerWorld: At this point, 5G is a bad joke

ComputerWorld: At this point, 5G is a bad joke. “Who doesn’t want more bandwidth? I sure do, and I currently have 300Mbps to my home office via Spectrum cable. What I really want is a Gigabit via fiber optic to my doorstep. Maybe I’ll get it someday. But, what I do know for a fact is I’m not going to get Gigabit-per-second speeds from 5G. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever. At the moment, there are a lot of things the telecomms are telling you in one ad after another that’s just not true. I know – shocking news right? But, even by their standards, 5G is pretty bogus.”

Speed up your home office: How to optimize your network for remote work and learning (ZDNet)

ZDNet: Speed up your home office: How to optimize your network for remote work and learning. “Your network has become mission-critical. You need it to keep the paychecks coming and your kids need it to get through school. In this context, getting the most out of your network is essential. But what does that really mean? This comprehensive guide will help you answer that, and help guide you towards changes and improvements you might want to make. I’ll be covering three major topic areas that are inextricably related: understanding your bandwidth requirements, understanding your broadband provider’s offerings, and optimizing your home network.”

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.”