Vox: The pandemic is speeding up the space internet race

Vox: The pandemic is speeding up the space internet race. “In vast swaths of the United States and the world, there are millions of people who don’t have reliable internet access. These unconnected people aren’t just in far-flung places like rural America or New Zealand or sub-Saharan Africa, either. There are plenty of people living in dense city centers who struggle to access affordable broadband. The pandemic has brought new urgency to the problem, and while companies like Google and Facebook have floated far-out ideas for solving this problem, the internet technology that’s most promising is also the one that’s already proven: satellite broadband.”

Nashville Business Journal: Nashville chosen as test market for Google Fiber 2 Gig

Nashville Business Journal: Nashville chosen as test market for Google Fiber 2 Gig. “Google Fiber may have an internet solution for Nashville families with kids learning virtually and parents trapped in Zoom meetings. Nashville has been chosen as a test market for Google Fiber 2 Gig, according to a blog post by Google Fiber Director of Product Management Amalia O’Sullivan, along with Huntsville, Alabama.”

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.”

Enterprise .nxt: New tech promises faster Internet no matter where you live

Enterprise .nxt: New tech promises faster Internet no matter where you live. “It’s always been important to have fast Internet at home. If you can get fiber optic, the gold standard of fast Internet, you’re good to go. But thanks to deployment costs, many areas still don’t have fiber-optic connections—and they may not any time soon. Fortunately, four new technologies—low-band 5G; Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite Internet; DOCSIS 3.1, and G.fast—will soon provide faster speeds than ever before.”

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.”

New York Times: Surging Traffic Is Slowing Down Our Internet

New York Times: Surging Traffic Is Slowing Down Our Internet. “… last week, as a wave of stay-at-home orders rolled out across the United States, the average time it took to download videos, emails and documents increased as broadband speeds declined 4.9 percent from the previous week, according to Ookla, a broadband speed testing service. Median download speeds dropped 38 percent in San Jose, Calif., and 24 percent in New York, according to Broadband Now, a consumer broadband research site.”

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.”

ProPublica: Kentucky’s $1.5 Billion Information Highway to Nowhere

ProPublica: Kentucky’s $1.5 Billion Information Highway to Nowhere. “The internet arrived in some parts of eastern Kentucky’s Jackson and Owsley counties on the back of a mule named Old Bub. Nine years ago, Old Bub trudged between the rugged counties’ most remote utility poles, hauling the high-capacity fiber-optic cable intended to help bring Appalachian residents into the information age. Today, Old Bub symbolizes something else — a poor state plodding along the information highway.”

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.”

Route Fifty: Frustrated by Flawed Broadband Maps, States Are Trying to Create Their Own

Route Fifty: Frustrated by Flawed Broadband Maps, States Are Trying to Create Their Own. “State officials tasked with overseeing expansion of broadband to their residents say it is paramount to have accurate information about where infrastructure and service is lacking. But because connectivity data collected by the Federal Communications Commission often overestimates broadband’s reach, many states are trying to gather their own data, sometimes going door-to-door to query residents, to better understand service gaps.”