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.”

Washington Post: Trump administration is crippling international Internet freedom effort by withholding funds, officials say

Washington Post: Trump administration is crippling international Internet freedom effort by withholding funds, officials say. “The Trump administration is withholding $20 million in funding approved by Congress for a U.S. Internet freedom organization, forcing the cutoff Friday of tools used by tens of millions of people worldwide to access the Internet and uncensored news through the Voice of America, officials said. The head of the Washington-based Open Technology Fund said Thursday that it is being forced to halt 49 of the fund’s 60 Internet freedom projects. The move, according to the head of the fund, affects about 80 percent of the group’s work helping human rights and pro-democracy advocates, journalists and others in 200 countries.”

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.”

Thompson Reuters Foundation: Coronavirus crisis threatens internet opportunity for Native Americans

Thompson Reuters Foundation: Coronavirus crisis threatens internet opportunity for Native Americans. ” The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted a rare opportunity for Native American communities to address a lack of critical internet access, supporters and elected officials say, by missing a deadline to obtain free broadband licenses from the government. The cutoff for tribes to apply for licenses from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expires on August 3, and the process entails submitting complex applications, surveys and maps, said officials at a digital rights conference on Monday. Only about 15% of eligible tribes have applied, said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel during a question-and-answer session at the virtual RightsCon conference.”

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.”

Government Technology: Leaders Say Black, Tribal Colleges Need More Than Broadband

Government Technology: Leaders Say Black, Tribal Colleges Need More Than Broadband. “Broadband connectivity alone doesn’t make a postsecondary institution inclusive or competitive, said tech leaders from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) during a National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) webinar Wednesday.”

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.”

New Age Business (Bangladesh): Telcos asked to stop free, cheap social media offers

New Age Business (Bangladesh): Telcos asked to stop free, cheap social media offers. “The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has asked the mobile phone operators to stop all the offers that allow mobile phone users to connect with the social media sites, including Facebook, free of cost or at cheap rates. The telecom regulator on July 14 issued a letter to the telecom operators asking them to implement the directive from July 15.”

CNET: Facebook built a new fiber-spinning robot to make internet service cheaper

CNET: Facebook built a new fiber-spinning robot to make internet service cheaper. “The robot rests delicately atop a power line, balanced high above the ground, almost as if it’s floating. Like a short, stocky tightrope walker, it gradually makes its way forward, leaving a string of cable in its wake. When it comes to a pole, it gracefully elevates its body to pass the roadblock and keep chugging along. This isn’t a circus robot. Facebook developed the machine to install fiber cables on medium-voltage power lines around the globe.”

New York Times: A Bird? A Plane? No, It’s a Google Balloon Beaming the Internet

New York Times: A Bird? A Plane? No, It’s a Google Balloon Beaming the Internet. “The balloons, which hover about 12 miles up in the stratosphere — well above commercial airplanes — will initially provide a 4G LTE network connection to a nearly 31,000-square-mile area across central and western Kenya, including the capital, Nairobi. Loon, a unit of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, launched 35 balloons in recent months in preparation for Tuesday’s start. It is collaborating with Telkom Kenya, the East African nation’s third-largest carrier.”

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).”

PC World: Data caps on AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile will return after June 30

PC World: Data caps on AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile will return after June 30. “Major Internet service providers are scheduled to end their quarantine benefits soon, once again subjecting Americans to data caps and removing protections if they are unable to pay their bills. They’re scheduled to expire at the end of June, meaning that July 1 will see the return of data caps to some major ISPs.”

National Accord Newspaper: Ethiopia experiences Internet blackout after musician Haacaaluu shot dead

National Accord Newspaper: Ethiopia experiences Internet blackout after musician Haacaaluu shot dead. “A blanket shutdown of the Internet in Ethiopia is being reported by Access Now, an organisation defending the digital rights of users at risk around the world. This came hours after prominent and outspoken Oromo musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa was shot dead in Addis Abeba, the country’s capital. There have also been reports – via social media – of people taking to the streets demanding justice.”

Daily Herald Business Ledger: Pandemic internet aid is ending, but digital divide remains

Daily Herald Business Ledger: Pandemic internet aid is ending, but digital divide remains. “Earlier this year, to help students and teachers finish the disrupted school year online, Charter, Comcast, AT&T and others began providing free internet. They also pledged not to cut off service or charge late fees to customers struggling financially because of the pandemic. Now, several of those programs are set to end in the coming weeks — a looming expiration that, if left unaddressed, threatens to unravel a precarious thread of the social safety net at a particularly difficult time for many American families.”