Reuters: Google to use balloons to provide Puerto Rico cell service

Reuters: Google to use balloons to provide Puerto Rico cell service. “The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said late on Friday it had approved Alphabet Inc’s application to provide emergency cellular service to Puerto Rico through balloons. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has struggled to regain communications services. The FCC said on Friday that 83 percent of cell sites remain out of service, while wireless communications company are deploying temporary sites.”

Quartz: Cameroon is disrupting the internet in its English-speaking regions to stifle protests again

Quartz: Cameroon is disrupting the internet in its English-speaking regions to stifle protests again. “Cameroon has once again disrupted internet connection it its restive North West and South West Anglophone regions in the wake of fresh mass protests. The interference has largely affected social media sites like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.”

Tanzania: Govt Tightens Noose On Social Media (AllAfrica)

AllAfrica: Tanzania: Govt Tightens Noose On Social Media. “The government has drafted sweeping regulations to tighten its grip on online content producers and users across popular social media platforms. The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) will have unfettered powers to police the web. It will also licence all content providers, including bloggers.”

Digital Trends: Think Your ISP Is Cheating You? The Best Internet Speed Tests Help You Find Out

Digital Trends: Think Your ISP Is Cheating You? The Best Internet Speed Tests Help You Find Out. “Internet service providers like to make a lot of claims about upload and download speeds when you sign up, but do you ever wonder how those numbers compare to the speeds you’re actually getting once your connection is set up? These alternative browser-based speed tests will help you determine your upload and download speeds, as well as identify other issues with your network, such as packet loss, latency issues, or physical connection problems. Here are several of our favorite internet speed tests, each of which is dependent on the kind of data and interface you’re looking for.”

New York Times: How the Internet Kept Humming During 2 Hurricanes

New York Times: How the Internet Kept Humming During 2 Hurricanes. “For all their seeming immateriality, the internet and the cloud rely on a vast industrial infrastructure consisting of data centers linked through a sprawling network of fiber optics. The facilities are stacked with servers — boxlike computers that crunch the data for everything from hospitals, law enforcement agencies and banks to news websites, email and weather reports — that cannot be without electricity and cooling for even a fraction of a second. Yet even as millions of people lost power across Florida, and thousands of homes and businesses were flooded out in Miami and Texas, the heavy digital machinery at the heart of the internet and the cloud held firm.”

New York Times: Facebook Navigates an Internet Fractured by Governmental Controls

New York Times: Facebook Navigates an Internet Fractured by Governmental Controls. “Populous, developing countries like Vietnam are where the company is looking to add its next billion customers — and to bolster its ad business. Facebook’s promise to Vietnam helped the social media giant placate a government that had called on local companies not to advertise on foreign sites like Facebook, and it remains a major marketing channel for businesses there. The diplomatic game that unfolded in Vietnam has become increasingly common for Facebook. The internet is Balkanizing, and the world’s largest tech companies have had to dispatch envoys to, in effect, contain the damage such divisions pose to their ambitions.”

Techdirt: The Google Fiber Honeymoon Period Appears To Be Over

Techdirt: The Google Fiber Honeymoon Period Appears To Be Over. “When Google Fiber first arrived back in 2010, it was heralded as a gamechanger for the broadband industry. Google Fiber would, we believed, revolutionize the industry by taking Silicon Valley money and using it to disrupt the viciously uncompetitive and anti-competitive telecom sector. Initially things worked out well; with the mere mention of a looming Google Fiber target market resulting in a much-needed conversation about why the United States consistently languishes in mediocrity when it comes to our broadband networks (pro tip: it’s because AT&T, Verizon and Comcast all but own state and federal lawmakers). Seven years later, however, and the Google Fiber bloom appears to be off the rose.”