Quartz: Uganda’s social media tax has led to a drop in internet and mobile money users

Quartz: Uganda’s social media tax has led to a drop in internet and mobile money users. “Uganda’s social media tax has proved to be detrimental to both its internet and mobile money sectors. In the three months following the introduction of the levy in July 2018, there was a noted decline in the number of internet users, total revenues collected, as well as mobile money transactions. In a series of tweets, the Uganda Communications Commission noted internet subscription declined by more than 2.5 million users, while the sum of taxpayers from over-the-top (OTT) media services decreased by more than 1.2 million users.”

Quartz: Not just porn, Indian telecom firms are blocking other websites, too

Quartz: Not just porn, Indian telecom firms are blocking other websites, too. “Over three months after the Indian government banned hundreds of porn websites, internet users from across the country are reporting blocked access to a wide variety of other online services. These include VPN (virtual private network) and proxy sites, torrent sites, the website for the messaging platform Telegram, and even the audio-streaming site Soundcloud.”

Google Fiber’s biggest failure: ISP will turn service off in Louisville (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: Google Fiber’s biggest failure: ISP will turn service off in Louisville. “Google Fiber will turn off its network in Louisville, Kentucky and exit the city after a series of fiber installation failures left cables exposed in the roads. Google Fiber’s customers in Louisville will have to switch ISPs and will get their final two months of Google Fiber service for free to help make up for the disruption.”

New Delhi Times: Zimbabwe Activists Push Back on Social Media Restrictions

New Delhi Times: Zimbabwe Activists Push Back on Social Media Restrictions. “In Zimbabwe, rights and opposition groups are surviving by using social media to communicate with the masses as state-owned media remain reserved for ruling party officials. During recent anti-government protests, the public received information through social media and now the government wants a law to block such platforms.”

Learning to talk again: life without internet in Tonga (Phys .org)

Phys .org: Learning to talk again: life without internet in Tonga. “A two-week cyber blackout caused financial headache and social heartache in remote Tonga, but it also forced residents of the Pacific island kingdom to rediscover the art of offline communication. The sudden internet outage on January 20 brought an abrupt halt to many businesses and cut access to social media—the community’s lifeline to the outside world.”

CNET: Chromebook instant tethering now works beyond Google’s laptops and phones

CNET: Chromebook instant tethering now works beyond Google’s laptops and phones. “A feature called instant tethering previously let people with Google’s own Chromebooks and phones quickly get online using their phone’s mobile network. Once it’s set up, it’s just a matter of by tapping a notification to connect. Now instant tethering is spreading beyond Google’s own devices.”

Ars Technica: Ajit Pai loses in court—judges overturn gutting of Tribal broadband program

Ars Technica: Ajit Pai loses in court—judges overturn gutting of Tribal broadband program. “A three-judge panel said the FCC failed to consider that facilities-based providers have been leaving the Lifeline program, and provided no evidence that banning resellers would spur new broadband deployment. The FCC also failed to properly consider how eliminating the subsidy in urban areas would affect consumers, judges determined.”