The Register: Syria and Sudan turn off the internet to suppress … cheating by kids sitting exams

The Register: Syria and Sudan turn off the internet to suppress … cheating by kids sitting exams. “Access Now reports as a part of its #KeepItOn campaign that there were 115 internet shutdowns in 2019, 60 in 2020 and 50 between January and May of 2021. Of those so far in 2021, 24 affected a whole country or region, 11 took in more than one city or area, and 13 cut off only one city, county or village.”

Arab News: Pakistan restores social media access after suspension on ‘security grounds’

Arab News: Pakistan restores social media access after suspension on ‘security grounds’. “Pakistan has restored access to multiple social media apps which it temporarily blocked on security grounds on Friday, the country’s telecommunications authority said. The suspension of social media services was part of a crackdown against a religious political party, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), that held violent nationwide protests this week.”

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.”

Arizona State University: Volunteers help SolarSPELL get back in action

Arizona State University: Volunteers help SolarSPELL get back in action. “Volunteers from the Phoenix Peace Corps Association and the Arizona State University community came together April 3 to build dozens of portable, digital SolarSPELL libraries. The small devices are powered by a solar panel connected to a rechargeable battery and a tiny computer built by Raspberry Pi. The small containers cast a Wi-Fi signal that allows any user to connect a smartphone, tablet or computer in areas with no telecommunciation infrastructure, and the libraries are loaded with relevant, localized educational information.”

Governing: Judges Are Banning Capitol Rioters from the Internet

Governing: Judges Are Banning Capitol Rioters from the Internet. “Judges have long been reluctant to ban anyone from the internet, a restriction that essentially cuts a person off from much of modern society and has been reserved mostly for accused and convicted pedophiles. But as toxic disinformation becomes an increasingly dangerous threat, driving domestic terrorism and violence, the courts are facing vexing new questions around how often and under what circumstances those accused of taking part should be taken offline altogether.”

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.”

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.”

Euronews: Myanmar has endured more than a month of nightly internet shutdowns

Euronews: Myanmar has endured more than a month of nightly internet shutdowns. “Myanmar has endured nightly internet shutdowns for more than a month as anti-coup demonstrations continue. Since the military seized power and detained elected leaders on February 1, at least 149 people have been killed, according to the UN. On Tuesday night, internet access in Myanmar was shut down for the 31st consecutive night, according to internet monitoring service Netblocks.”

Global Voices: Indigenous-led telecommunications organization wins historic legal battle in Mexico

Global Voices: Indigenous-led telecommunications organization wins historic legal battle in Mexico. “This decision allows TIC to offer affordable cell phone services to indigenous communities in the country. The court case also set a legal precedent for local communities to operate their own telecommunications services for free under social use concession licenses — drawing a line between commercial and community providers.”

CNET: Tim Berners-Lee: One-third of youth still don’t have internet access as web turns 32

CNET: Tim Berners-Lee: One-third of youth still don’t have internet access as web turns 32. “As the web turns 32 on Friday, its creator is using his annual letter to draw attention to the way the digital divide affects young people worldwide. While you may assume that children now grow up as digital natives, web creator Tim Berners-Lee points to a 2020 report from the International Telecommunication Union, which notes that one-third of young people around the world don’t have access to the internet.”

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.”