EurekAlert: Internet connectivity is oxygen for research and development work

EurekAlert: Internet connectivity is oxygen for research and development work. “Fast and reliable internet access is fundamental for research and development activity around the world. Seamless connectivity is a privilege we often take for granted. But in developing nations, technological limitations can become stumbling blocks to efficient communication and cause significant disadvantages.”

Voice of America: App Allowing Chinese Citizens to Access Global Internet Quickly Disappears

Voice of America: App Allowing Chinese Citizens to Access Global Internet Quickly Disappears. “A mobile app launched last week in China that many there hoped would allow access to long banned Western social media sites abruptly disappeared from Chinese app stores a day after its unveiling.”

Arizona State University: Breakdown on the information highway

Arizona State University: Breakdown on the information highway. “Since March, millions of people have worked from home. Now that it’s fall, millions of children are learning from home. Many of them are learning that their internet service is not what’s depicted in the ads, where smiling people stream, use Zoom, shop, and surf. Instead, their lot has been to gaze, at first in fury and now with resignation, at the spinning wheel of death. Constant internet outages have obviously been exacerbated by a situation no one saw coming, namely millions migrating to working at home due to the pandemic.”

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.”

Internet: Old TV caused village broadband outages for 18 months (BBC)

Dedicated to all you cool cats and kittens who have ever had to do really weird tech troubleshooting, from the BBC: Internet: Old TV caused village broadband outages for 18 months. “The mystery of why an entire village lost its broadband every morning at 7am was solved when engineers discovered an old television was to blame. An unnamed householder in Aberhosan, Powys, was unaware the old set would emit a signal which would interfere with the entire village’s broadband. After 18 months engineers began an investigation after a cable replacement programme failed to fix the issue.”

Texas State Library and Archives Commission: Texas State Library and Archives Commission Launches Texas Free WiFi Map

Texas State Library and Archives Commission: Texas State Library and Archives Commission Launches Texas Free WiFi Map. “This interactive online map provides up-to-date location information for public drive-up WiFi hotspots provided by Texas libraries, schools, and nonprofits. The Texas Free WiFi Map is searchable, zoomable, and perfect for educators and students, as well as members of the general public requiring internet access for activities such as accessing library services, skill and workforce development, online job and government applications, virtual court appearances, WiFi-based telephone calls, research, business development and more. It provides site-specific login instructions for users.”

TheCity NYC: WiFi Sign of the Times as New Yorkers Gather Outside Libraries for Free Internet

TheCity NYC: WiFi Sign of the Times as New Yorkers Gather Outside Libraries for Free Internet. “One New Yorker uses the free WiFi in front of libraries to research music. Another watches movies on Netflix as she charges her computer, while a man videochats with a friend on his laptop. Across the city, people without internet service at home or with limited service on their phones huddle in front of or near some of the city’s 207 branches for access at all hours.”

‘A national crisis’: As coronavirus forces many schools online this fall, millions of disconnected students are being left behind (Washington Post)

Washington Post: ‘A national crisis’: As coronavirus forces many schools online this fall, millions of disconnected students are being left behind. “For all the talk of Generation Z’s Internet savvy, a stunning number of young people are locked out of virtual classes because they lack high-speed Internet service at home. In 2018, nearly 17 million children lived in homes without high-speed Internet, and more than 7 million did not have computers at home, according to a report prepared by a coalition of civil rights and education groups that analyzed census data for that year.”

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.”

Voice of America: US Global Internet Freedom Group Says Work Limited by Funding Dispute

Voice of America: US Global Internet Freedom Group Says Work Limited by Funding Dispute. “A U.S.-funded global internet freedom group says it has had to sharply curtail its work in a new funding dispute with the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM). Laura Cunningham, the acting chief executive of the Washington-based Open Technology Fund, in a letter… accused the agency and its leader, Michael Pack, of withholding $20 million in congressionally approved funds intended to promote internet access throughout the world, especially in such authoritarian countries as China and Iran.”

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.”