CNET: Facebook tests app for free web browsing on a mobile device, within limits

CNET: Facebook tests app for free web browsing on a mobile device, within limits. “Facebook is testing in Peru a new app called Discover that lets people browse text on any mobile website for free for a certain amount of time, a move that highlights the social media giant’s ambitions to expand internet access globally.”

Los Angeles County: Los Angeles County Launches New WiFi Locator Tool to Help Residents Get Online During COVID-19 Pandemic

I am normally only covering state-level resources or greater, but Los Angeles County has almost as many people as my entire state (just over 10 million) so I’m making an exception. ANYWAY. Los Angeles County: Los Angeles County Launches New WiFi Locator Tool to Help Residents Get Online During COVID-19 Pandemic. “Any member of the public can dial 2-1-1 to ask for assistance to get information from this website, or can visit the site directly. The website features a search tool, based on the user’s physical address, to connect them to various Internet related services, such as Internet access services for students, the location of free WiFi spots throughout the County (including free hotspots located in or nearby County libraries and County parks) and contact information for both residential and commercial broadband Internet providers and mobile (cellular) Internet providers serving the address.”

Arizona Public Media: For students without internet access, the pandemic hits harder

Arizona Public Media: For students without internet access, the pandemic hits harder. “In Arizona, as many as 350,000 households — 13% of all households in the state — don’t have an internet subscription, according to the most recent estimates from the American Community Survey. Though Gov. Doug Ducey is beginning to lift restrictions on businesses, schools will remain closed at least through the summer. Leaders in education say the pandemic has revealed a stark digital divide among Arizona students, putting the promise of a public education out of reach for some.”

The Southern Illinoisian: Illinois releases tool aimed at connecting students to internet

The Southern Illinoisian: Illinois releases tool aimed at connecting students to internet. “As students across Illinois get accustomed to remote learning, state agencies have released a new tool aimed at connecting those who need internet to drive-up Wi-Fi hotspots. The interactive map is searchable by ZIP code and municipality, and the hotspots contain information as to how internet service can be accessed. As of April 15, the map had 200 hotspots aimed at allowing students and parents or guardians to continue social distancing by remaining in their cars while using the internet.”

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin: PSC and DPI Announce Emergency Internet Finder

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin: PSC and DPI Announce Emergency Internet Finder. I am linking to the page where the news release is because the news release itself is a PDF and the link to display the news release is in JavaScript. Yes, really. “On Tuesday, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) announced a new web tool that can assist users in finding free-to-use public broadband locations in their area. These ‘Emergency Internet’ locations are for when a user’s own internet is too slow or not available. While many of the identified location buildings are closed to the public, their Wi-Fi connections remain accessible. Users should stay in their vehicles while accessing the Wi-Fi and only use it long enough to access critical services.”

Techdirt: It Shouldn’t Have Taken A Pandemic To Make Us Care About Crappy U.S. Broadband

Techdirt: It Shouldn’t Have Taken A Pandemic To Make Us Care About Crappy U.S. Broadband. “…Americans have paid some of the highest prices in the world for broadband service that’s not only spottily available, but routinely ranks as mediocre across a wide variety of metrics. From telecom linked think tankers and hired economists to consultants and lobbyists, there’s an entire secondary industry dedicated to pretending this problem is either overblown, or doesn’t exist at all. Needless to say, it shouldn’t have taken a pandemic to expose the superficiality of such claims, or the fact that US telecom issues deserved more attention. With millions of Americans hunkered down at home, a brighter light than ever is being shined on the fact that 42 million Americans lack access to any broadband whatsoever (twice what the FCC claims). Millions more can’t afford service because we’ve allowed an essential utility to be monopolized.”

Gov. Kemp: DCA Launches New Resources for Georgians to Access High-Speed Internet (Georgia)

Brian Kemp, Governor of Georgia: Gov. Kemp: DCA Launches New Resources for Georgians to Access High-Speed Internet. “To support social distancing requirements, broadband providers are offering various options for Georgians to connect to the internet. By visiting broadband.georgia.gov, Georgians can find locations to which they can drive for accessing WiFi around the state, made available from telecommunications cooperatives and government agencies. While many public libraries are currently closed, some are still offering limited services such as WiFi outside their buildings.”