During the Pandemic, the FCC Must Provide Internet for All

from Wired IF ANYONE BELIEVED access to the internet was not essential prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, nobody is saying that today. With ongoing stay-at-home orders in most states, high-speed broadband internet access has become a necessity to learn, work, engage in commerce and culture, keep abreast of news about the virus, and stay connected to neighbors, friends, and family. Yet nearly a third of American households do not have this critical service, either because it is not available to them, or, as is more often the case, they cannot afford it. Lifeline is a government program that seeks to […]

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Why Is South Korea a Global Broadband Leader?

from EFF A universal fiber network that was completed years ago. Millions of 5G users. Some of the world’s fastest and cheapest broadband connections. South Korea has all of these, while other nations that have the same resources lag behind. How did South Korea become a global leader in the first place? EFF did a deep dive into this question and has produced the following report. The key takeaway: government policies that focus on expanding access to telecommunications infrastructure were essential to success. More here.

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New Data Caps Provide Another Reason to Hate Comcast

from Wired THE DAYS OF unlimited Internet end November 1. That’s when Comcast, the nation’s largest broadband Internet provider, starts imposing a monthly data limit of 1 terabyte on subscribers nationwide. The company started testing this plan in a few cities earlier this year, and decided to roll it out in 28 states. Anyone exceeding the limit more than two months in a row can pony up $10 for blocks of 50 gigabytes, according to the company’s website. That said, you’ll never be charged an overage fee greater than $200, and Comcast is more than happy to let you pay an extra 50 bucks […]

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Comcast and Charter May Soon Control 70% of 25Mbps Internet Subscriptions

from ars technica If Charter Communications is allowed to buy cable rivals Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Bright House Networks (BHN), just two Internet service providers could control about 70 percent of the nation’s 25Mbps-and-up broadband subscriptions. Comcast would remain the country’s largest ISP with 22.87 million Internet subscribers, while Charter’s merger will push it into second place with at least 20.56 million. (AT&T has 15.83 million.) Combined, Comcast and Charter would account for less than half of home Internet connections. But under the Federal Communications Commission definition of “broadband,” which requires download speeds of at least 25Mbps, Comcast and Charter would reign supreme in the US. The […]

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After A Decade Of Waiting For Verizon, Town Builds Itself Gigabit Fiber For $75 Per Month

from techdirt Like many broadband black holes, Western Massachusetts has spent years asking regional duopolies for broadband. Towns like Leverett, Mass. literally took to hanging signs around town begging Verizon to install even the slowest DSL. Of course Verizon not only refused to install Western Massachusetts, they froze deployment of effectively all FiOS fiber upgrades, leaving a large number of towns and cities (including Boston, Baltimore, Alexandria, Buffalo) without next-gen broadband — or in some cases broadband at all.  But, unlike many areas, Western Massachusetts decided to do something about it. In 2012 Leverett voters approved borrowing $3.6 million — or roughly […]

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Is Public Broadband a Threat to Taxpayers? Let Towns Decide.

from Gigaom A casual observer might think towns across the country are contemplating Communism, rather than construction projects. Such is the state of the national debate over how to build more high speed internet, which is becoming as indispensable to modern life as hot water or electricity. The crux of the debate is over how small cities, especially those where fast internet is in short supply, can get better broadband networks. The right answer, however, should not be a matter of partisan politics — but in looking at the competence of individual towns, and ensuring that their populations can have […]

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