Category: broadband

May 29, 2019 Off

FCC’s broadband deployment report called ‘fundamentally at odds with reality’

By Jill T Frey

The FCC has officially issued this year’s Broadband Deployment Report, summarizing the extent to which the agency and industry have closed the digital divide in this country. But not everyone agrees with it: “The rosy picture the report paints about the status of broadband deployment is fundamentally at odds with reality,” said Geoffrey Starks in a lengthy dissenting statement.

The yearly report, mandated by Congress, documents things like new broadband customers in rural areas, broadband expanding to new regions and all that sort of thing. The one issued today proclaims cheerfully:

[The FCC] has made closing the digital divide between Americans with, and without, access to modern broadband networks its top priority. As a result of those efforts, the digital divide has narrowed substantially, and more Americans than ever before have access to high-speed broadband.

We find, for a second consecutive year, that advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed

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May 5, 2019 Off

We are leaving older adults out of the digital world

By Jill T Frey

May is national Older Americans Month, and this year’s theme is Connect, Create, Contribute. One area in particular threatens to prevent older adults from making those connections: the digital divide.

Nationally, one-third of adults ages 65 and older say they’ve never used the internet, and half don’t have internet access at home. Of those who do use the internet, nearly half say they need someone else’s help to set up or use a new digital device. Even in San Francisco – the home of technology giants like Twitter, Facebook, and Google – 40% of older adults do not have basic digital literacy skills, and of those, more than half do not use the … Read the rest

May 2, 2019 Off

Brand new fiber link from Alaska to US will carry 100 terabits over the Yukon

By Jill T Frey

Alaska is disconnected from the rest of the U.S. in a lot of ways — that’s kind of the point of Alaska. But giving residents the choice to participate in the modern online world is important for the state’s prosperity, and to that end one of the state’s largest broadband providers is collaborating with Canada to lay hundreds of miles of high-speed fiber connecting Alaska to the rest of the country.

The Alaska Canada Overland Network from co-op telecom MTA will directly connect the northern state to the lower 48, as the name suggests, over land for the first time, improving connections statewide with a 100-terabit connection that could grow as better tech empowers the fiber.

To be clear, Alaska is hardly an island right now — but connectivity is slower and more complicated than it needs to be for the kind of high-bandwidth tasks many take for granted. Most … Read the rest