Nearly a decade ago , the North Carolina General Assembly approved legislation that essentially blocked municipalities from acting as internet service providers, barring any new or expanded municipal-owned and operated systems. At the time, Wilson had been building its Greenlight system, with lightning-fast internet speeds, and a handful of other North Carolina cities and towns were following suit. The large telecommunications companies – Time-Warner-Cable (now Spectrum), AT&T, and CenturyLink – argued that this amounted to unfair government-subsidized competition.
AT&T Is Abandoning Tens of Thousands of American Households in the Deep South Who Have No Other Internet Access Option
AT&T has stopped making connections to users subscribing to its DSL Internet as of Oct 1st. It looks like the most conservative number of those affected by the decision will be about 80,000 households that have no other option. Analysis using the Federal Communication Commission’s Form 477 data shows that the Deep South will be hit the hardest, with 13,200 households in Georgia, 11,700 in Florida, and 9,700 in Mississippi. South Carolina and Texas have just under 8,000 households affected.
It’s become clear to teachers, administrators, and community members that the digital divide is too big for schools to bridge on their own. The infrastructure needed to teach rural students remotely would require systemic change — it would require government assistance. Months into the pandemic, educators say they still don’t have what they need.
On Oct. 1, AT&T stopped selling digital-subscriber-line (DSL) connections, stranding many existing subscribers on those low-speed links and leaving new residents of DSL-only areas without any wired broadband. “We’re beginning to phase out outdated services like DSL and new orders for the service will no longer be supported after October 1,” a corporate statement sent beforehand read. “Current DSL customers will be able to continue their existing service or where possible upgrade to our 100% fiber network.”
In its 2020 Broadband Pricing Index (BPI) Report, USTelecom shows decreasing cost and increasing value of broadband service in the United States. USTelecom entered the research into open Federal Communications Commission proceedings refreshing the record on Lifeline and network neutrality in light of the DC Circuit’s Mozilla Decision.
INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, filed comments Spet 18 at the Federal Communications Commission in conjunction with its 16th Broadband Deployment Report Notice of Inquiry (706 Comments).
The reality of the ongoing COVID pandemic means that many of us must continue to work virtually, enter classrooms remotely, and engage with the world through broadband internet service. From a recent Consumer Reports American Experiences Survey, we know that four-fifths of Americans now believe that access to broadband is as vital as electricity and running water.
Comcast says that a broadband reseller illegally sold Comcast Internet service in residential buildings in the Denver area and has terminated the connections to those buildings. The shutoff affected hundreds of people who live in buildings serviced by AlphaWiFi, "which installs and services Internet in approximately 90 apartment buildings across Denver." The shutoff came as a surprise to residents, including Kaley Warren, who has been working at home during the pandemic. "It is my entire lifeline," said Warren, who said that without warning her Internet service disappeared. "I felt lost.
On the Wrong Side of the Digital Divide: Life Without Internet Access And Why We Must Fix It In the Age of COVID-19
Prior to the advent of the COVID-19 crisis, Greenlining asked residents of two California communities, Fresno and Oakland, to share their struggles with internet access and found these common themes, all of which have been made more urgent by the pandemic: 1) Internet access is not a luxury, 2) Lack of access creates significant hurdles for everyday life, 3) Smartphone access is insufficient, 4) Internet plans designed for low-income families are inadequate, 5) Lack of access is a barrier to academic success.