Stories from Abroad

Since 2010, the Benton Foundation and the New America Foundation have partnered to highlight telecommunications debates from countries outside the U.S.

The Black Market That Delivers Elon Musk’s Starlink to U.S. Foes

On battlefields from Ukraine to Sudan, Starlink provides immediate and largely secure access to the internet. Besides solving the age-old problem of effective communications between troops and their commanders, Starlink provides a way to control drones and other advanced technologies that have become a critical part of modern warfare.

Model analysis on the economic impact of paid peering: Implications of the Netflix vs. SK broadband dispute

In April 2020, Netflix, Inc. and its Korean subsidiary Netflix Services Korea Ltd. filed a lawsuit against SK Broadband, Inc., seeking confirmation that there were no obligations to bear network costs. On June 25, 2021, the Seoul Central District Court rejected Netflix’s argument and acknowledged the existence of an obligation to negotiate fees. Netflix subsequently appealed the decision on November 5, 2021.

Elon Musk’s Starlink Terminals Are Falling Into the Wrong Hands

SpaceX’s Starlink touts its high-speed internet as “available almost anywhere on Earth.” In the real world, its reach extends to countries where Elon Musk’s satellite-enabled service has no agreement to operate, including territories ruled by repressive regimes. There are wide-spanning examples of Starlink kits being traded and activated illegally.

A Minimum Digital Living Standard for Households with Children

In a household-based assessment of digital needs conducted by the University of Liverpool, parents and young people defined what is ‘enough’ for a household with children to feel digitally included. Respondents considered devices and internet services, basic functional skills, and critical skills. This Minimal Digital Living Standard (MLDS) includes:

Artificial Intelligence Act: European Parliament adopts landmark law

The European Parliament approved the Artificial Intelligence Act that ensures safety and compliance with fundamental rights, while boosting innovation. The law aims to protect fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law and environmental sustainability from high-risk AI, while boosting innovation and establishing Europe as a leader in the field.

Video: The Digital Divide

Doctors' appointments, job applications, personal banking, key services and more are today mostly managed online. While the UK government details its plans for a digital future to transform public services, one in seven Britons are forced to live without the internet. This film is voiced by three individuals experiencing digital exclusion, revealing how varied and complex the repercussions can be. Through enacted scenes from their lives, it makes visible the expanding digital divide—an issue too often unseen or ignored by policy makers, businesses and society at large.

Equitable access to satellite broadband services: Challenges and opportunities for developing countries

Universal and meaningful digital connectivity (UMC) is crucial in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2015. Recently, its importance as a public utility was verified when the countries that have achieved digital transformation have been more adept at tackling the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic than those on the other side of the digital divide. This article aims to contribute to the discussion on the global governance of mega satellite constellations as part of global Internet infrastructure.

Apple bows to Brussels over App Store in latest EU concession

Apple will allow iPhone apps to be downloaded directly from their developers’ websites for the first time, a major concession to European regulators that marks the third time this year the big tech group has been forced to change its plan to comply with landmark EU rules. The move to allow so-called sideloading in Europe, which will come into effect later this spring, comes after pressure from developers to be able to distribute their software outside the App Store and threatens a core component of Apple’s $85 billion-a-year global services business. As part of the changes, developers launc

Democrats probe Musk’s SpaceX, examining Russia’s alleged Starlink use

Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Robert Garcia (D-CA) opened an investigation of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, examining whether the company implemented adequate safeguards to prevent Russia from deploying its Starlink satellite internet service in its war against Ukraine. The lawmakers sent a letter demanding that the company report complaints about potential illegal acquisitions of Starlink terminals, including in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine.

On Digital Markets Act Eve, Google whines, Apple sounds alarms, and TikTok wants out

For months, some of the biggest tech companies have been wrapped up in discussions with the European Commission (EC), seeking feedback and tweaking their plans to ensure their core platform services comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) ahead of that law taking force in the European Union on March 7. Under the DMA, companies designated as gatekeepers—Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta, and Microsoft—must follow strict rules to ensure that they don't engage in unfair business practices that could limit consumer choice in core platform services. Although the EC has