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.

Impact of high-speed broadband access on local establishment dynamics

The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between high-speed fibre broadband access and establishment dynamics at the municipality level. Special emphasis is placed on micro as well as on small and medium-sized establishments in contracting areas. Data cover information on 290 municipalities in Sweden for the period 2010–2018. Results of Fixed Effects and Spatial Durbin model estimations reveal a significant but rather small direct effect of lagged high-speed broadband access, driven by the micro establishments.

Blessing or curse? The effect of broadband Internet on China’s inter-city income inequality

The information and communication technology, represented by the broadband Internet, has made a profound impact on Chinese urban labor market.

Digital Services Act: Council and European Parliament provisional agreement for making the internet a safer space for European citizens

The European Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on the Digital Services Act (DSA), a world first in the field of digital regulation. The DSA follows the principle that what is illegal offline must also be illegal online. It aims to protect the digital space against the spread of illegal content, and to ensure the protection of users’ fundamental rights. The DSA will apply to all online intermediaries providing services in the European Union.

Mobile phones, mobile Internet, and employment in Uganda

This research analyzes the relation between mobile phone use – mobile Internet in particular – and employment, self-employment and job regularity in Uganda. It finds no evidence of any positive impact of mobile Internet use on employment or job quality, suggesting that either respondents do not use mobile Internet for job search practices or as a job tool, or that these uses are ineffective.

Ukraine War Stokes Concerns in Taiwan Over Its Fragile Internet Links

The war in Ukraine is reviving concerns in Taiwan and some Asia-Pacific nations about the fragility of their internet connections because they rely on undersea cables that could be severed in a Chinese attack.

Facebook’s fibre optics in Nigerian state put Africa pivot in focus

When government officials in the southern Nigerian state of Edo set about radically improving poor internet access for its population of 4 million, they didn’t have to look far for help. MainOne, a company responsible for laying a vast network of fibre-optic cables across west Africa, was an obvious partner. Another, perhaps less obvious one, was Facebook. A joint agreement was signed to install fibre-optic cables running across the state’s capital, Benin City.

US says internet services are exempt from Russian sanctions

The US Department of the Treasury is exempting telecommunications services from ongoing sanctions against Russia. The move, confirmed April 7, follows requests from advocacy groups who feared a disruption would cut off Russian activists’ access to the outside world. It may not, however, cause companies that voluntarily cut off access to restore it.

The US is quietly paying millions to send Starlink terminals to Ukraine, contrary to SpaceX claims

After Russia launched its invasion, Ukrainian officials pleaded for Elon Musk’s SpaceX to dispatch their Starlink terminals to the region to boost Internet access. “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route,” Musk replied to broad online fanfare. Since then, the company has cast the actions in part as a charitable gesture.

Russia Inches Toward Its Splinternet Dream

Russia is making progress in creating a “splinternet,” a move that would effectively detach the country from the rest of the world’s internet infrastructure. Such a move would allow Russia to control conversations more tightly and tamp down dissent—and it's getting closer by the day. Controlling a country’s internet requires two major components: separating yourself from the rest of the world, and cutting access from within. But both are harder for Russia than China because it’s starting from a comparatively open internet, after years of engagement with the West.

US government-backed company Lantern works to build an "unbreakable" internet in Russia

As Russia makes preparations to possibly disconnect from the global internet in a bid to control the narrative around the invasion of Ukraine, Lantern is rushing to lay the final pieces of an unbreakable network that the Kremlin won’t be able to take down. The company has seen staggering growth inside Russia in the last four weeks for its app that allows users to bypass restrictions the Kremlin has put in place on platforms like Facebook, Twitter