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.

Results of the exploratory consultation on the future of the electronic communications sector and its infrastructure

The European Commission released the results of its consultations regarding the future of the electronic communications sector and its infrastructure.

Welcome to the information blender

Seemingly from the first moments that members of Hamas began their attacks over the weekend, murdering and kidnapping hundreds of Israeli civilians, the internet erupted into a state of informational chaos. Different posts and platforms offered competing versions of what was happening on the ground. Horrific images and videos proliferated.

The Repressive Power of Artificial Intelligence

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are amplifying a crisis for human rights online. While AI technology offers exciting and beneficial uses for science, education, and society at large, its uptake has also increased the scale, speed, and efficiency of digital repression. Automated systems have enabled governments to conduct more precise and subtle forms of online censorship. Purveyors of disinformation are employing AI-generated images, audio, and text, making the truth easier to distort and harder to discern.

FCC Commissioner Carr Warns Against Following Europe's Lead on Internet Controls

Europe’s utility-style regulations, which have nothing at all to do with net neutrality, would be a serious mistake. The proof can be seen in the data. Just compare networks in the US to those in Europe:

A fifth of China's broadband users access speeds of 1 Gbps or above

Twenty-two percent of broadband customers in China have access to downlink speeds of at least 1 Gbps. China is progressing in fixed-line broadband as well as mobile, according to its latest government statistics. The country's three big operators reported 622 million fixed-line broadband users at the end of August, which is up 32.1 million from the start of the year. All told, of the 587 million Chinese broadband users, 94 percent are on 100 Mbps and above. The country's success in rolling out advanced infrastructure and racking up big subscriber adds is due to several factors, such as a su

Paying for news: Price-conscious consumers look for value amid cost-of-living crisis

This Reuters Institute report uses survey data from 20 countries and qualitative research from the United Kingdom (UK), US, and Germany to explore who is paying for news content online, which publications they pay for, how much they pay, and what motivations they have for subscribing or donating to news. The focus is  on how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting willingness to pay for online news. Key findings include that payment for online news is leveling off with high levels of cancellation strongly linked to the cost-of-living crisis.

European telecommunication groups ask Brussels to make Big Tech pay more for networks

Europe’s biggest telecommunications companies have called on the European Union to compel Big Tech to pay a “fair” contribution for using their networks, the latest stage in a battle for payments that has pitched the sector against companies such as Netflix and Google. Technology companies that “benefit most” from telecommunications infrastructure and drive traffic growth should contribute more to costs, according to the chief executives of 20 groups including BT, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica.

Elon Musk ditches X’s election integrity team ahead of key votes around world

Elon Musk, owner of X (formerly known as Twitter), ditched his team working to prevent disruption to elections after the European Union (EU) announced the platform had the highest proportion of disinformation in three European countries.

How Elon Musk Came to Influence the Fates of Nations

Elon Musk’s international influence poses an interesting problem for the US In a world where geopolitical leadership depends increasingly on technology, Musk ought to be one of the US’s most important assets. And yet he is a de facto independent actor. Musk owes his influence not to the control of oil, capital or private armies, but of technologies vital to economic competitiveness, national security and public opinion. NASA and the Pentagon depend heavily on Musk-owned SpaceX to get into space.

Real Girls, Real Lives, Connected: A global study of girls' access and usage of mobile internet

Limited global research exists about girls’ and boys’ access to and use of mobile phones. For girls, access is much more diverse and colourful than simply whether they ‘have’ or ‘have not’ got a phone. Access is often transient, and diverse ownership, borrowership and sharing practices are flourishing. Boys are 1.5 times more likely to own a phone and 1.8 times more likely to own a smartphone. They're also more likely to use phones in more diverse and internet-enabled ways than girls. Girls are going to great lengths to gain access.