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Technology 10 May 2021

The Week in Internet News: Many U.S. Residents Support Community Broadband

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

From the community: A new poll from Morning Consult finds that more than half of U.S. residents trust local governments to provide broadband services, and just 14 percent believe local governments should be prohibited from providing broadband. Currently, 18 states limit or outright prohibit local governments from providing their own broadband. In those states, “these plans aren’t even an option because their governments have enacted laws that make it prohibitively difficult to establish community networks … while five other states have laws that are a bit less stringent against the projects but still provide hurdles.”

Still banned: Facebook’s new Oversight Board has upheld the site’s ban of former U.S. President Donald Trump, for now, the Washington Post notes. Still, the board called on Facebook to establish better policies for banning users. “In applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities,” the members wrote in a sharply worded ruling. “The Board declines Facebook’s request and insists that Facebook apply and justify a defined penalty.”

Bridging the gap: Satellite Today looks at the ways that satellite-based broadband may be able to bridge the digital divide in many areas of the world. The story notes there are still challenges, however, with a relatively limited number of subscribers today. “Apart from affordability of services, the key challenge attached to satellite usage/adoption is the high recurring operational costs associated with capacity leasing, which represents the vast majority of operational costs.”

Cost of a coup: The recent military coup in Myanmar, with its shutdown of Internet and telecom services, is putting the future of service from telecom provider Telenor in doubt, says Reuters on WHBL.com. The Norwegian telecom hasn’t decided yet whether to stay in the country, one of the biggest foreign investors in the country. Telenor has around 18 million customers in Myanmar, serving a third of its 54 million population.

Tip your tweeter: Twitter has added a tip jar feature, allowing users to support tweets they support, the BBC writes. Users can tip through PayPal, Venmo, and other sources, but the PayPal version lets the recipient know the mailing address of the person sending the tip. That’s raising privacy concerns.

In the past few months, trillions of dollars have been proposed by the House, Senate, and White House for expanding access to broadband in the U.S. Let’s make sure we work together to get it right.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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