Google Fiber brings free Internet to the poor

July 15, 2015 - James Fudge

Google Fiber announced today that it will offer free internet service to low income families in  every current and future market it serves. The move is tied to President Obama’s ConnectHome program, a joint initiative between the White House and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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Report: FCC floats proposal to extend 'Lifeline' program to cover Internet access

May 28, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Politico reports that the Federal Communications Commission is drafting a proposal to extend the Lifeline mobile phone program (often referred to by some as the "Obamaphone" program, despite the fact it was around long before he took office) to cover broadband Internet for the poor.

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UN report: nearly half the world's population will be online by the end of 2015

May 26, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A new report from the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU) predicts that an estimated 3.2 billion people of the world's 7.2 billion people will be online by the end of 2015.  About 2 billion of those people using the Internet will be in the developing world, but only 89 million will be in countries such as Somalia and Nepal.

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NYC to invest $70 million to expand high speed internet access

May 4, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced that his administration will invest $70 million to bring high speed internet access to the underserved parts of the city. An estimated 22 percent of residents in the city don't have access to Internet at home - and that number climbs to 36 percent in the poorer neighborhoods.  

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NYC gets serious about affordable broadband

April 9, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has announced two new positions in his administration that will help push affordable internet access to the 27 percent of city residents who don't have it, according to Buzzfeed (by way of Engadget).

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Report: FCC Drafting Plan To Stop State-Level Anti-Broadband Laws

February 2, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Washington Post is reporting that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to move forward with a plan to create a draft decision that would intervene on behalf of municipalities in Tennessee and North Carolina that have had their broadband network building efforts stymied by state laws. These laws, mostly backed by lobbyists in the telecoms industry, limit Internet access operated and sold by cities.

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Broadband Providers, FCC Commissioners Criticize President Obama's New Broadband Initiatives

January 15, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

President Obama didn't make any new friends working for broadband service providers or on the Republican-leaning side of the FCC this week when he gave a full-throated endorsement of broadband networks run by cities and towns in the United States. Besides heaping praise on successful broadband networks being run in major cities throughout the U.S., the president said that he would encourage the FCC to fight against state laws in 19 states that practically ban cities and towns from creating and operating broadband public utilities of their own.

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FCC Opens Public Comments On State Laws Banning Municipal Broadband Operations

July 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said last month that, given the chance, he would take the opportunity to closely examine state laws that prevent communities from owning their own broadband. Now with two complaints filed with the FCC from North Carolina and Kentucky, the FCC has decided to ask the public what it should do with a public comment period.

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FCC Petitioned Over State Laws That Prohibit Broadband Networks Run by Municipalities

July 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received two petitions this week asking the federal agency to overturn state laws that specifically limit or ban broadband built and operated by municipalities. One of the petitions is from the city of Wilson, North Carolina and the other from the EPB of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In June FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that something had to be done about these kinds of laws; there are currently 20 states that have passed laws limiting or prohibiting broadband networks run by cities and towns.

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Ofcom Makes Switching Broadband Fiber Providers in the UK Cheaper and Easier

June 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New guidelines from Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) will make switching from one superfast broadband supplier to another less expensive. Prior to changes in the rules, when a consumer switched from BT's Openreach (the company that controls BT's phone and broadband infrastructure) the new ISP would be hit with a £50 connection fee. This fee was typically passed on to the consumer.

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FCC Considers Preempting or Banning State Laws That Restrict Community Broadband Initiatives

June 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says that state laws seeking to stop community-run broadband initiatives have to be dealt with, but he has not said how the agency plans to take on the thorny issue. In at least 20 states there are already legal restriction in place to thwart municipal broadband networks. Many of these laws or regulations were put in place with the help of campaign cash from ISPs, telecom companies (both regional and national) and trade groups representing these industries.

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AT&T Plans to Expand Fiber Infrastructure if DirecTV Merger Approved

June 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

AT&T says that it would be happy to expand its broadband fiber infrastructure throughout the country... if the government agencies like the FCC and the Justice Department approve its proposed merger with satellite TV provider DirecTV. AT&T recently name checked 100 municipalities in 21 metropolitan areas where it "might" bring its fiber-to-the-home network, GigaPower service. The company did not say just how many customers might be served under this attentive plan to expand its network. The service offers up to 1Gbps download speeds.

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Kansas Bill Seeking to Ban Cities and Towns From Building Broadband Networks Dies on the Vine

February 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Last month the lobbying group for various broadband providers that do business in the state of Kansas tried to ram a bill through the state legislature that would ban municipalities and towns from building their own broadband infrastructure. Today we have learned the fate of that effort via Ars Technica, and its good news for communities in the state that are desperate to have access to a decent broadband network.

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San Francisco Rolls Out Three Miles of Free Wi-Fi Access

December 17, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

After AT&T failed to deliver on a deal to bring Wi-Fi to San Francisco's Market Street - the busiest and most economically diverse area of the metropolis, according to city leaders - local politicians took matters into their own hands.

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FCC Puts Five-Month Moratorium on AT&T 'Special Access' Rate Hike Plan

December 10, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has put the brakes on a plan by AT&T to raise prices for "special access" customers, which could have led to a rate hike to businesses and cell phone users. AT&T had planned to make that hike happen today, but the FCC stepped in and suspended the action for five months while it conducts an investigation on the matter.

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FCC Rolls Out Broadband Speed Test App

November 14, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is rolling out a broadband speed test app for Android phones beginning this week, with plans for an iOS version sometime later down the road. The app was announced at the Nov. 14 meeting, which was the first under the agency's new chairman Tom Wheeler.

"If we are going to be making fact-based decisions, we need facts," said Wheeler, "and you are enlisting the American people for those facts."

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Bill Gates: Google's 'Loon' Project Won't Help Children Dying from Malaria

August 8, 2013 -

Before Google's Loon initiative brings internet access to remote regions in places like Africa, Microsoft founder and former front man Bill Gates thinks people should be more concerned about the diseases that kill children in poorer nations around the world.

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Colorado Telecoms Rail Against Rural Broadband Bill

May 7, 2013 -

The Denver Post has an interesting story on Colorado Senate Bill 287, which was introduced Monday and passed out of committee on Wednesday. Apparently this "bipartisan effort" to "connect rural Colorado to broadband Internet service" scares the hell out of Colorado carriers and technology companies in the State.

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Proposal for 30Mbps Broadband to Everyone in the EU by 2020

March 26, 2013 -

Under a new proposal put forward this week as part of the European Union’s Digital Agenda for Europe, all member states would offer a minimum level of 30Mbps broadband to everybody by the year 2020. One of the roadblocks to this lofty goal seems to be a lack of funding; last month over $9 billion earmarked for broadband deployment was cut from the EU budget. Despite this major setback, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes is still pushing for hitting that 2020 target.

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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Resigns

March 22, 2013 -

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) confirmed a story that had been circulating the internet over the last 24 hours: that Chairman Julius Genachowski will be leaving his position "in the coming weeks." Genachowski pushed hard for universal broadband and net neutrality but with limited success.

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Time Warner Cable: No Consumer Demand for Fiber Gigabit Internet

March 1, 2013 -

If you need a laugh to end your Friday on then this story over at The Verge will probably do the trick. In it a Time Warner Cable executive responded to a question about Google's impressive broadband speeds on its new Kansas City broadband fiber network by saying that its customers don't want the blazingly fast speeds that a gigabit internet could provide. Wait, what?

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How Georgia Lawmakers Are Working to Keep its Citizens' Broadband Connections From Improving

February 13, 2013 -

If a town or city wants to have their own broadband infrastructure, they should be able to build it as long as it doesn't cost the state it is in taxpayer dollars. But there's a quiet movement - a greasing of the wheels, if you like - to put a stop to that by telcos and low-end broadband providers that rely on old infrastructure. The latest state to try and legislate limits on what towns and cities can do to improve broadband is in Georgia, where state lawmakers have introduced Georgia House Bill 282, or "the Municipal Broadband Investment Act."

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German High Court Ruling: Internet is an Integral Part of Modern Life

January 28, 2013 -

Germany's highest court has ruled that Internet is such an important part of modern everyday life that when someone gets cut off from it they deserve some sort of compensation. The German high court made this determination based on a case involving a German citizen who was disconnected from his DSL line in 2008 because of some unspecified technical error. The citizen was offline for two months and he was angry enough about it to sue the ISP for his expenses (he used his mobile phone instead of his wireline VoIP service) as well as €50 ($67) per day because he had no connection.

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January 18th: Internet Freedom Day

January 18, 2013 -

On January 18, 2012 something amazing happened: the Internet community, advocacy groups, internet personalities, popular websites, and even some brave politicians banded together to send a message to lawmakers and special interests that backed the poorly crafted SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) legislation.

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United Nations Plans PR Offensive to Deal with Worldwide Protests of Proposed Internet Regulations

November 27, 2012 -

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations committee that oversees global telecommunications treaties and laws will meet in Dubai from December 3-14. The organization is already taking heat for some of the proposals it wants to push that seem to limit free speech and take control away from the independent organizations (based in the U.S.) that handle the everyday workings of the Internet.

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Comcast Lobbyist Admits Using 'Internet for Poor' Program as Leverage to Influence NBC Universal-Comcast Merger

November 1, 2012 -

The lead lobbyist for Comcast freely admits that he used the promise of a new low-cost internet service for poor people as leverage against the FCC when the company was seeking to merge with NBC Universal in 2009. The news comes from a Washington Post profile DC lobbyist David Cohen, who has led Comcast's policy and lobbying efforts in the capital for over a decade.

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Ian Livingstone to Broadband Providers: You're Holding the Games Industry Back

October 18, 2012 -

Speaking at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam on Wednesday, Eidos Life President Ian Livingstone said that broadband bottlenecks around the world are slowing down the game industry's transition from the physical to the digital world, and urged telecommunications companies to build more broadband infrastructure.

"What we need is super-speed broadband,″ said Livingstone. "You're kind of holding us back in many respects."

Putting a Cap on It: Which Broadband Providers Cap Customers

October 2, 2012 -

Is your broadband service provider throttling your connection because you hit a data cap or are you just being paranoid and unreasonable when your connection's bandwidth seems to slow down dramatically? According to this GIGA OM report, more than 64 percent of broadband subscribers in the U.S. have a cap on data usage.

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The Reddit Declaration of Internet Freedom Bus Tour Begins in Early October

September 27, 2012 -

The Declaration of Internet Freedom may not be getting as much national attention as it should from the mainstream media (despite several members of Congress and the Senate strongly and publicly supporting it), but Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian (who also had a hand in helping draft the document) has some plans to get it noticed by the general public.

FCC Chairman: Agency Must Police Broadband Competition

September 26, 2012 -

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has to do more to police and ensure mobile and broadband competition across the country, said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a speech earlier this week.

He also said that the agency must resist calls for various corners of government and the private sector to eliminate or phase out regulation of broadband and mobile carriers.

"Competition is the lifeblood of our free-market economy, driving private investment, innovation and consumer value," he said. "The more competition, the less need for regulation."

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Andrew EisenI'd love to but I'm at work. But once I get home... I'm going to work out for a while. But after THAT... I'm going to shower. Then eat. Then prep tomorrow's meals. And THEN play video games! YEAH!!!07/31/2015 - 8:38pm
Big Permlol, ya'll are still going back and forth? Take a break and play some video games07/31/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenGoth - Are you using "cabal" to describe a group of writers or to suggest they all worked together in secret to publish those articles?07/31/2015 - 8:30pm
Andrew EisenMatt - That doesn't disprove the general premise of the various articles as that's not what they're about. Unless, again, he's talking about a different batch of articles.07/31/2015 - 8:28pm
Goth_SkunkThe difference between one voice being offensive and a cabal being offensive.07/31/2015 - 8:22pm
MechaCrashFunny how "you're offended, so what" flips into "we're offended, retract everything and apologize."07/31/2015 - 8:18pm
MattsworknameIts not the only argument he points out ,its just one of them07/31/2015 - 8:06pm
Mattsworknameidea that Gamers as the articel puts it, the "White male sterotype are dead, essentially was compltely false07/31/2015 - 8:03pm
MattsworknameThe video actually shows that the shaw study actually disproves the Premise of the artices by showing that the "Gamer" dentity, has no actual meaning to thsoe who use it other then "I play games", its not connected to race, gender, or orientation. So the07/31/2015 - 8:01pm
Andrew EisenWith the exception of a brief mention in Golding's Tumbr post. Even so, he's talking about gamer identity, not desire for diversity in gaming.07/31/2015 - 7:50pm
Andrew EisenI'm not calling his examination of the Shaw study into question. I haven't read the study nor seen his video. All I'm saying is that it has nothing to do with the Gamers Are Dead articles I've been referencing for the last year.07/31/2015 - 7:49pm
MattsworknameSome times sargon just goes off on tangents but in this case he was pretty direct and went through teh research in detail, did the whole first video about the shaw study itself07/31/2015 - 7:45pm
Andrew EisenWell, unless it's disingenuous twaddle but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.07/31/2015 - 7:42pm
Andrew EisenGotta be. The argument you describe makes no sense otherwise.07/31/2015 - 7:40pm
MattsworknameThat is a possibility, they looked like offical articles but its possible they are different from the articles you mentoin07/31/2015 - 7:28pm
Andrew EisenNot unless he's referring to a completely different set of Gamers Are Dead articles.07/31/2015 - 7:19pm
MattsworknameIT is possibel the articles aren't readily visable or no longer show up on the sites diretly, as over time they might have been shuffled around to get them outta teh spot lights07/31/2015 - 7:18pm
MattsworknameThe video proves otherwise andrew, the links to shaws research are in the articles themselves07/31/2015 - 7:17pm
RedMageAs someone who writes extensively himself, I can see when writing has been influenced by boiling anger from a mile away.07/31/2015 - 7:12pm
RedMageI also didn't see Leigh Alexander's original article as an attack on gamers; it was just poorly written. She'd likely had a terrible day and was projecting the activities of gaming's vicious fringe onto "gamers" collectively, however you describe that.07/31/2015 - 7:11pm
 

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