High-speed broadband internet emerges as critical quality of life issue in Alabama

After wrestling with a public health emergency over the past months, Alabama consumers and businesses have learned that good, high quality and fast broadband internet is a necessity, not a luxury.



a man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Hu Meena is CEO of C Spire.


© Deryll Stegall
Hu Meena is CEO of C Spire.

The need for a comprehensive statewide plan to provide high-speed, fiber-fed broadband internet connectivity to every Alabamian has never been more evident.

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As hundreds of thousands of the state’s schoolchildren and their parents grapple with adapting to online learning during the current COVID-19 pandemic, many struggle with limited choices or slow and non-existent service. Some rural Alabama school systems have even been forced to deploy school buses to provide mobile wi-fi hotspots for students.

Business owners and employees have encountered similar frustrations as they transition to remote work at home. Slow speeds or non-existent connectivity cause diminished productivity.

Alabama’s economic future depends on solving this digital divide

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Trudeau adds $750 million to Universal Broadband Fund to connect more Canadians with high-speed internet

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a press conference during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, Ontario, on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)
Associated Press

Justin Trudeau announced an additional $750 million of funding to the Universal Broadband Fund to help connect Canadians to high-speed internet across the country.

The investment aims to connect 98 per cent of Canadians by 2026, with a goal to connect 100 per cent by 2030, a press release said. 

The additional fund will top up the $1 billion announced in last year’s budget, it said, adding that this will “help advance projects with partners, like the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB).”

The government announced an additional $1 billion through the CIB in October to help fund projects that will connect Canadians. Experts have said that with so many different funding streams to connect Canadians, the government will have a challenging time coordinating between different departments to roll out funding for projects. 

Today’s funds include $150 million Rapid Response Stream, with an accelerated application process to allow “shovel-ready projects

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Ottawa expected to make broadband internet announcement today



a large tall tower with a cloudy blue sky: The Liberal government has been promising to do something to approve broadband internet service in rural areas.


© Toby Talbot/Associated Press
The Liberal government has been promising to do something to approve broadband internet service in rural areas.

The Liberal government is set to make an announcement today about their long-promised plan to expand high-speed broadband access to rural Canada.

The announcement comes as more Canadians find themselves living online while stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to make the announcement at 10 a.m. ET along with Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, Rural Economic Development Maryam Monsef, Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna and Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez.

It will be followed by a technical briefing for reporters about the government’s “efforts to support high-speed internet access for Canadians in rural and remote communities.”

The Liberal government made a promise to improve access last year on the campaign trail and Monsef promised to hasten those plans in response to the pandemic.

That

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Size of providers factors into Kansas rural broadband divide

Lauren Clary gets a sinking feeling when someone asks her if she’s watched a popular show on Netflix.

“I tell them, ‘Nope, I don’t have the internet at home,’” said Clary, who lives on a rural property near Lake Afton with her husband and young child. “It’s amazing how many people are shocked when you tell them that.”

But the Clarys are far from alone in having no or minimal internet access at home.

About 95,000 Kansas households have no access to the internet or lack what has been defined as the bare minimum of internet access, said state Rep. Mark Schreiber, an Emporia Republican and a member of the Statewide Broadband Expansion Planning Task Force.

Fast internet is so crucial to daily life that Kansans are finding creative workarounds, from turning their phones into hotspots to finding someplace nearby where they can access Wi-Fi.

If Clary needs something stronger

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EchoStar launch of Jupiter 3 broadband satellite slips to 2022

SAN FRANCISCO – EchoStar Corp. plans to launch the Jupiter 3 broadband satellite in the first quarter of 2022 but has not yet selected a launch provider, company officials said during a Nov. 5 earnings call.

EchoStar originally planned to launch the 500 gigabit-per-second Ka-band satellite in 2021 to expand broadband capacity over North and South America before the COVID-19 pandemic slowed satellite manufacturing and created uncertainty in the launch market.

Rather than incurring additional launch costs as a result of the delay, EchoStar may benefit from changes in the launch market.

“There’s a lot going on in the launch industry,” EchoStar CEO Mike Dugan said during the earnings call. “We’re not expecting anything but a positive situation there.”

EchoStar reported revenues of $473.5 million for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, a $1.2 million increase over the same period in 2020. For the first nine months of 2020, EchoStar

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Best early broadband deals Black Friday 2020

We use broadband now more than ever before, with schools, workplaces, socialising and more now all taking place virtually. If there’s one thing we’ve really learned from lockdown, it’s that the majority of us really value our internet access for connection to the outside world.

Whether you’re streaming the latest Netflix hit, hosting a virtual pub quiz, or browsing our TV Guide, it’s important you have fast broadband for the best price. However, finding the best offer isn’t always quite so straightforward.

That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you and have hunted down all of the best broadband deals across a range of suppliers, so you don’t have to.

With Black Friday just around the corner, we are already seeing deals trickling in. Last year, we saw Vodafone offer a free Google Nest Hub Max (worth £219) with every fibre package bought, and if the deals already on

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Altice USA’s Broadband Internet Momentum Continued in the Third Quarter

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Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg

Demand for

Altice USA’s

high-speed internet service remained strong in the third quarter as Americans upgraded their connections to better work and entertain themselves from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s the latest cable provider to show growth in new customers and higher revenue from existing ones in the third quarter.

Altice stock (ticker: ATUS) jumped 2% in after-hours trading on Thursday.

Reported Thursday evening, third-quarter revenue was about flat year over year, at $2.4 billion, just short of the Wall Street consensus estimate. On Altice’s earnings call, CEO Dexter Goei noted that sales were impacted by shortened sports seasons. Altice is passing along credits to customers from regional sports networks, which showed fewer games in 2020. Altice says its sales would have been up 3% year over year without those credits.

An eventful hurricane season also weighed on results in the third quarter,

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Starlink recruits beta testers for ‘Better Than Nothing’ satellite broadband service

Being among the first to test Starlink, SpaceX’s much anticipated new satellite broadband service, will require a bit of an upfront investment.



a view of a snow covered slope: A stack of SpaceX Starlink satellites being deployed in orbit. SpaceX


© Provided by CNET
A stack of SpaceX Starlink satellites being deployed in orbit. SpaceX

According to emails shared with CNET and also posted online, the company is offering a “Better Than Nothing” beta test to select people who have registered their interest via the Starlink website. 

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“As you can tell from the title, we are trying to lower your expectations 😃,” the email reads.

According to the email, to get in the door requires $499 up front for the cost of a router and phased array antenna to connect to the service. After that, the monthly subscription cost is $99. 

The email also explains that actual results may vary, with data speeds from 50 Mb/s to 150 Mb/s and latency from 20 milliseconds to

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Broadband internet access concerns persist in NY-27 District

The 27th Congressional District that is a vast, mostly rural, area with the occasional small city that is home to over 712,000 people.

U.S. Rep. Chris Jacobs addresses broadband access in New York’s 27th Congressional District

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While the New York State Broadband office says 98% of the state is connected, data from Microsoft suggests the 27th District is one of the least-connected areas of the state. 

Their data suggests the majority of people in Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties aren’t using the internet at the Federal Communications Commission-defined broadband speed of 25 Mbps. 

One of the most pressing issues this election is broadband access, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that. 2 On Your Side talked to Congressman Chris Jacobs (R) and his challenger, Nate McMurray (D), to learn about their plan to get this district connected.

2 On Your Side asked Congressman

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Broadband Internet Promises Are Left Unfulfilled in Many Rural Areas

Locals often huddle outside the library in Hudson, N.Y., in cars or seated in the open air, to tap its Wi-Fi network for a high-speed internet connection.

The scene is a far cry from what was promised in the same spot four years ago, when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo touted a plan to provide universal high-speed home internet service in the state by 2018. The ambitious initiative would spread broadband “faster than anyone has ever contemplated,” the governor said then during a press conference at the library.

Residents a few miles away from the library say they are still waiting for service. And their frustration has grown since the coronavirus pandemic forced families in their rural communities to work and study online, often through connections that are barely capable of supporting one video stream, let alone several.

“It’s like the apple is dangling in front of my eye,” says

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