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    Charlottesville, Virginia-based Ting Internet, chosen by the City of Alexandria earlier this year for a municipal Internet service franchise, will begin installing its fiber network in Alexandria this summer. It expects the network to reach more than 90,000 residential and business addresses across Alexandria. Ting Internet announces that it will provide Alexandria’s first city-wide fiber internet service. Pictured here is Tim Herzog, director of regional construction for Ting Internet. (CNW Group/Tucows Inc.) Ting will compete with Comcast for broadband service in Alexandria, as well as Verizon, which is upgrading its Fios network. Ting, a division of Toronto-based internet infrastructure company Tucows Inc., installed its first fiber network in Charlottesville in 2015. It is now available in 14 markets, including Culver City, Virginia, and Westminster, Maryland. Ting will offer a digital equity and inclusion program that was developed with the City of Alexandria to provide fiber internet access to selected affordable housing units at no cost to residents. More Business News More Alexandria News Earlier this month, Ting announced plans for state-of-the-art e-sports gaming facilities at Charlottesville High School...
    Several weeks ago I wrote about my initial difficulty getting AT&T fiber internet installed at my home. The good news is that a crew showed up a few days later and installed a 1 gigabit fiber service that is costing me $80 a month. That’s less expensive than the Comcast cable service it replaced. As with cable, prices vary depending on speed, with AT&T starting at $55 a month for 300 megabit service — more than fast enough for most applications, including video streaming and conferencing. AT&T says that there are no automatic price increases after 12 months and no equipment fees, data caps or contracts. You can cancel any time. Comcast’s advertised prices are typically for 12 to 24 months and go up after that. Comcast also charges $14 a month for modem rental, though you can purchase your own cable modem. Right now AT&T is offering a $150 Visa card for customers who sign up online. If you’re an AT&T wireless customer, call 611 from your cell phone to see if there are any other discounts or bundles....
    I had hoped that today’s column would be a review of AT&T fiber high-speed internet, which has recently become available where I live. I’m happy with my Xfinity gigabit service but, unlike cable, fiber is synchronous, which means you get the same speed when uploading as you do when downloading. My cable Larry Magid (Gary Reyes / Mercury News) service gives me a gigabit down but only about 35 megabits for uploading. It’s not a big deal but, in theory at least, a faster upload speed should improve how I look on video calls and TV interviews and make it faster when uploading large files, like video files. Gigabit service from both AT&T and Xfinity costs more than slower speeds, and not everyone needs that fast of a connection. Related Articles Business | Magid: Despite laws and FCC rules, Robocalls remain a problem Business | Larry Magid: With or without cable, streaming costs can add-up Business | Larry Magid: Social media can contribute to despair about war but also provide relief Business | Magid:...
    VICTORY, Vt. (AP) — For the 70-or-so people who live in the remote Vermont community of Victory, Town Clerk Tracey Martel says she’s regularly frustrated watching a spinning circle on her computer while she tries to complete even the most basic municipal chores online. “Fast internet would be really good,” said Martel, whose community was one of the last in Vermont to receive electricity almost 60 years ago. The DSL service she has now works for basic internet, but it can be spotty and it doesn’t allow users to access all the benefits of the interconnected world. About 5 miles (8 kilometers) away as the bird flies in the neighboring community along Miles Pond in the town of Concord, a new fiber optic line is beginning to bring truly high-speed internet to residents of the remote area known as the Northeast Kingdom. “I’m looking forward to high-speed internet, streaming TV,” said Concord resident John Gilchrist, as a crew ran fiber optic cable to his home earlier this year. The fiber optic cable that is beginning to serve the remote part...
    Governor Brian P. Kemp today applauded the news that Altamaha EMC (AEMC) has formed a subsidiary, Altamaha Fiber, to bring broadband service to residents and businesses in Toombs, Montgomery, Laurens, Emanuel, Treutlen, Johnson, and Tattnall Counties in rural southeast Georgia. “This is great news for the people of southeast Georgia who have been in need of high-speed internet service,” said Governor Kemp. “Since signing Senate Bill 2 in 2019 which authorized EMCs to provide broadband, it’s been encouraging to see our state’s EMCs stepping up to help the communities they serve. Senate Bill 2 is helping us deliver on our promise to give communities more options to move the needle on expanding broadband service to all Georgians – not just those who live in densely populated areas.” An estimated $29 million of the project was made possible by funds secured through the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC), Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), Phase 1 Reverse Auction, and the USDA’s ReConnect program. Altamaha EMC has already begun construction of the fiber-to-the-premises network through...
    When Kati Stage moved from the Twin Cities to Embarrass in rural northern Minnesota last summer, her only choice for internet was HughesNet, a satellite service she said was slow “since day one.” Then, in November, she one day noticed a “strange long line of lights” pass above her in the sky. After some Googling, she found out what it was: Starlink. The service, owned by Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX, offers broadband through a growing network of low-orbiting satellites, which now number more than 1,700 and can look like a string of lights as they move. The sign from above led Stage to sign up for Starlink internet, and she said she loves the service, which she uses for work and entertainment. “We paid Hughes off and sent their modem back immediately after seeing the difference,” Stage said. Article continues after advertisement Experts say Starlink’s novel technology has the potential to connect swaths of rural Minnesota where high-speed internet is expensive to build and hard to come by. It’s heralded by some as practically a silver bullet for broadband...
    Do you have a mandatory stay with your operator? When does it end? Are there penalties for not complying with the permanence? We tell you everything A very common practice among companies that offer telephony and internet services is the term contract. What is this about? In general, companies offer a fairly significant discount on the normal price of the rate or an improvement in services without increasing the amount of the monthly payment, this, in exchange for stay for a minimum period of time as a customer of the company. In many cases, this implies that we cannot change to a plan with a cheaper rate until the end of that plan. minimum period of stay which is usually 12 to 24 months. Google Fi dismisses SMS: Google’s virtual operator already supports advanced messaging RCS Lately, some companies like Telefónica have eliminated the permanence of their plans in order to be able to compete with other companies that have appeared in the market a few years ago and that are known as OMV (Virtual Mobile Operators). These operators...
    SOUTH SHORE — Dozens of public schools will see their internet speeds increase this school year as Chicago Public Schools completes network improvements, and the project eventually could open the door to faster service for residents. Construction on the first phase of a three-year internet access project across the district is underway. By the project’s completion, more than 500 facilities will be connected through a fiber optic network. More than 300 miles of fiber will be installed under city streets as part of the effort to connect schools to the network, which will offer a bandwidth of up to 20 gigabits per second, CPS spokesperson James Gherardi said. As the first round of elementary schools connects to the network by January, their internet service will be able to reach speeds about 40 times faster than before. High schools’ maximum speeds will be about 20 times faster. At current speeds of about 500 megabits per second, entire elementary schools operate on a network with bandwidths commonly available to individual households. Students and staff likely experience “a fair bit of performance pain”...
    The slow, spotty internet access in rural Colorado plagued Steve Hardin for years, foiling his efforts to send emails and pay bills online, but the poor service never irritated him as much as the time it hurt his stepdaughter’s grades. She was attending college remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic when the internet suddenly went out, causing her to miss deadlines for several assignments. “Late is late, whether your internet is great or not,” said Hardin, noting she got docked for the delay. With huge disparities in internet access across America, building out the information superhighway will be as essential as modernizing roads and bridges as the nation strives to rebound from the pandemic, grow a more powerful economy, and forge a brighter future for all. The American Jobs Plan, President Joe Biden’s comprehensive infrastructure program, calls for investing $100 billion in affordable, high-speed broadband for Americans who cannot afford internet access, live in areas without service or, like Hardin, struggle with low-quality, hit-or-miss connections. These investments would support American workers—including those making optical fiber, the key component of broadband—at the...
    REUTERS/Alessandro BianchiOne of the key reasons that Minneapolis’ broadband network is so much better than St. Paul’s is that it has a decade-old partnership with US Internet. That partnership allowed USI to invest in fiber optic broadband throughout much of south Minneapolis.Digital equity might have seemed a marginal topic a few years ago, a policy luxury for streamers or gamers. But after a yearlong (and counting) pandemic forced everyone from first-graders to octogenarians to depend on computers and streaming video, digital equity has become absolutely critical. Today we have online school, online work, online access to doctors and nurses, to say nothing of the ways that streaming entertainment displaced most forms of social interaction.  As a teacher, I’ve seen firsthand how internet access divides a classroom down the middle, with some students able to attend Zoom classes easily, while others have extreme difficulty. That’s just one of a thousand examples of how a lack of access to good internet creates widening inequality in our cities, in everything from education to banking to takeout to vaccine appointments. In normal times, especially...
    Well, dam. A group of eager beavers shut down internet service in a western Canadian town over the weekend after they chewed through fiber cables and used them to build their home.  The outage wreaked havoc on the internet, cable television and local cell phone service of about 1,000 Telus customers in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia — a town with only about 2,000 people total. The service provider described the 36-hour outage as a "very rare and uniquely Canadian disruption."  "Our team immediately worked to identify the location of the damage and discovered that the cause of this fiber cut is fairly unique — beavers have chewed through our fiber cable at multiple points, causing extensive damage," Telus spokesperson Liz Sauvé told CBS News on Monday. "Our team located a nearby dam, and it appears the beavers dug underground alongside the creek to reach our cable, which is buried about three feet underground and protected by a 4.5-inch thick conduit." A photo, provided to CBS News by Telus, shows that the beavers used some of the cable material to build...
    We are now approaching a full year of living with the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., and it has become clear that high quality phone and internet service are a necessity for all of us to continue any semblance of a normal life. People across the country rely on these services for their jobs, education, health care, and to maintain contact with family and friends in this difficult and isolating time. Here in Minnesota, many of us rely on Frontier Communications to provide those services, and as the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) considers approving Frontier’s emergence from bankruptcy, we have an opportunity to ensure that Minnesota residents receive the improved service they deserve. Frontier, Minnesota’s second-largest phone service provider covering 250,000 households in the state, filed for bankruptcy on April 14 of last year after taking on billions of dollars in debt and driving away customers by refusing to invest in their network or their workforce. Article continues after advertisement In Minnesota, Frontier’s service failures have been apparent for many years. Both the Minnesota PUC and the Office of...
    LOS ANGELES -- A 90-year-old man was so irked by slow internet at his home, that he took out two newspaper ads to shame the CEO of AT&T into fixing it.And it worked.Aaron Epstein paid $10,000 for the ads to run in the Wall Street Journal, accusing AT&T of short-changing residents who need fast internet service.A day later, servicemen showed up at Epstein's Los Angeles home."At noontime I'm eating my lunch, the front doorbell rings," Epstein said. "There's two men in AT&T uniforms wearing boots that you climb poles in. Saying we're here to install the fiber optics line behind your house.""I thought well, bingo."To his delight, less than a week later, Epstein's home now has AT&T fiber service with blazing-fast internet speeds.AT&T said in a statement: "Earlier this week, we completed our planned expansion of AT&T Fiber in this customer's neighborhood, and we were pleased to provide him the upgrade he wanted."
    NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A 90-year-old North Hollywood man was so irked by slow internet at his home, that he took out two newspaper ads to shame the CEO of AT&T into fixing it.And it worked.Aaron Epstein paid $10,000 for the ads to run in the Wall Street Journal, accusing AT&T of short-changing residents who need fast internet service.A day later, servicemen showed up at Epstein's door."At noon time I'm eating my lunch, the front doorbell rings," Epstein recalled. "There's two men in AT&T uniforms wearing boots that you climb poles in. Saying we're here to install the fiber optics line behind your house.""I thought well, bingo."To his delight, less than a week later Epstein's home now has AT&T fiber service with blazing-fast internet speeds.AT&T said in a statement: "Earlier this week we completed our planned expansion of AT&T Fiber in this customer's neighborhood, and we were pleased to provide him the upgrade he wanted."
    Central Georgia EMC, Southern Rivers Energy and Conexon expand broadband to 80,000 EMC members across 18 counties Atlanta, GA – Efforts to provide broadband in unserved areas of Georgia took another leap forward when Governor Brian Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan and Speaker David Ralston made a joint announcement at the State Capitol today. Governor Kemp announced that Central Georgia EMC (Jackson, GA) and Southern Rivers Energy (Barnesville, GA) will form a new partnership with Conexon to provide high-speed internet to 80,000 homes and businesses in 18 Middle Georgia counties: Bibb, Butts, Clayton, Coweta, Crawford, Fayette, Henry, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Pike, Putnam, Spalding, and Upson. The partnership includes a capital investment of more than $210 million overall. Central Georgia EMC (CGEMC) will invest $135 million, Southern Rivers Energy (SRE) will invest $53 million, and Conexon will contribute $21.5 million. Monroe County has also...
    Google Google notes that you won’t be waiting around for “massive system updates,” and it’ll also be ideal for smart homes, video conferencing and work-from-home. The router is mainly designed to let multiple people share the extra speed. However, if you want all the gigs to yourself, the router supports 4×4 MU-MIMO WiFi 6 speeds at 2.4GHz and 5GHz, which can handle a 2 Gbps connection — but your laptop or smartphone likely can’t. The Mesh extender also supports 4×4 MU-MIMO speeds but only at 5GHz. It also has two 1 Gbps ethernet ports. The Multi-Gig router has one 10G Ethernet port, though Google hasn’t specified yet whether that’s a copper RJ45 or optical SFP+ connection. If it’s the latter, you’ll need a bunch of other hardware to connect your computer at 2 Gbps speeds. And again, few if any PCs support those speeds natively, so you’ll likely need an adapter. If a mere 1 Gbps is good enough, however, it also has a 4-port autosensing 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet LAN switch. Other connections include an FXS POTS phone port and...
    If you’re a Google Fiber customer, you were given a router to use with your service when you signed on. That might have kept folks who had a router they prefer from signing up for the service, or left some clients with redundant devices left sitting at home. Google is changing that, announcing that you’ll be able to use whatever router you want with its internet service. This applies to new customers signing up for the 1 Gig plan, while existing users can change their settings to “Use your own router” in their account settings. According to the company, the router included with service was “chosen to deliver the best performance for your home network with your Google Fiber connection.” But people might prefer other higher spec options as new WiFi technologies begin to roll out. Google itself has been testing its 2Gbps service in two cities as it’s expected to roll out the faster system in 2021. The freedom to use your own router or the one Google provides could make the company’s Fiber service more appealing to...
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