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Airbnb’s New Speed Test Helps You Choose Places With Better Internet

New Wi-Fi speed test feature in host section of appAirbnb

Over the past year, the pandemic made working remotely commonplace and now, people are realizing they can do that from a more scenic place. That’s exactly why Airbnb just released a Wi-Fi speed test tool that allows hosts to verify and list their Wi-Fi speeds so guests can see before booking.

Whether you’re a digital nomad, a roadschooler, or just looking for a way to stream some games or connect with your coworkers over a video call while on vacation, the one thing that could make that difficult is a crappy Wi-Fi connection. While Airbnb hosts are already free to list their Wi-Fi speeds, it’s never been a standardized metric across the app and there was no way to tell if a host was being honest or not.

The feature is built right into the Airbnb app, under the “Amenities” section for host accounts, and uses M-Lab’s open-source software to measure Wi-Fi speeds. The simple tool makes quick work of testing and listing the information, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy, and ensures fair and equal testing for all users. The end result? A listing that’s (hopefully) more attractive to potential Guests thanks to verified Wi-Fi speeds.

Airbnb's list of various Wi-Fi speed meaningsAirbnb

Airbnb’s support document includes a chart (seen above) designed to help you better understand your Wi-Fi speed test result. The chart states that 7Mbps is “snappy” and enough for guests to make a video call or stream a movie together. It considers 14Mbps to be “fast” enough for guests to stream multiple HD videos simultaneously, and anything above 50+Mbps to be “lightning fast” and ideal for heavy-duty users.

The end result? A listing that’s (hopefully) more attractive to more potential guests thanks to verified Wi-Fi speeds.

Source: Airbnb

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/93633/airbnbs-new-speed-test-helps-you-choose-places-with-better-internet/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

T-Mobile 5G home internet service: A hands-on report

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T-Mobile’s new 5G home broadband gateway/wireless router matters for one big reason: It’s an alternative to the cable monopolies that dominate most major markets in the United States. Whether it’s a better option than cable is, unfortunately, a question we can’t objectively answer, for two reasons.

First, what T-Mobile officially calls its T-Mobile High Speed Internet Gateway (5G21-12W-A) is “5G”—and the quality and bandwidth of the wireless signal you receive in your home will be dependent on any number of factors, the most significant of which will be the gateway’s distance from your nearest 5G cell tower. You’ll also need to balance what we found against what your own, competing broadband ISP delivers. Fortunately, T-Mobile’s plan offering is flexible enough that you can probably create your own one-month trial.

To read this article in full, please click here

Source: https://www.techhive.com/article/3625569/t-mobile-5g-home-internet-service-hands-on.html#tk.rss_all
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Mark Hachman

Virginia will use a $700 million grant to roll out statewide broadband

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Virginia will use $700 million in American Rescue Plan funding to expedite broadband buildouts in underserved communities throughout the state, Governor Ralph Northam announced on Friday. With the investment, Virginia says it’s on track to become one of the first states in the US to achieve universal broadband access.

An estimated 233,500 homes and businesses throughout the Commonwealth fall under what the Federal Communications Commission would consider an underserved location. They don’t have an internet connection that can achieve download speeds of 25Mbps down. The state estimates the additional funding will allow it to connect those places to faster internet by the end of 2024, instead of 2028, as previously planned. What’s more, the “majority” of those connections will be completed within the next 18 months.

“It’s time to close the digital divide in our Commonwealth and treat internet service like the 21st-century necessity that it is — not just a luxury for some, but an essential utility for all,” Governor Northam said.

Across nine provisions, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan provides approximately $388 billion in funding for state and local governments to address the digital divide in their communities. Virginia is only one of the states across the country that plans to use that money to build faster internet infrastructure. In May, California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a $7 billion investment in public broadband.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/virginia-700-million-american-rescue-plan-funding-204544367.html?src=rss
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Igor Bonifacic

New York City project to use clean energy to fund high-speed broadband, WiFi access

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A new type of housing initiative kicking off in New York City seeks to address two major problems facing the U.S. today: The lack of widespread, high-speed broadband access for low-income residents, and the need to more widely deploy clean energy technologies.

Why it matters: The project is a unique marriage between two of the Biden administration’s top infrastructure policy goals, except on a local level.


Driving the news: Using funding from the New York Green Bank and New York State Housing Finance Agency, the Workforce Housing Group — a New York-based affordable housing development organization — is set to launch a project involving about two-dozen buildings in New York City.

  • These buildings will capitalize on the cost savings of solar power to bring high speed broadband and WiFi access to residents who might not be able to afford it otherwise.
  • One goal of the project is to improve low-cost, high-speed internet access to residents of affordable housing units in East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, according to an announcement set to be made Tuesday.

The details: The project is being funded through a loan to cover the up-front costs of the installation, with loan payments to be offset by the expected energy savings on utility bills.

  • Additional savings from generating solar power would go towards providing free wifi and high-speed broadband connections for residents.

What we’re watching: Brandon Gibson, co-founder of Flume Internet, a New York-based company that will be providing the broadband access, told Axios the project could be replicated by other communities.

  • “We’re not aware of anyone else really doing that around the country,” Gibson said. “[We’re] really excited to set this as a precedent, and we’ll use it moving forward while working with other developers and other landlords in and around the country.”
  • “We expect this innovative structure to serve as a model for further partnerships with housing finance agencies and affordable housing developers as we continue advancing New York State’s equitable energy transition,” said Andrew Kessler, acting president of the New York Green Bank, in a statement.

Source: https://www.axios.com/new-york-city-solar-energy-affordable-broadband-a3207461-b00e-465e-8a1e-140290b5dd3d.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Freedman

Frontier exits bankruptcy, claims it will double fiber-to-the-home footprint

An Ethernet cable and fiber optic wires.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Rafe Swan)

Frontier Communications emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, saying that it plans to double its fiber-to-the-premises footprint by extending fiber to an additional 3 million homes and businesses.

“Frontier is deploying capital and pursuing an extensive fiber build-out plan that will accelerate the company’s transformation from a legacy provider of copper-based services to a fiber-based provider… Under the first phase of the plan, Frontier intends to invest heavily and pass more than 3 million homes and business locations, enabling a total of over 6 million homes and businesses with Gig-plus speeds,” the company said in a press release.

Expanding to 3 million additional homes will take multiple years, as Frontier said it plans to reach “approximately 495,000 additional locations in 2021.” That apparently includes 100,000 new fiber locations already built in the first three months of this year.

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2021/05/frontier-exits-bankruptcy-claims-it-will-double-fiber-to-the-home-footprint/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jon Brodkin

New York requires $15 broadband for poor people, promptly gets sued by ISPs

A pen and book resting atop a paper copy of a lawsuit.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | eccolo74)

Internet service providers today sued New York to block a state law that requires ISPs to sell $15-per-month broadband plans to low-income households.

The lawsuit was filed by lobby groups including USTelecom and CTIA–The Wireless Association, both of which count Verizon and AT&T among their members. Lobby groups for many other ISPs also joined the lawsuit, with plaintiffs including NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association, and the New York State Telecommunications Association. The biggest cable lobby group, NCTA, did not join the lawsuit, but a cable lobby group representing small providers—America’s Communications Association—is one of the plaintiffs suing New York.

New York enacted its cheap-broadband law two weeks ago and called it a “first-in-the-nation requirement for affordable Internet for qualifying low-income families.”

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/04/isps-sue-new-york-to-block-law-requiring-15-broadband-for-poor-people/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jon Brodkin

“Surprisingly Soviet”: Why cable hates Biden’s $100 billion internet plan

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President Joe Biden has a $100 billion plan to ensure all Americans have high-speed internet, but some of the key companies that provide those connections are already balking.

Why it matters: Democrats on the Hill will have to overcome industry lobbying and Republican opposition to make this part of Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure program a reality.


Driving the news: Some key details of the broadband measures in the American Jobs Plan have internet service providers up in arms.

  1. The plan prioritizes spending for government-run or nonprofit networks. Such providers have “less pressure to turn profits” and “a commitment to serving entire communities,” according to a White House fact sheet.
  2. Biden’s plan also prioritizes “future-proof” infrastructure — which providers fear means the government will fund new fiber networks in areas where broadband companies already have customers.
  3. The plan calls for making internet service more affordable by finding ways to bring prices down, instead of giving government subsidies to service providers so they can charge some consumers less.

What they’re saying: “I thought that it was really out of character the degree to which they embraced this sort of unfounded faith in government-owned networks to own, build and run this program,” Michael Powell, CEO of cable trade group NCTA and a former Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, told Axios.

  • “The idea that the private sector and profit incentives are intrinsically unsuited to do the job” is “surprisingly Soviet,” Powell added.
  • The focus on deploying fiber networks will leave rural households behind because companies will first upgrade networks in suburbs and areas that already have some service, he argues.

The other side: A Biden administration official told Axios that “future proofing” ensures rural areas aren’t left with stop-gap solutions, and that the proposal focuses on underserved areas.

  • “If we are going to put billions of public dollars behind this effort, we want to do it in a way that sets us up for decades to come,” the official said.
  • Involving community networks is a key piece of Biden’s goal of reaching 100 percent access, but the private sector will play a role as well, the official said.
  • “Having communities in the driver’s seat with this funding means that those communities have a stake, not only in articulating what the digital divide looks like on the ground, but what type of network will work best to meet their needs,” Kathryn de Wit, manager of the broadband access initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts, told Axios.

Between the lines: Republicans were quick to oppose Biden’s plan, and moderate Democrats may also be uncomfortable with some of the measures as well.

  • “We are skeptical that a majority of the Congress wants to allocate billions to subsidize fiber networks to compete with cable,” Blair Levin, a New Street analyst and former FCC official wrote in a research note.

What’s next: The FCC is about to roll out a new subsidy program, the Emergency Broadband Benefit, to give low-income consumers $50 off their monthly internet service bill during the pandemic. More than 300 providers have been accepted into the program so far.

  • But the White House says subsidies are not a long-term solution, and cheaper service is the answer. A study from New America’s Open Technology Institute finds that Americans pay more than Europeans for internet service at comparable speeds.
  • “We’re going to drive down the price for families who have service now, and make it easier for families who don’t have affordable service to be able to get it now,” Biden said in announcing the American Jobs Plan on Wednesday.

The intrigue: The potential paths forward for reducing internet prices are not particularly appealing to providers.

  • One way would be increased competition — through government funding of competing networks. Another is government regulation of internet prices.

Source: https://www.axios.com/cable-hates-bidens-internet-access-plan-e1395560-1fff-4ba3-b19e-387e545f2263.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Margaret Harding McGill

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