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The Progress Of The National Broadband Stimulus

April 6th, 2016

The National Broadband stimulus was developed for those communities identified to be at a disadvantage where it came to internet service. Funded by grants for the last three years, the stimulus is dedicated to the upgrading of existing networks, along with public internet access improvement and the creation of new networks. The stimulus has received over three billion dollars since it was created, but the numbers are showing that less progress has been made than initially suspected. There is fast development of broadband structure occurring, but the national internet speed goals were not being met by approximately 97% of United States counties.

Fiber optic connections were also enjoying rapid growth, but the high costs to install fiber lines remained the same. Those in rural areas are reporting that their connections are as much as twenty five percent slower than the speeds that users in urban areas experience. This is alarming, as the many benefits of having access, including more opportunities for assistance in times of emergency and more outlets for finding work and enhancing education are also not available to these rural communities. It was determined that the future path of the broadband stimulus desperately needs clarification in order to see a higher number of internet connections occur.

An FCC pilot program which brought heath care providers together to create networks for industry professionals was wildly successful. Research revealed that, when there is a reliable internet infrastructure in place that those in health care will take advantage of it and connect area facilities. It also revealed that those professionals in areas without internet service were able to receive the needed connection from service providers who were persuaded to engage in network expansion. Many benefits have resulted from this program, including a lower cost to patients as a result of access to telemedicine being available.

Rural Access Expansion Continues With Help From FCC

October 11th, 2013

A major goal has been to expand high speed access to rural areas. Historically, these areas had no choice but to put up with either a dial-up connection, satellite if they could afford the cost of equipment or have no internet connection at all. But the American government realized that there was a divide between urban and rural opportunities that became smaller when many of these rural dwellers were offered a broadband connection. Rural access to internet service providers opened up a number of online job opportunities, as well as helped children get access to the same educational opportunities as their urban counterparts. Additionally, it encouraged more people to stay in these communities, thus increasing the talent pool there and bringing in the economic benefits.

Internet Access For All

October 4th, 2013

Although progress may be moving slowly according to some, fair access to internet service for all remains a major goal of the United States government. Even so, many communities have ended up taking on the task of creating an internet infrastructure upon themselves. And so have universities, who have been investing a lot of money to create these infrastructures. One such project is called Gig U, and it has served to attract a number of businesses to areas where universities offer high speed internet networks. The result is that the businesses are synergistic with the academic goals of the schools. The good news is that the communities surrounding the universities are also benefiting from access to ultra-high-speed internet.

 

Does Student Development Depend On Internet Access?

September 6th, 2013

With technology moving more quickly than ever before, the education sector has had little choice but to keep pace. The internet has given millions of students the opportunity to get their college or university degrees without having to physically attend an institution. But what about students living in rural or underprivileged areas without internet access? The results of a recent study were shocking; apparently, a lack of computer access had virtually no effect on a student’s ability to do well academically. But the impact of technology on a student’s ability to achieve isn’t easy to measure, as technology can affect such a wide range of areas, making this difficult to quantify. And yet, other studies have revealed that technology does, in fact boost a student’s achievement overall, but only under certain circumstances.

 

Rural And Urban Internet Speeds Still Not The Same

August 30th, 2013

Living in the country may give you lots of peace and quiet, cleaner air and a higher degree of freedom. But what about the internet connections you can get? A huge difference between rural and urban internet speeds exists, and it must be closed. But why is it so costly to get wired connections like cable or fiber optic to rural areas? Cost is the main reason. It actually costs more to power ten rural homes with a land-based connection like DSL than it is to connect a hundred homes located in an urban area. But the Universal Service Fund (USF) helps to get rural homeowners online by paying rural ISPs to run cable and fiber optic lines. In turn, those companies pay back into the USF, ensuring the continuance of rural connection expansion.

Universities, And Their High Speed Internet Offers

August 23rd, 2013

Many major universities in this country have become very interested in getting high speed Internet access and then also making it available to their surrounding communities. But why are these colleges interested in sharing their connections? One proven theory is that certain businesses work well when they are located close to large institutes of learning.

This is especially true with high-tech businesses, which benefit most often from the faster Internet connections. To this end, some schools are designing infrastructure that will allow for connection speeds that may be up to one thousand times faster than anything residential providers can currently offer. It is hoped that the availability of these super-high speed connections will attract technical businesses that will set up shop near university and college campuses. But the residents of the community can also count themselves lucky to be living so near to a source of high speed internet connectivity.

One Of The Well-Known Service Providers Bans Particular Passwords

April 3rd, 2013

According to experts, the best way to secure any online account is to use a unique password that hackers can’t guess. And until now, users could use any kind of password they liked, even if it wasn’t considered to be appropriate. As of today, one of the better-known internet service providers has announced that their customers will no longer be able to use swear words as passwords.

AT&T has enacted the ban not because of the sensitive nature of some passwords, but because – surprisingly – many of those words are used too much. As such, hackers can easily guess them. But some have reported that they were able to create several passwords using swear words, including those that replaced some letters with numbers. Others argue that banning a large chunk of passwords can also serve to make the hacker’s job easier. But time will tell how AT&T’s plan works out.

Law Of Physics Only Thing To Stop Air Fiber Cables From Moving At Complete Light Speed

March 27th, 2013

U.K. researchers have announced the creation of fiber cables that can reach 99.7% the speed of light with their data transfer. But that’s not all; the cables also allegedly take care of the latency most often complained about with the technology found in standard fiber cables. Interestingly, data which travels through traditional fiber optic cables doesn’t actually move at the speed of light, which is measured in a vacuum. The glass of fiber optic cable means that the data actually travels 30% slower than light speed.

But when the glass is removed from fiber optic cable, something interesting is left: hollow-core photonic-bandgap fibre, which is largely air, but still allows light to follow the cable’s path. Although the data loss using this cable is impressively low at 3.5 dB per kilometre, it remains too high for long-range applications.

 

Health Weekend Hackathon Yields First-Person Autism Simulation Demo

March 5th, 2013

One weekend and three developers have resulted in the creation of “Auti-Sim“, a computer simulation demo that puts you right in the middle of an autistic experience. Auti-Sim communicates what it’s like to be in a playground full of active children on a sunny day. And the experience is anything but pleasant. Sensory overload quickly takes center stage in the simulation video, with the scene becoming fuzzy, voices becoming too loud and assaults seeming to come from every direction.

Although many with the condition have thanked the developer team for their efforts in creating such a realistic representation of the autistic experience, others have criticized the simulation, saying it’s nothing like their experience. Others have taken offense to the creation having the ‘sim’ attached to its name, as though it were a game. But the developer team’s leader says that even criticism creates conversation. The team will soon be developing the simulation into a more involved game that includes ┬ánew locations and more interaction.

Internet Service Providers In New York New York And Web Pages: 19 Degrees Of Separation?

February 25th, 2013

According to physicist Albert Lazslo Barabasi, every web page we see via internet service providers in New York New York is no further than 19 clicks away from another. Barabasi is already well-known for his network science work, and decided to take a close look at the structure of the internet. And he found that key connectors were sites like Facebook and Google, which allow users to reach more sites, more easily.

The information network that is the web is connected by nodes like any other network. However, in this case, the paper reads, these nodes are documents containing links to other sites. And while it only takes a small number of super-connecting sites to help us get to where we want to go, hackers can also use this fact to incur serious damage, especially if the web’s main connectors were to be taken down first.