Jon Brodkin
Jon Brodkin
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OneWeb exits bankruptcy and is ready to launch more broadband satellites

OneWeb exits bankruptcy and is ready to launch more broadband satellites

OneWeb has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy under new ownership and says it will begin launching more broadband satellites next month. Similar to SpaceX Starlink, OneWeb is building a network of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites that can provide high-speed broadband with much lower latencies than traditional geostationary satellites.After a launch in December, "launches will continue throughout 2021 and 2022, and OneWeb is now on track to begin commercial connectivity services to the UK and the Arctic region in late 2021 and will expand to delivering global services in 2022," OneWeb said...

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Jon Brodkin
4h ago
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Comcast to enforce 1.2TB data cap in entire 39-state territory in early 2021

Comcast to enforce 1.2TB data cap in entire 39-state territory in early 2021

Comcast's 1.2TB monthly data cap is coming to 12 more states and the District of Columbia starting January 2021. The unpopular policy was already enforced in most of Comcast's 39-state US territory over the past few years, and the upcoming expansion will for the first time bring the cap to every market in Comcast's territory.Comcast will be providing some "courtesy months" in which newly capped customers can exceed 1.2TB without penalty, so the first overage charges for these customers will be assessed for data usage in the April 2021 billing period.Comcast's data cap has been imposed in in...

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Jon Brodkin
7h ago
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FCC takes spectrum from auto industry in plan to “supersize” Wi-Fi

FCC takes spectrum from auto industry in plan to “supersize” Wi-Fi

The Federal Communications Commission today voted to add 45MHz of spectrum to Wi-Fi in a slightly controversial decision that takes the spectrum away from a little-used automobile-safety technology.The spectrum from 5.850GHz to 5.925GHz has, for about 20 years, been for Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), a vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications service that's supposed to warn drivers of dangers on the road. But as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today said, "99.9943 percent of the 274 million registered vehicles on the road in the United States still don't have DSRC...

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Jon Brodkin
5d ago
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Broadband power users explode, making data caps more profitable for ISPs

Broadband power users explode, making data caps more profitable for ISPs

The number of broadband "power users"—people who use 1TB or more per month—has doubled over the past year, ensuring that ISPs will be able to make more money from data caps.In Q3 2020, 8.8 percent of broadband subscribers used at least 1TB per month, up from 4.2 percent in Q3 2019, according to a . OpenVault is a vendor that sells a data-usage tracking platform to cable, fiber, and wireless ISPs and has 150 operators as customers worldwide. The 8.8- and 4.2-percent figures refer to US customers only, an OpenVault spokesperson told Ars.More customers exceeding their data caps will result in...

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Jon Brodkin
Nov 13
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Zoom lied to users about end-to-end encryption for years, FTC says

Zoom lied to users about end-to-end encryption for years, FTC says

Zoom has agreed to upgrade its security practices in a tentative settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, which alleges that Zoom lied to users for years by claiming it offered end-to-end encryption."[S]ince at least 2016, Zoom misled users by touting that it offered 'end-to-end, 256-bit encryption' to secure users' communications, when in fact it provided a lower level of security," the FTC said today in the of its against Zoom and the . Despite promising end-to-end encryption, the FTC said that "Zoom maintained the cryptographic keys that could allow Zoom to access the content of its...

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Jon Brodkin
Nov 9
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Alphabet delivers wireless Internet over light beams from 20km away

Alphabet delivers wireless Internet over light beams from 20km away

Alphabet will soon deliver wireless Internet over light beams in Kenya using a technology that can cover distances of up to 20km. Alphabet's Project Taara, unveiled under a , conducted a series of pilots in Kenya last year and is now partnering with a telecom company to deliver Internet access in remote parts of Africa.Kenya will get the technology first, with other countries in sub-Saharan Africa to follow. Project Taara General Manager Mahesh Krishnaswamy described the project in an today:Project Taara is now working with Econet and its subsidiaries, Liquid Telecom and Econet Group, to...

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Jon Brodkin
Nov 10
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SpaceX Starlink users provide first impressions and unboxing pictures

SpaceX Starlink users provide first impressions and unboxing pictures

SpaceX Starlink beta users are starting to share their experiences, confirming that the satellite service can provide fast broadband speeds and low latencies in remote areas. A beta tester who goes by the Reddit username Wandering-coder brought his new Starlink equipment and a portable power supply to a national forest in Idaho, where he connected to the Internet with 120Mbps download speeds.Starlink "works beautifully," he . "I did a real-time video call and some tests. My power supply is max 300w, and the drain for the whole system while active was around 116w." Starlink pulled that off...

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Jon Brodkin
Nov 2
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“Overpaid Executive Tax” in SF hits firms that pay CEOs 100X more than workers

“Overpaid Executive Tax” in SF hits firms that pay CEOs 100X more than workers

San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to impose an extra tax on any big company that pays its highest-paid employee over 100 times more than its median worker.The ballot question was Tuesday by 65 percent of voters, with 230,298 yes votes and 123,943 no votes. As the states, the new tax is to be imposed on "businesses in San Francisco when their highest-paid managerial employee earns more than 100 times the median compensation paid to their employees in San Francisco."The tax is expected to raise $60 million to $140 million per year. Large businesses—those with over...

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Jon Brodkin
Nov 6
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FCC forces T-Mobile to pay $200 million fine for subsidiary Sprint’s fraud

FCC forces T-Mobile to pay $200 million fine for subsidiary Sprint’s fraud

T-Mobile has agreed to pay a $200 million fine to resolve an investigation into subsidiary Sprint, which was caught taking millions of dollars in government subsidies for "serving" 885,000 low-income Americans who weren't using Sprint service.in September 2019, about six months before of Sprint. Today, the Federal Communications Commission the $200 million settlement, which T-Mobile will pay to the US Treasury.The $200 million is in addition to money that Sprint previously agreed to pay back to the FCC's Lifeline program, which provides $9.25-per-household monthly subsidies to companies...

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Jon Brodkin
Nov 4
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Pai’s FCC squeezes in one more vote against net neutrality before election

Pai’s FCC squeezes in one more vote against net neutrality before election

The Republican-majority Federal Communications Commission took another vote against net neutrality rules today in its last meeting before a presidential election that could swing the FCC back to the Democratic party.Today's vote came a year after a federal appeals court FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's repeal of net neutrality rules and deregulation of the broadband industry. Though Pai was mostly victorious in the case, the judges remanded portions of the repeal back to the FCC because the commission "failed to examine the implications of its decisions for public safety," failed to "sufficiently...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 27
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T-Mobile screwups caused nationwide outage, but FCC isn’t punishing carrier

T-Mobile screwups caused nationwide outage, but FCC isn’t punishing carrier

The Federal Communications Commission has finished investigating T-Mobile for a network outage that Chairman Ajit Pai called "unacceptable." But instead of punishing the mobile carrier, the FCC is merely issuing a public notice to "remind" phone companies of "industry-accepted best practices" that could have prevented the T-Mobile outage.After the 12-hour nationwide outage on June 15 disrupted texting and calling services, including 911 emergency calls, that "the T-Mobile network outage is unacceptable" and that "the FCC is launching an investigation. We're demanding answers—and so are...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 23
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AT&T loses another 600,000 TV customers as it seeks buyer for DirecTV

AT&T loses another 600,000 TV customers as it seeks buyer for DirecTV

AT&T lost 627,000 TV customers in Q3 2020, an improvement over previous quarters as the company continues its attempt to sell its failing DirecTV division.In reported today, AT&T said it lost 590,000 "Premium TV" customers, a category that includes DirecTV satellite, U-verse wireline TV, and the online service known as AT&T TV. AT&T also lost 37,000 customers from AT&T TV Now, the streaming service formerly known as DirecTV Now.The Premium TV loss of 590,000 customers in Q3 is the best result since AT&T lost 544,000 subscribers in Q1 2019. AT&T's Premium TV losses ranged from 778,000 to...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 22
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Microsoft’s new data center in a box will use SpaceX Starlink broadband

Microsoft’s new data center in a box will use SpaceX Starlink broadband

Microsoft today unveiled a modular data center that can be deployed to remote areas, as well as a partnership with SpaceX to connect those data centers to the Internet with Starlink satellite broadband.  the Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC) is "for customers who need cloud computing capabilities in hybrid or challenging environments, including remote areas" for scenarios such as "mobile command centers, humanitarian assistance, military mission needs, [and] mineral exploration."The MDC is "a self-contained datacenter unit" that "can operate in a wide range of climates and harsh conditions in...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 20
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Twitter abruptly changes hacked-materials policy after blocking Biden story

Twitter abruptly changes hacked-materials policy after blocking Biden story

Twitter has changed its policy on sharing hacked materials after facing criticism of its from tweeting links to a New York Post article that contained Hunter Biden emails allegedly retrieved from a computer left at a repair shop.On Wednesday, Twitter it blocked links to the Post story because it included private information and violated Twitter's , which prohibits sharing links to or images of hacked content. But on late Thursday night, Twitter legal executive Vijaya Gadde that the company has "decided to make changes to the [hacked materials] policy and how we enforce it" after receiving...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 16
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Verizon forced to pull ad that claimed firefighters need Verizon 5G

Verizon forced to pull ad that claimed firefighters need Verizon 5G

Verizon's 2018 controversy over its during a wildfire didn't stop the carrier from rolling out numerous ads claiming that Verizon service is a must-have for firefighters and other emergency responders. But a couple of those ads apparently went too far, and Verizon agreed to stop running them after a complaint that T-Mobile lodged with the advertising industry's self-regulatory body."Verizon committed to permanently discontinue its '5G Built Right for Firefighters' and '5G Built Right for First Responders' advertisements and the challenged claims made therein," the National Advertising...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 15
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AT&T has trouble figuring out where it offers government-funded Internet

AT&T has trouble figuring out where it offers government-funded Internet

If you live in an area where AT&T has taken government funds in exchange for deploying broadband, there's a chance you won't be able to get the service—even if AT&T initially tells you it's available.AT&T's Mississippi division has received over $283 million from the Federal Communications Commission's Connect America Fund since 2015 and in exchange is required to extend home-Internet service to over 133,000 potential customer locations. As we , the Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC) accused AT&T of submitting false coverage data to the FCC program. As evidence, Mississippi said...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 13
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Verizon “nationwide” 5G ready for iPhone 12—don’t expect a big speed boost

Verizon “nationwide” 5G ready for iPhone 12—don’t expect a big speed boost

Verizon today announced "nationwide" 5G coverage along with support for the . But for most consumers, Verizon's 5G upgrade won't make much of a difference.The newly enabled 5G runs on the same spectrum bands used by Verizon for 4G, so it won't be nearly as fast as Verizon's millimeter-wave version of 5G. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg that 5G users on the non-millimeter-wave bands will see only a "small" upgrade at first."Nationwide" doesn't mean it's available everywhere, either. As in its announcement today, nationwide means that Verizon 5G "is available today to more than 200 million people...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 13
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AT&T plans thousands of layoffs at HBO, Warner Bros., rest of WarnerMedia

AT&T plans thousands of layoffs at HBO, Warner Bros., rest of WarnerMedia

AT&T is planning thousands of layoffs at HBO, Warner Bros., and other parts of WarnerMedia as part of a plan to cut costs by up to 20 percent, The Wall Street Journal .WarnerMedia is what used to be called Time Warner Inc. before AT&T in 2018. Layoffs and cost cuts are at , including at . But WarnerMedia has taken a particularly big hit since the pandemic began.  from WarnerMedia in August, a prelude to the new cuts revealed yesterday. The Journal wrote:AT&T's WarnerMedia is restructuring its workforce as it seeks to reduce costs by as much as 20 percent as the coronavirus pandemic drains...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 9
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Comcast says gigabit downloads and uploads are now possible over cable

Comcast says gigabit downloads and uploads are now possible over cable

Comcast's cable Internet still has a heavy emphasis on download speeds, as even its gigabit-download service only comes with . But that may not be the case forever, as a "technical milestone" that can deliver gigabit-plus download and upload speeds over existing cable wires.Specifically, Comcast said it conducted "a trial delivering 1.25Gbps upload and download speeds over a live production network using Network Function Virtualization (NFV) combined with the latest DOCSIS Technology." Comcast installed the service at a home in Jacksonville, Florida, where "the technology team consistently...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 8
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AT&T offloading DirecTV could be a “fire sale” as company weighs low bids

AT&T offloading DirecTV could be a “fire sale” as company weighs low bids

AT&T is reportedly moving ahead with its plan to sell DirecTV despite receiving bids that value the satellite division at less than one-third of the price AT&T paid for it.AT&T bought DirecTV for $49 billion in 2015 and has lost seven million TV subscribers in the last two years. In late August, news broke that to private-equity investors and that a deal could come in at less than $20 billion.The New York Post yesterday , writing that AT&T is pressing ahead with an auction even though it is "shaping up to be a fire sale." The sale process is being handled for AT&T by Goldman Sachs."Opening...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 7
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Facebook bans QAnon entirely, says previous crackdown wasn’t enough

Facebook bans QAnon entirely, says previous crackdown wasn’t enough

Facebook is banning the QAnon conspiracy-theorist group, expanding on a policy that previously led to the removal of over 1,500 QAnon-related pages and groups.Starting in mid-August, Facebook removed QAnon pages and groups that contained discussions of potential violence. Today, , "We believe these efforts need to be strengthened when addressing QAnon," and the company strengthened the ban so that it applies regardless of whether the pages and groups discuss violence.Facebook wrote:Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 6
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Buying Verizon 5G Home is even harder than finding a Verizon mobile 5G signal

Buying Verizon 5G Home is even harder than finding a Verizon mobile 5G signal

If you're hoping to get Verizon's 5G Home Internet service in the near future, you're probably out of luck—even if you live in one of the few cities where it's already deployed. More than two years after its unveiling, Verizon 5G Home is for sale in parts of eight cities, with an emphasis on "parts." PCMag's Sascha Segan used the to find out how prevalent 5G Home is in areas that have Verizon 5G mobile access, and the results were disappointing."Since the company doesn't offer a coverage map for its home service, we pumped more than 400 Chicago and Minneapolis addresses through the Verizon...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 6
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AT&T kills DSL, leaves tens of millions of homes without fiber Internet

AT&T kills DSL, leaves tens of millions of homes without fiber Internet

AT&T has deployed fiber-to-the-home Internet to less than 30 percent of the households in its 21-state territory, according to a that says AT&T has targeted wealthy, non-rural areas in its fiber upgrades.The report, co-written by an AT&T workers union and an advocacy group, is timely, being issued just a few days after AT&T it will stop connecting new customers to its aging DSL network. That does not mean customers in DSL areas will get fiber, because it was mostly done expanding its fiber service. AT&T said at the time that it would only expand fiber incrementally, in areas where it makes...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 5
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AT&T took $283 million but didn’t deploy required broadband, Mississippi says

AT&T took $283 million but didn’t deploy required broadband, Mississippi says

AT&T falsely told the US government that it met its obligation to deploy broadband at more than 133,000 locations in Mississippi, state officials say.Since 2015, AT&T has received over $283 million from the Federal Communications Commission's Connect America Fund to expand its network in Mississippi. But the Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC) said it has evidence that AT&T's fixed-wireless broadband is not available to all the homes and businesses where AT&T claims it offers service. The PSC asked the FCC to conduct "a complete compliance audit" of AT&T's claim that it has met its...

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Jon Brodkin
Oct 1
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Verizon, AT&T to pay $127M for allegedly overcharging government agencies

Verizon, AT&T to pay $127M for allegedly overcharging government agencies

Verizon and AT&T have agreed to pay a combined $127 million to settle lawsuits alleging that they overcharged California and Nevada government entities for wireless service. The lawsuit was filed in 2012 and resulted in a settlement approved on Thursday last week by Sacramento County Superior Court, the plaintiffs' law firm, Constantine Cannon, ."Verizon will pay $76 million and AT&T $51 million to settle claims that, for more than a decade, they knowingly ignored cost-saving requirements included in multibillion-dollar contracts offering wireless services to state and local government...

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Jon Brodkin
Sep 28
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