Web Economy – No Censor http://nocensor.org/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 18:22:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://nocensor.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1.png Web Economy – No Censor http://nocensor.org/ 32 32 Comcast Expands Internet Essentials to Nearly 5,000 Federal Pell Grants in Whatcom County https://nocensor.org/comcast-expands-internet-essentials-to-nearly-5000-federal-pell-grants-in-whatcom-county/ https://nocensor.org/comcast-expands-internet-essentials-to-nearly-5000-federal-pell-grants-in-whatcom-county/#respond Wed, 22 Sep 2021 17:03:28 +0000 https://nocensor.org/comcast-expands-internet-essentials-to-nearly-5000-federal-pell-grants-in-whatcom-county/ Proposed by Comcast Comcast today announced new measures to help advance digital equity for even more people in Whatcom County. Internet essentials – the country’s largest, most successful and comprehensive broadband adoption program for low-income people – will now expand eligibility to nearly 5,000 federal Pell grant recipients across Whatcom County . These students, enrolled […]]]>

Proposed by Comcast

Comcast today announced new measures to help advance digital equity for even more people in Whatcom County. Internet essentials – the country’s largest, most successful and comprehensive broadband adoption program for low-income people – will now expand eligibility to nearly 5,000 federal Pell grant recipients across Whatcom County . These students, enrolled at the following three institutions, are now eligible to take advantage of Internet Essentials, which offers low-cost high-speed Internet service for $ 9.95 per month (plus tax), the option of purchasing a Internet-enabled computer and free access to digital literacy training:

  • Bellingham Technical College
  • Western Washington University
  • Whatcom Community College

Since 2011, the company, together with its network of nonprofit partners, has connected more than 10 million people over the past ten years. Of that number, more than 15,200 are in Whatcom County. Bellingham made up the bulk of that number, with 10,000 people connected through Internet Essentials over the decade.

In addition, Comcast has pledged to donate 500 laptops to students, seniors, veterans, and low-income adults in Washington state over the next few months. The announcement is part of Project UP, Comcast’s global initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of limitless possibilities; and comes as Comcast scores the 10e
anniversary of its Internet Essentials program, which has connected a cumulative total of over 10 million people to the Internet at home, most for the very first time.

These additional initiatives come as the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated far-reaching effects that disproportionately impact those who traditionally lacked access to the tools, resources and skills to connect. Completing this reality is research showing that low-income students and their families face many broadband adoption issues, such as housing insecurity, literacy issues, language barriers, and broadband suitability issues. As a result, Comcast’s digital equity efforts were designed to address as many of these challenges as possible, including providing low-cost high-speed internet in the home; the possibility of purchasing an affordable and heavily subsidized computer; access to free Wi-Fi in community centers across the country; and many options for acquiring the digital skills necessary to browse remotely and use the Internet.

“Digital equity is the key to success in education and economic mobility, now and in the future,” said Broderick Johnson, Executive Vice President, Public Policy and Executive Vice President, Digital Equity. “As our economic, medical and educational systems become increasingly digital, it is more important than ever that every American connects to the Internet. For young people pursuing higher education, expanding EI eligibility to Pell scholarship recipients is a real boost. Through the announcements we make today, we will help support the development of a workforce with the digital skills needed to adapt to rapid changes in a rapidly changing economy.

Federal expansion of the Pell grant:

Comcast’s expanded eligibility for Internet Essentials, to now include all federal Pell grant recipients in its service area, will allow even more students to stay connected while continuing their education at colleges, universities and schools techniques. The Federal Pell Grants Program, established in 1965, is the largest source of federal grants for students pursuing post-secondary education.

“One thing we have learned from this pandemic is the need for digital access for all students,” said Maureen Hoyler, chair of the Council for Opportunity in Education. “By expanding eligibility for Pell scholarship recipients, Internet Essentials has taken an important step in helping low-income students achieve their post-secondary goals.

Project UP – Building a future of unlimited possibilities:

For more than a decade, connecting more people to the internet and the technology they need to participate and excel in an increasingly digital world has been at the heart of the business. Looking to the next decade, Comcast is building on that foundation and expanding its impact through Project UP, a global initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of limitless possibilities. Backed by a $ 1 billion commitment to reach 50 million people, Project UP encompasses community programs and partnerships across Comcast, NBCUniversal and Sky that connect people to the Internet, advance economic mobility, and open doors to next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers and creators. For more information on Project UP and the latest news on efforts to tackle digital inequalities, including the recent expansion of Comcast RISE investment fund providing millions in grants to small business owners of color and investment in research to increase diversity in technology and digital, visit https://corporate.comcast.com/impact/project-up.

About Internet Essentials

Internet Essentials is Comcast’s signature digital equity initiative and the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. In 10 years, it has connected 10 million low-income Americans to high-speed home Internet, most for the very first time. It has a comprehensive design that addresses each of the top three barriers to broadband adoption. This includes several options for accessing free digital literacy training on paper, online and in person; the option of purchasing a low cost, heavily subsidized Internet-ready computer; and low-cost high-speed Internet service for $ 9.95 per month plus taxes. The program is structured as a partnership between Comcast and tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials and nonprofit community partners. For more information on Internet Essentials and Comcast’s commitment to education and digital equity, please visit https://corporate.comcast.com/education. To apply, visit www.internetessentials.com or dial 1-855-846-8376 for English or 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.


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Can DC end the NJ digital divide? https://nocensor.org/can-dc-end-the-nj-digital-divide/ https://nocensor.org/can-dc-end-the-nj-digital-divide/#respond Wed, 22 Sep 2021 04:24:55 +0000 https://nocensor.org/can-dc-end-the-nj-digital-divide/ Samuel T. Frisby Sr. As the state has made progress in bridging the digital divide, the lack of access to high-speed, low-cost internet still hampers educational, work, healthcare, and economic growth opportunities for far too many. from New Jersey. Fortunately, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in Congress offers an incredible opportunity to fill this […]]]>
Samuel T. Frisby Sr.

As the state has made progress in bridging the digital divide, the lack of access to high-speed, low-cost internet still hampers educational, work, healthcare, and economic growth opportunities for far too many. from New Jersey. Fortunately, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in Congress offers an incredible opportunity to fill this gap once and for all.

The increase in internet use and addiction seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to New Jersey residents and the rest of the country how essential internet connectivity is in our daily lives. As Chairman of the Mercer County Council of Commissioners and CEO of the YMCA of the Capital Region, I see the difference internet connectivity can make for working families and students in low-income communities. It’s the difference between being able to schedule a quick online consultation with a healthcare professional and going to the emergency room. And that was the difference between being able to access education tools online and having students themselves learning on paper when classrooms were far away. Bridging the digital divide to level the playing field with students from the wealthiest communities is something that will have a direct impact on the communities I serve.

The good news is that the infrastructure bill is tackling broadband affordability head-on with $ 14 billion in federal funding for a groundbreaking program called Connectivity Affordability (ACB) that will provide households eligible for a benefit of $ 30 per month which will go to their Internet bills. This would make the Internet more affordable for 1.57 million New Jerseyans who would be eligible for the monthly benefit. Equally important, the Infrastructure Bill provides $ 2.75 billion in funding for digital equity programs designed to reach vulnerable communities that have traditionally had low internet adoption rates, including older Americans and low-income families. Among its objectives: to teach these communities digital literacy skills and teach them how to use the Internet. By combining affordability and adoption, the infrastructure bill not only provides the resources to connect everyone to the internet, but also makes real investments to ensure that the people who need it are made aware of its existence and understand how to get the most out of it.

While there is still an incredible amount of work to be done to address divisions and inequalities in our country and here in New Jersey, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will make a real difference in leveling the digital playing field for access to Internet. But to bring every American into the 21st century, we need our leaders in the House of Representatives to see the urgency of the situation and pass the bill now. I’ve seen what reliable broadband can do for my constituents and the community the YMCA of the Capital Region serves – and what happens when they don’t. Everyone in New Jersey deserves access to the opportunities the Internet offers. It is time for the House to act to make this happen.


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ET Startup Awards 2021: nominated for best innovator https://nocensor.org/et-startup-awards-2021-nominated-for-best-innovator/ https://nocensor.org/et-startup-awards-2021-nominated-for-best-innovator/#respond Tue, 21 Sep 2021 05:01:00 +0000 https://nocensor.org/et-startup-awards-2021-nominated-for-best-innovator/ The prize will recognize innovations that launch or give a business a big boost. It must be an original idea that is at the heart of the business or that provides the differentiation that sets it apart from the competition. Qure.ai AND Tech Founded in: 2016 Founders: Prashant Warier and Pooja Rao Situated at: Bombay […]]]>
The prize will recognize innovations that launch or give a business a big boost. It must be an original idea that is at the heart of the business or that provides the differentiation that sets it apart from the competition.

Qure.ai

AND Tech

Founded in: 2016

Founders: Prashant Warier and Pooja Rao

Situated at: Bombay

Key investors: Sequoia Capital, Redwood Trust, John D LaRocca

What he does: Qure.ai uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze images such as x-rays and CT scans to detect diseases such as lung cancer, tuberculosis and Covid-19 early on. He is expanding his portfolio to go further in areas such as lung and neuroimaging. The company recently launched a brain MRI product.

EPNS (Ethereum push notification service)

Hard rajatAND Tech

ALSO READ THE TECH NEWSLETTER OF THE DAY

The Economic Times Startup Awards 2021

Over the past seven years, the ET Startup Awards (ETSA) have grown steadily and have become by far the most prestigious set of awards for entrepreneurs.

Read now


Founded in: 2020

Founders: Harsh Rajat and Richa Joshi

Situated at: Bombay

Key investors: MetaCartel Ventures, YBB Foundation, Andrew Chen

What he does: EPNS builds a notification layer for Web 3.0. It sends a DeFi (decentralized finance) (smart contract) notification protocol, which any dApp or service can use to send notifications to Ethereum wallet addresses. Users also earn by receiving the notifications.

Skyroot Aerospace

skyrootAND Tech

Founded in: 2018

Founders: Pawan Kumar Chandana and Naga Bharath Daka

Situated at: Hyderabad

Key investors: Worldquant Ventures, Graph Ventures, Mukesh Bansal, Neeraj Arora, others

What he does: Skyroot Aerospace is a space technology startup looking to build affordable small satellite launchers. Last year, it became the first private Indian company to test a solid-propulsion rocket motor. It plans to launch its first satellite into orbit in the third quarter of 2022.

Log 9 Materials

AkshayAND Tech

Founded in: 2015

Founders: Akshay Singhal and Kartik Hajela

Situated at: Bangalore

Key investors: Amara Raja batteries, Exfinity Venture Partners, Sequoia Surge, others

What he does: Log 9 Materials is a materials science company that develops battery and fuel cell technology for electric vehicles. The company’s fast-charging lithium-ion battery packs are ready for commercial deployment. Log 9 aims to equip 30,000 to 40,000 two and three wheels with its technology next year.

Steradian semiconductors

gireshAND Tech

Founded in: 2016

Founders: Gireesh Rajendran, Ashish Lachhwani, Rakesh Kumar, Alok Joshi, Apu Sivadas

Situated at: Bangalore

Key investors: Renesas Electronics, Qualcomm, Rajakumar Konduru

What he does: Steradian Semiconductors is a factory-less semiconductor company that has developed 4D imaging radar sensors for use in autonomous vehicles, among other use cases. Founded by former executives from Texas Instruments and Qualcomm, the company plans to deploy its sensors in production vehicles within two years. Its customers include OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers and robot taxi suppliers.

Read also: ET Startup Awards 2021: the jury will choose stars from the world of startups in India


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FloBiz raises $ 31 million to expand its neobank for small businesses in India – TechCrunch https://nocensor.org/flobiz-raises-31-million-to-expand-its-neobank-for-small-businesses-in-india-techcrunch/ https://nocensor.org/flobiz-raises-31-million-to-expand-its-neobank-for-small-businesses-in-india-techcrunch/#respond Mon, 20 Sep 2021 07:47:06 +0000 https://nocensor.org/flobiz-raises-31-million-to-expand-its-neobank-for-small-businesses-in-india-techcrunch/ FloBiz, an Indian startup that is building a neobank for small and medium-sized businesses in the South Asian market, said on Monday it had raised $ 31 million in a new round of funding as it strives to expand its product offering. Sequoia Capital India and Think Investments co-led the 18-month startup’s Series B funding […]]]>

FloBiz, an Indian startup that is building a neobank for small and medium-sized businesses in the South Asian market, said on Monday it had raised $ 31 million in a new round of funding as it strives to expand its product offering.

Sequoia Capital India and Think Investments co-led the 18-month startup’s Series B funding round. Existing investors Elevation Capital and Beenext also participated in the roundtable, which brings FloBizthe all-time increase to over $ 41 million.

The startup’s flagship offering, called myBillBook, helps small and midsize businesses digitize their invoicing, streamline corporate accounting, and automate their business workflows.

India, the world’s second largest internet market, is home to millions of small and medium-sized businesses. Dozens of startups have launched neobanks across the country in recent years to focus on serving millennials or businesses.

“SME-focused neobanks strengthen engagement with corporate clients through their ability to provide solutions such as automated invoicing, collections / payments, accounting, inventory and sales management, taxes and, in in some cases, interest on open deposits as well (banks cannot pay the interest). This can help increase and accelerate their prospects for monetization, ”Jefferies analysts wrote in a report to clients last week.

myBillBook, which supports Hindi, Gujarati and Tamil as well as English, will support “at least” five other regional languages ​​over the next six months, the startup said, adding that the app had been downloaded over 5 million times.

The product will also see a more in-depth use of technologies such as AI and image processing to make the onboarding process for less tech-savvy SME owners in India’s Tier 2 and 3 cities. a delicious first step towards digital accounting, ”said the startup.

Dozens of top entrepreneurs – including Vijay Shekhar Sharma from Paytm, Kunal Shah from CRED, Jiten Gupta from Jupiter, Amrish Rau from Pine Labs, Krishnan Menon from BukuKas and Nitin Gupta from Uni Cards – have also supported FloBiz in the new round financing.

“Small businesses are the real heroes of our economy. In order to propel the SME economy with technology, it takes a deep understanding, instinct and empathy for this audience, ”Tejeshwi Sharma, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India, said in a statement.

“We are really impressed with the user orientation, product orientation and experimental approach of the founders of FloBiz. There is almost a perfect fit in the Founders’ Market. The team is delighted to partner with FloBiz in its mission to create a neobank for growing Indian SMEs. “

Rahul Raj, co-founder and CEO of FloBiz, said the startup will deploy the new capital to “accelerate projects that have been underway so far – building customizable modules and features in myBillBook, diversifying offerings commodity and prepare to roll over to financial services. We have many developments in the works to further delight our SME partners over the next 12 months. “


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The “Taste of Huron” program will be relaunched https://nocensor.org/the-taste-of-huron-program-will-be-relaunched/ https://nocensor.org/the-taste-of-huron-program-will-be-relaunched/#respond Sun, 19 Sep 2021 15:00:00 +0000 https://nocensor.org/the-taste-of-huron-program-will-be-relaunched/ By Bob Montgomery September 19, 2021 11:00 a.m. The Huron County Economic Development Team is relaunching the Taste of Huron promotion. Business Development Officer Alex Ripley says the Taste of Huron brand has been around for some time. “What’s new this time around is that the name Taste of Huron is going to be associated […]]]>


The Huron County Economic Development Team is relaunching the Taste of Huron promotion.

Business Development Officer Alex Ripley says the Taste of Huron brand has been around for some time. “What’s new this time around is that the name Taste of Huron is going to be associated with a mobile app and the mobile app is a platform that you can use through your cell phone to collect and ultimately trade. points at participating premises. companies. “

Ripley says that at this point they have just over twenty companies on board and it will grow from there. He says the initial cohorts, and for the foreseeable future, will focus on food tourism, local food businesses, breweries, wineries, cider houses, which is why it goes by the name Taste of Huron.

Ripley says they will launch the program in late September as part of a larger campaign promoting harvest season and local food in general this fall. “The initial cohorts, and will be for the foreseeable future, will focus on culinary tourism, local food businesses, breweries, wineries, cider houses, which is why it goes by the name Taste of Huron.

Ripley says more information about the program will be posted on the Huron County Economic Development website later this month.


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Ghanaians angry at hypocrisy of economic experts – Mahama https://nocensor.org/ghanaians-angry-at-hypocrisy-of-economic-experts-mahama/ https://nocensor.org/ghanaians-angry-at-hypocrisy-of-economic-experts-mahama/#respond Sun, 19 Sep 2021 04:42:17 +0000 https://nocensor.org/ghanaians-angry-at-hypocrisy-of-economic-experts-mahama/ General information for Sunday, September 19, 2021 Source: classfmonline.com 2021-09-19 Former President John Dramani Mahama Former President John Dramani Mahama said Ghanaians were angry at what he described as “the hypocrisy of so-called economic experts” who asked them to forget economic statistics and watch the escalation cement and other products on the market, but which […]]]>

General information for Sunday, September 19, 2021

Source: classfmonline.com

Former President John Dramani Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama said Ghanaians were angry at what he described as “the hypocrisy of so-called economic experts” who asked them to forget economic statistics and watch the escalation cement and other products on the market, but which are resisting today. statistics while in government.

Mahama said Ghanaians were going through unprecedented hardship under the government led by Akufo-Addo.

He said the current living conditions of the ordinary Ghanaian are unmatched under any administration.

However, elements in the government have suggested that Mr. Mahama is the one fueling the perception of hardship, an allegation the former president debunked.

In a Facebook post, Mr. Mahama said: “Our people are angered by the hypocrisy of so-called economic experts, asking them in 2016 to forget the economic statistics and watch the escalating prices of cement and ‘other products on the market, and then today hear the same experts in statistics of government heists, inflation, etc., and say that life is better for them. And that the perception of the difficulties in Ghana is a creation of Mahama.


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Lottery records record sales as Missouri officials push for sports betting https://nocensor.org/lottery-records-record-sales-as-missouri-officials-push-for-sports-betting/ https://nocensor.org/lottery-records-record-sales-as-missouri-officials-push-for-sports-betting/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 15:52:00 +0000 https://nocensor.org/lottery-records-record-sales-as-missouri-officials-push-for-sports-betting/ The Missouri Lottery recorded record sales of tickets and transfers to education programs in the fiscal year ended June 30, and if it had the authority for internet gambling, the outlet could still be more important, lottery executives told lawmakers on Tuesday. Lottery sales rose about 20%, to $ 1.8 billion, amounting to $ 345 […]]]>

The Missouri Lottery recorded record sales of tickets and transfers to education programs in the fiscal year ended June 30, and if it had the authority for internet gambling, the outlet could still be more important, lottery executives told lawmakers on Tuesday.

Lottery sales rose about 20%, to $ 1.8 billion, amounting to $ 345 million after payment of prizes, commissions and overheads, said Lottery executive director May Scheve Reardon and Missouri Lottery Commission Chairman Lance Mayfield in testimony before the Senate Economic Development Committee.

Missouri Gaming Commission General Counsel Ed Grewach also appeared before the committee. He, too, said that the commission was ready to add new products like sports betting, and testimony showed that there is some competition between the agencies on which the work will be entrusted.

Missouri’s 13 casinos welcomed 27.6 million visitors who lost $ 1.7 billion on slots and table games in the year ending June 30. This represents an increase in the casino’s hold of around $ 370 million from the previous year, which included more than two months when casinos were closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Even with the closures, more people visited casinos in FY2020 than in FY2021. This continues a trend of fewer visitors without a corresponding drop in net casino revenues.

“It looks like we have fewer people going to the casino but spending more money per customer than in previous years,” Grewach said.

The committee session was designed to gather information for possible legislation next year, said Republican Senator Denny Hoskins of Warrensburg, chairman of the committee. He wants to legalize sports betting and take action against unregulated machines.

State prosecutors have been reluctant, in most cases, to lay charges at the machines. Of nearly 200 potential cases investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol in 2019 and 2020, only about 20 cases were filed.

The vendors who operate many of the estimated 15,000 machines that pay a cash prize say they are legal because players can see the outcome of the next game and withdraw their money if they choose.

Other forms of games are modeled after raffles and offered to fraternal and service organizations. The operators of these games claim they are legal because the Missouri Constitution allows charitable groups to hold raffles.

But Hoskins said he was not convinced by either of the two arguments.

“I find it hard to see that if you put money in and hope to get it out, it’s not a form of gambling,” Hoskins said.

Reardon provided the committee with photos of 10 locations – including one across from the lottery headquarters – showing machines piled up in convenience stores.

“I can take you on a tour of the great state of Missouri, you can see the illegal gambling is alive and well,” Reardon said.

In unsuccessful attempts in the past to regulate machines, lawmakers have offered video games controlled by the lottery or the gaming commission as an alternative.

In his argument for the lottery to regulate new products, Reardon noted that 70 percent of online sports betting globally is conducted by lotteries.

“Lotteries are very, very effective in exploiting these products in the gaming market,” she said.

She also provided material suggesting that the lottery would keep more money wagered than the gambling commission.

A graph Reardon provided to the committee showed that 21.2 cents of every dollar spent on the lottery goes to education. Casinos pay a tax on 21% of the money lost by players, but that’s only about 1.99 cents of every dollar wagered at the state’s 13 casinos, according to the graph.

Internet lottery tickets are a rapidly growing market, Reardon said. There are nine states with internet lottery sales, and Virginia had $ 1 billion in sales in 14 months, she noted.

The lottery needs the new games because COVID-19 has changed people’s habits, Reardon said.

“If you don’t go to the grocery store anymore, you won’t come across our instant cash dispenser,” she said. “We absolutely have to modernize our distribution channels.

Grewach, however, said the problem is as much about regulation as it is about promotion.

If lawmakers allow sports betting, he said, only bets made by a person with a physical presence in the state at a business also residing in Missouri would be legal.

“All the things you do to generate income create regulatory challenges for us,” said Grewach.

Independent from Missouri is part of States Newsroom, a network of grant-supported news bureaus and a coalition of donors as a 501c (3) public charity. Missouri Independent maintains editorial independence. Contact editor Jason Hancock with any questions: info@missouriindependent.com.


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Bedford Secures Fund for Broadband | News, Sports, Jobs https://nocensor.org/bedford-secures-fund-for-broadband-news-sports-jobs/ https://nocensor.org/bedford-secures-fund-for-broadband-news-sports-jobs/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 04:13:27 +0000 https://nocensor.org/bedford-secures-fund-for-broadband-news-sports-jobs/ BEDFORD – Bedford County received $ 745,588 from the Appalachian Regional Commission to expand and improve broadband infrastructure in unserved areas. The money is part of a package of nearly $ 46.4 million supporting 57 projects in 184 coal-affected counties as part of the Opportunity and Workforce Partnerships and Revitalization initiative economy of the CRA. […]]]>

BEDFORD – Bedford County received $ 745,588 from the Appalachian Regional Commission to expand and improve broadband infrastructure in unserved areas.

The money is part of a package of nearly $ 46.4 million supporting 57 projects in 184 coal-affected counties as part of the Opportunity and Workforce Partnerships and Revitalization initiative economy of the CRA.

POWER targets federal resources to communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal-fired power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries.

“The terrain in parts of Bedford County makes it difficult to extend broadband infrastructure to some communities. Through collaboration with the County of Bedford and local Internet service providers, we have been able to develop a cost effective strategy to reach residents and businesses located in these hard to reach areas. said Brandon Carson, Executive Director of Alleghenies Broadband Inc.

The project, Connecting the Alleghenies Through Core Broadband Infrastructure, involves the construction of four new telecommunications towers that will be used to provide high-speed Internet service to approximately 400 households and 20 businesses located in eight communities in the southeastern part of County of Bedford, as well as parts of Fulton County, Pennsylvania, and Allegany County, Maryland.

In addition, the infrastructure built will also be able to support the expansion of cell phone services throughout the project area.

The latest news today and more in your inbox


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Apple and Google remove ‘Navalny’ voting app in Russia https://nocensor.org/apple-and-google-remove-navalny-voting-app-in-russia/ https://nocensor.org/apple-and-google-remove-navalny-voting-app-in-russia/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 17:03:24 +0000 https://nocensor.org/apple-and-google-remove-navalny-voting-app-in-russia/ MOSCOW – Apple and Google have removed an app to coordinate the protest vote in this weekend’s Russian elections in the country on Friday, a blow to opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of the limits of Silicon Valley when it comes to resisting the crackdown on dissent around the world. The […]]]>

MOSCOW – Apple and Google have removed an app to coordinate the protest vote in this weekend’s Russian elections in the country on Friday, a blow to opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of the limits of Silicon Valley when it comes to resisting the crackdown on dissent around the world.

The decisions came after Russian authorities, who claim the app is illegal, threatened to sue local Apple and Google employees – a sharp escalation in the Kremlin’s campaign to curb the largely unsuccessful internet censored nationwide. A person familiar with Google’s decision said authorities had named specific people who would be prosecuted, prompting them to remove the app.

The person declined to be identified for fear of angering the Russian government. Google has over 100 employees nationwide.

Apple did not respond to phone calls, emails, or text messages asking for comment.

The app was created and promoted by allies of opposition leader Alexei A. Navalny, who hoped to use it to consolidate the opposition vote in each of Russia’s 225 constituencies. He disappeared from both tech platforms by the time voting began in the three-day parliamentary elections, in which Mr Putin’s United Russia party – in a carefully managed staged system – holds a huge advantage.

Mr Navalny’s team reacted indignantly to the decision, suggesting that the companies had made a damaging concession to the Russians. “Removing the Navalny app from stores is a shameful act of political censorship,” Navalny collaborator Ivan Zhdanov, said on twitter. “Russia’s authoritarian government and propaganda will be delighted. “

The decisions have also been harshly condemned by free speech activists in the West. “Russian repression can explain but does not exonerate companies from their responsibility”, David Kaye, a former United Nations official charged with investigating freedom of expression issues, said on Twitter. “They are indeed accomplices, having risen to that position over years of complying with Russian law in order to be in this market.”

The extraordinary pressure on Google and Apple is an indication of the threat the Kremlin sees in Mr. Navalny’s “smart voting” effort and the growing role that technology is playing as an instrument of political power. United Russia’s approval ratings in state polls have fallen to around 30%, down from 40% before the last parliamentary elections in 2016. A consolidation of the opposition vote could defeat United Russia candidates in the elections. competitive constituencies, since only a simple majority is needed to win.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry S. Peskov claimed the app was illegal in Russia when asked about it on Friday during his regular call with reporters; Mr Navalny’s movement was banned as an extremist this summer. “The two platforms have been notified and according to the law they have taken these decisions, it seems,” he said.

Maintaining open and uncensored access to their services, especially in authoritarian countries, is becoming one of the toughest challenges for US tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter. In countries like India, Myanmar or Turkey, authorities are increasingly pressuring companies to censor certain political speeches, or order Internet shutdowns to block access to the web.

Civil society groups have warned that forcing businesses to comply with a patchwork of laws and regulations risks creating a more fractured internet, where access to information and products will depend on where they are the people. Businesses need to weigh the value of the availability of their services in a country like Russia, where they are seen as more independent than local technology platforms, against the costs of a full start, as Google has done. in China.

The pressure exerted on Silicon Valley to block certain content on their platforms does not come only from more authoritarian governments. Policymakers in the United States and Europe want businesses to do more to tackle hate speech, disinformation and other toxic content. Republicans in the United States claim they are censored online.

In Russia, the national Internet regulator, Roskomnadzor, has repeatedly asked companies to remove certain content, on pain of fines or restrictions on access to their products. The government claims that American internet companies are interfering in Russia’s internal affairs by allowing anti-Kremlin activists to freely use their platforms.

The Russian government has been increasingly blunt in recent days about its willingness to use threats of arrest to prevent use of the app. “With the participation of Apple and Google, specific crimes are committed, the scale of which can only increase in the coming days”, declared Thursday Vladimir Dzhabarov, member of the upper house of the Russian Parliament. “Persons contributing to the evasion of liability of their parent companies in the territory of the Russian Federation will be punished. “

It remains to be seen whether Friday’s concession by Apple and Google will turn into a watershed moment as America’s tech giants stand ready to withstand pressure from the Kremlin. Amid Russia’s crackdown on dissent this year, Silicon Valley’s most popular platforms have remained freely accessible, allowing journalists and activists to continue to get their message out. On YouTube, for example, Team Navalny’s investigations into the corruption of the Russian elite regularly garner millions of views.

But Friday’s move could embolden the Kremlin as well as governments around the world to use the threat of suing employees to leverage companies. It presents a test of Silicon Valley ideals around free speech and an open Internet, balanced not only against profit but against the safety of their workers.

Deletions of Facebook and Twitter posts, YouTube videos, and other internet content happen quite regularly as businesses seek to comply with local laws around the world. In China, Apple has removed apps that counter government censors, including software that would allow Chinese users to access the open global Internet. A 2016 court ruling in Russia led Apple and Google to remove LinkedIn from their app stores after LinkedIn failed to comply with a law requiring data about Russian users to be stored within the country’s borders. country.

But Friday’s deletions by Google and Apple have little precedent given election issues and Mr Navalny’s high-profile campaign against the Kremlin, said Natalia Krapiva, legal adviser to Access Now, a civil society group. tracking down internet censorship. “It’s really a new phenomenon to attack app stores,” Ms. Krapiva said.

While companies would prefer to be seen as impartial platforms, Ms. Krapiva said industry leaders should speak out more forcefully to defend free speech and an open internet, especially if employees across the Internet company were threatened with criminal prosecution.

Otherwise, “it looks like they’re on the side of the government,” Ms. Krapiva said.

Governments have used the prospect of prosecution in the past, although incidents rarely become public. In 2016, a Facebook executive was arrested in Brazil after the company refused to release WhatsApp data related to a drug trafficking investigation. Indian authorities and Thailand are among those who also have threat of imprisonment lobby social media companies.

Russian authorities have been pressuring Apple and Google for weeks to remove Team Navalny’s voting app. With Mr Navalny’s websites blocked in Russia, the app has become a loophole allowing the jailed politician’s exiled allies to continue to reach a large audience. Almost all smartphones run Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating system, which makes their app stores the key artery for making any product to the public.

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned US Ambassador to Moscow John J. Sullivan last week and announced that America’s “digital giants” had broken Russian law “in connection with the preparation and conduct elections ”.

Bailiffs visited Google offices earlier this week to enforce court-ordered measures against the protest voting campaign, state media reported.

The Navalny app continued to work on Apple and Android phones for those who had previously downloaded the software.

The application is at the heart of the protest strategy that the Leader of the Opposition calls “smart voting”. The goal is to defeat as many candidates representing the ruling United Russia party as possible by having all opposition voters in each constituency choose the same challenger, whether or not they agree with their views.

The “Navalny” application coordinates the process, asks for a user’s address and responds with the name of the candidate for whom they must vote.

On Friday, the Navalny team sought to obtain the names of their “smart voting” picks through other methods, such as automated responses in the Telegram messaging app. But they expressed their anger at Apple and Google for what they saw as bending to pressure from the Kremlin.

“That shameful day will go down in history for a long time,” Leonid Volkov, Mr Navalny’s longtime chief of staff, wrote on his Telegram account.

Anton Troianovsky brought back from Moscow, and Adam satariano from London. Oleg Matsnev and Ivan Nechepurenko contributed to reporting from Moscow.



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Little River County, Arkansas secures $ 2 million federal grant to build broadband fiber optic https://nocensor.org/little-river-county-arkansas-secures-2-million-federal-grant-to-build-broadband-fiber-optic/ https://nocensor.org/little-river-county-arkansas-secures-2-million-federal-grant-to-build-broadband-fiber-optic/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 05:22:25 +0000 https://nocensor.org/little-river-county-arkansas-secures-2-million-federal-grant-to-build-broadband-fiber-optic/ WASHINGTON – Little River County, Arkansas, will receive $ 2 million in federal grants to build fiber-optic cable lines to support broadband Internet infrastructure, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Thursday. The recovery assistance grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, administered by the Department’s Economic Development Administration, will be matched with […]]]>

WASHINGTON – Little River County, Arkansas, will receive $ 2 million in federal grants to build fiber-optic cable lines to support broadband Internet infrastructure, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Thursday.

The recovery assistance grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, administered by the Department’s Economic Development Administration, will be matched with $ 500,000 in local funds, according to a statement from hurry.

“This EDA investment will build the fiber optic cable lines needed to support new and existing employers in the regions,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo.

National and federal elected officials praised the award.

“In our ever-growing digital world, the need for broadband connectivity has never been greater. I appreciate the Economic Development Administration’s investment and local dollars to increase access to high-speed Internet and provide opportunities for economic growth. Governor Asa Hutchinson said.

“This investment in EDA is essential to bridge the digital divide and expand broadband so that the people of Arkansen have access to reliable high-speed Internet connectivity, which has become essential to improve the quality of life and the success of economies. local, ”said Senator John Boozman.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a significant need for broadband infrastructure in the Fourth District, and I am grateful that the bipartisan CARES Act made this grant possible. Reliable broadband will open up a multitude of possibilities for members of this community, creating a more robust economy and education system, ”said Representative Bruce Westerman, who represents the county in the United States House of Representatives.

The CARES Act provided the EDA with $ 1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus.


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