It might be pricey, but building your own broadband network might be the way forward

tennessee diy broadband network jasper
JasperHighlands
One of the most enduring frustrations for many people around the country is that while fiber optic broadband might get faster and faster in some hotspots, many people are left with poor offerings from monopolizing ISPs. In Tennessee, one resident is pioneering his own solution to the problem of poor upload and download rates: building his own service provider.

Tennessee has been at the center of of a brawl over the legalities of the way telecoms companies are currently protected to prevent the growth of public sector networks. Deciding he didn’t want to wait for the outcome of that protracted battle, John Thornton of Chattanooga decided to just go ahead with a DIY approach.

Spending more than $400,000 on the construction of his own fiber network, which links up with a nearby high-speed network in Stevenson, Alabama, Thornton is now offering a high-speed service to local residents. His new ISP is known as Hi-Tech Data, and it has a 100Mbps package available now for just $70 a month, or up to a gigabit for $80.

As well as offering high-speed Internet to residents though, the Hi-Tech Data development could prove to be a driving force for a change in legislation. By going to such outlandish personal costs, Thornton has shown the extreme steps that need to be taken to achieve decent download rates with the current system.

As it stands, Tennessee is one of 20 states that makes it difficult for new firms to develop telecom services by prohibiting the use of local taxes to aid in their creation. While the FCC has attempted to overturn these provision in the past, states like Tennessee sued to prevent it. As Ars Technica points out, the case is expected to go to appeal to see if those protections will remain.

But that’s something else Thornton wasn’t willing to wait for. He claims that high-speed Internet is not a luxury, but a necessity to compete in the national and international sphere.

“How in the world do we expect our children to be kept up to speed educationally when we don’t give them access to the speeds to keep up?” he said in a chat with Times Free Press.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Computing

Nvidia’s next midrange card might be a GTX 1660 Ti, rumors suggest

Nvidia may be working on a non-RTX Turing graphics card called the 1660 Ti. Rumors suggest it will have around 20 percent fewer CUDA cores than the RTX 2060 and will lack ray tracing support.
Mobile

AT&T jumps the gun with deliberately misleading 5GE launch

As excitement about 5G networks continues to build, AT&T jumps the gun with a ridiculous and deliberate attempt to deceive the public with 5G Evolution – a speed bump that’s based on improvements to 4G tech.
Home Theater

Here’s why you’re not getting Netflix in HD or 4K, and how to fix it

Are you having trouble watching your favorite movies or TV shows on Netflix in HD or 4K? We explain why loading takes so long, why the picture quality fluctuates, and what you can do about it.
Mobile

Apple’s iPad lineup is confusing. We break it all down for you

Trying to decide which iPad is right for you is a chore. What generation is the latest iPad? Which ones have been updated and which ones are collecting dust? Check out our iPad guide and we’ll break it down.
Computing

Hackers are scoring with ransomware that attacks its previous victims

Computer viruses are always evolving. In a new one, dubbed "Ryuk," hackers are targeting PCs with ransomware that scours an infected network in order to pinpoint and attack and enterprises with big money.
Computing

An update to Microsoft To-Do will help you keep up with your resolutions

If you're looking to stay productive in 2019, you might want to check out the freshly updated Microsoft To-Do app, now with additional integration with the Windows 10 Start Menu and more.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?
Computing

Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

Changes are on the way for two key features in Windows 10. A separation of Windows 10 search and Cortana will allow Microsoft to more often innovate on each of the features independently.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents with Adobe or a free option

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.
Deals

From Samsung to HP, here are the best cheap Chromebook deals right now

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- with most…
Computing

Chromebook 13 vs. Google Pixelbook: Acer model takes on the king

Acer's Chromebook 13 is throwing tons of speed at the Chrome OS market, to go with a midrange build and traditional clamshell design. Is that enough to challenge the Google Pixelbook?