Web

Gigabit Square, Gig.U unveil gigbit-per-second broadband Internet plan

Internet

Six lucky communities in the U.S. will soon have Internet connections that are 100 to 1,000 times faster than what most Americans have. The new, super-fast broadband Internet connections come courtesy of a partnership between Ohio-based startup Gigabit Squared and non-profit the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project, or Gig.U for short, a coalition of 30 private and public universities.

Dubbed the Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program, the $200 million project aims to deliver gigabit-per-second in six communities with populations ranging from as little as 5,000 people, up to 100,000, according to the official announcement. The point of the initiative is to show what is possible with superfast Internet connections, to ignite economic development in local communities, and to push innovative services in education, health care, and scientific research.

Gigabit Squared says it plans to announce the communities where the initiative will be implemented sometime between November 2012 and March 2013.

Gig.U was founded by Blair Levin, who orchestrated the Federal Communications Commission’s 2010 National Broadband Plan. Levin currently serves as Executive Director of Gig.U.

“What makes the Gigabit Squared approach so exciting is that it goes far beyond normal industry business models in how to successfully and creatively improve broadband access speeds for university communities, which is exactly the premise upon which Gig.U was founded,” said Levin in a statement. “We intuitively knew this, but to see Gigabit Squared emerge so strongly today proves that yes, America needs an upgrade; and that yes, there are innovators and investors willing to step up to get it done.”

To say that America “needs an upgrade” is something of an understatement. According to Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Internet content delivery network Akamai Technologies, the U.S. currently ranks 13th in the world for Internet speed, with the average connection clocking in at about 5.8 Mbps. South Korea tops the list at 17.5 Mbps, followed by Japan and Hong Kong, both of which have average Internet speeds of around 9.1 Mbps. Even countries like Romania, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic can load YouTube videos faster than most Americans.

Global Internet speeds

One of the primary goals of the Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program is to jumpstart a move toward faster Internet speeds across the U.S. Some progress has been made thanks to the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, but Mark Ansboury, president of Gigabit Squared, believes his company’s initiative holds the key to further progress.

“The Stimulus Funding was a great jumpstart to get broadband initiatives on track in the U.S.  But it is just a starting point,” said Ansboury in a statement. “In order to realize true economic revitalization, we’re urging our national and community leaders to think and act in more creative ways. And we’re backing those efforts with significant investment of our own.”

Image via nmedia/Shutterstock

Mobile

Sign In with Apple sticks it to Google and Facebook, for the good of everyone

Apple wants you to use its new Sign In with Apple service, which promises to free you from password hell, without selling your soul to the advertising devil. Is it worth using when it launches this year?
Photography

Looking for free public domain images? Here are the best websites to find them

Wouldn't it be wonderful to freely download and use an image from the web without the looming fear of prosecution? Of course! That's why we've put together a list of the best places to download free public domain images.
Movies & TV

Save a few bucks with the best free feature-length movies on YouTube

Bank account emptier than you thought? Check out our curated list of the best full-length movies on YouTube to find flicks that are free, legally uploaded, and actually worth watching.
Web

NSA warns about Windows exploit, ignores its own role in creation of malware

In a rare occurrence, the National Security Agency has published a statement urging people to update their Windows systems to protect against the BlueKeep vulnerability, a recently-detailed wormable exploit affecting Windows 7 and earlier.
Web

Maker Media, the company behind MAKE magazine and Maker Faire events, shuts down

Sad news for DIY enthusiasts: Maker Media, the company which runs the Maker Faire events and which produces the magazine MAKE, is shutting down. The company has laid off all its staff and is ceasing operations.
Computing

Paid browsers are the future, and Firefox might offer a better deal than Chrome

Just like Google, Mozilla is planning on offering premium web-browsing services. Unlike Google, however, it seems like Mozilla might have a better strategy for encouraging users to subscribe to its future premium plans.
Computing

Opera GX is a browser for gamers, but the actual gaming is still to come

Every company seems to have a product line or two aimed squarely at gamers, so why not browsers too? Opera has a new branch of its main browser called Opera GX and it's designed specifically with gamers in mind.
Mobile

Amazon Prime Day 2019 will likely be on July 15, according to leaked email

It looks like we now have an idea of when Amazon Prime Day 2019 will be, thanks to a leaked email that was sent out to promote a vacuum cleaner deal for Prime Day. According to the email, the massive shopping event will take place on July…
Social Media

Here's how to unblock someone on Facebook when you've had a change of heart

Maybe you were a little too hasty blocking that one person on Facebook ... or maybe you just want to do a little spying to see what they're up to. Either way, you can fix the situation easily. Here's how to unblock someone on Facebook.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've hand-picked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Computing

Dropbox’s all-new desktop app wants to be your one and only workspace

Dropbox has unveiled its most significant update yet as it continues to move away from its original core service as a place to store files in the cloud, toward a virtual workspace solution that offers all services in-app.
Social Media

Here's how to link your Instagram, Facebook accounts for social syncing

Instagram and Facebook go hand in hand. Here's how you can make the most of the superior integration offered by the two social media behemoths, which should help your pics gain more exposure in the long run.
Outdoors

For $5,000, Airbnb will take you around the world in 80 days. Airfare included

Airbnb's new Adventures allow travelers can book a mix of accommodations, food, and experiences in what Airbnb calls "bucket list" worthy trips, including a round-the-world trip for just $5,000
Home Theater

Netflix can drain your data in a hurry. Here's how to turn it down a notch

Ever wondered how much data you need to stream a show (or movie) on Netflix? You aren't alone. The answer could be anywhere from 1GB per hour to 7GB per hour, but there's more to it than that. Here's how to control your Netflix data.