Internet Access

Technology • Internet & Web
Alphabet shuts down Loon, its internet balloon company
Alphabet shuts down Loon, its internet balloon company
Credit: Alphabet / X moonshot division

Alphabet has announced it will shut down its internet balloon company Loon as "the road to commercial viability has proven much longer and riskier than hoped," according to a post on the blog of Alphabet’s X moonshot division.

"Sadly, despite the team’s groundbreaking technical achievements over the last 9 years — doing many things previously thought impossible, like precisely navigating balloons in the stratosphere, creating a mesh network in the sky, or developing balloons that can withstand the harsh conditions of the stratosphere for more than a year — the road to commercial viability has proven much longer and riskier than hoped. So we’ve made the difficult decision to close down Loon. In the coming months, we’ll begin winding down operations and it will no longer be an Other Bet within Alphabet."

Regional News • Africa
Uganda shuts down internet ahead of general election
Uganda shuts down internet ahead of general election
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

Real-time network data shows that national internet connectivity in Uganda has fallen to 33% of ordinary levels following a government order to shut down the internet for the general population ahead of the general elections.

Technology • Internet & Web
Comcast to implement internet data cap of 1.2TB in over a dozen US states
Logo of Comcast
Logo of Comcast Credit: Comcast

Comcast Xfinity customers not on an unlimited plan who exceed 1.2 TB of data in a month will have to pay $10 for every 50 GB of data they go over up to a maximum of $100.

Comcast says customers will be notified as they approach their monthly data limit, but the ISP currently doesn’t give its customers a way to independently verify meter readings.

Science • Space
Amazon gets approval to launch 3,236 satellites into orbit for internet services
Amazon gets approval to launch 3,236 satellites into orbit for internet services
Credit: unsplash.com / NASA

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a request from Amazon to launch 3,236 communication sattelites into low earth orbit.

The company plans to provide a low-latency, high-speed satellite-based internet connections to United States households with it's Project Kuiper. Amazon has announced that it will invest over $10 billtion into the project and will build a supporting infrastructure on the ground in addition to launching the satellites.

With Project Kuiper Amazon goes into direct competition to the Starlink network by SpaceX that aims towards the same goals.

Regional News • Africa
Ethiopia: Internet service partially restored

After over two weeks, the internet has been partially restored in Ethiopia on Wednesday. Internet was first only available at some offices and government buildings. Fixed and wi-fi lines are now back online, cellular networks remain offline. The internet was shut down after the murder of singer Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, who shot while driving on 29th June 2020, led to nationwide protests.

Science • Space
SpaceX to launch third Starlink mission in a month
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches Starlink at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches Starlink at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Credit: 2nd Lt. Alex Preisser/USAF (Public Domain)

SpaceX is scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Starlink 9 mission this Thursday. The launch is planned for 20:39(UTC) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This will be the third Starlink launch in June alone, bringing the size of the growing constellation to around 600 satellites and closer to the threshold of 800 required for some limited broadband service to begin.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
10,000 families in the United Kingdom will receive free internet access to help pupils with online studies
10,000 families in the United Kingdom will receive free internet access to help pupils with online studies
Credit: unsplash.com / Glenn Carstens-Peters

To combat inequality and disadvantages within pupils as they are forced to study remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic, the telecommunication provider BT has announced that 10,000 families in the United Kingdom will receive vouchers for internet access for half a year. The Department of Education will distribute these vouchers to families as School Standards Minister Nick Gibb stated that the goal is to "make sure no child, whatever their background, falls behind as a result of coronavirus".