Tag Archives: home Internet

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Report: Every ETC Registered with the FCC’s Lifeline Program

This post includes: An overview of the Lifeline program and how it works A comprehensive list of registered ETCs (Eligible Telecommunication Providers), including websites and states served. For state-by-state ETC listings including contact information for each provider, see the United Service Administrative Company “find a Lifeline provider” page. How Lifeline Works Lifeline, a government program created in 1985 to provide phone service for low-income Americans, has been coming under public scrutiny this year thanks to regulatory overhaul of the program under FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. [1] The expansion of the program in early 2016 to cover home broadband Internet service for low-income customers has also been a contentious public issue, especially since reports of widespread Lifeline fraud have been making… Continue reading →

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Choosing the Best Media Streaming Services and Devices

The number of cable customers “cutting the cord” from traditional cable in favor of over-the-top streaming services grows every year. 8.2 percent ditched cable in 2014 alone, driving big media players like Amazon and Google to step up their game in the battle for the box that sits on top of your TV. [1] With satellite and cable TV bills easily topping the 100 dollar mark monthly, it’s no wonder that consumers are opting for streaming services like Hulu (only $7.99 per month) and streaming devices like the Roku ($50 for the entry-level Streaming Stick device). The only drawback is that the wide selection of streaming services and devices sometimes makes it difficult to figure out which of the many… Continue reading →

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How to Determine Which Internet Plan Is Right for You

Getting a broadband connection to your house can be a frustrating process. Choosing an Internet plan used to be a simple question of comparing prices and speeds. But these days, the quickly-changing tech marketplace has introduced a number of other factors consumers need to be aware of before they sign on the dotted line. For starters, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) recently began implementing data caps (limits to the amount of data you can use in a month), which can have a big effect on your monthly bill if you go over. At the same time, the growing popularity of high-definition video streaming via services like Netflix is poised to eat up data like never before — meaning that your bandwidth… Continue reading →

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Municipal Broadband Roadblocks

34 million Americans don’t have access to broadband Internet. In fact, 62 percent of those who can get broadband only have one provider to “choose” from. [1] This means that, for the majority of the US, our only option is to pay up… or go without. Some municipalities have taken it upon themselves to fix this problem by building public-owned “municipal broadband” networks. Cities like Chattanooga, TN and Sandy, OR made headlines by providing gigabit-speed Internet at a low cost to their residents. As of 2016, over 185 communities nationwide have followed suit with some form of public broadband service.[2] Needless to say, incumbent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) don’t like this idea, and have been lobbying at the state level for years… Continue reading →

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Where the 2016 Candidates Stand on Broadband, Net Neutrality, and Internet Issues

Politicians have a well-earned reputation for misunderstanding the Internet. …So it’s no surprise that candidate stances on tech issues are all over the map as we approach the 2016 presidential election. From Clinton’s email server scandal[1] to Trump’s proposal of “closing that Internet up” to fight ISIS[2], Internet users have plenty of reason to be concerned about how either candidate might alter the landscape of “InternetLand” if they take office. There’s a lot more than our YouTube addiction at stake for the American public: Net Neutrality, municipal broadband, and data privacy are all on the chopping block. Let’s take a close look at where the candidates stand on Internet and broadband issues. I’ll start with a brief overview of each… Continue reading →

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How to Design a Supercharged Home Network

Your home is your kingdom. What’s a kingdom without strong Wi-Fi? The cable guy’s default settings will only get you the basics. Luckily, it doesn’t take much time or money to supercharge your home network. This article goes over everything needed to strengthen your Wi-Fi, enhance security, and dispel the dreaded “buffering” symbol from your Netflix forever. We’ll also cover ways to extend and enhance your network using hardware like switches, security systems, and power line extenders. Stop: if you’re here because your network is slow or not working, do the following first: Restart your router and/or modem (if no restart button, just unplug for a few seconds) Try different DNS servers (video guide here) If you’re unfamiliar with the… Continue reading →

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13 Creative Ways to save Money on Your Internet Bill

My neighbor and I have the same broadband plan. Same speeds, same caps, same disgruntled customer service reps. The only difference is that he pays $86 per month for it — while I only pay $47. Why am I paying half the price for the same service? In my case, it was just a question of negotiating with my provider — but there are plenty of other ways to cut your broadband bill. Depending on your situation, some of the strategies below could save you even more. Let’s start with the no-brainers then move on to more “creative” ideas. I guarantee some of them will be new to you. PS: if you find this list useful, send it to a… Continue reading →