States with High Voter Turnout Have More Internet Access

  Whether you’re living on Planet Trump or firmly planted in Camp Hillary, voting in the next election could be vital to bridging the digital divide. In the 2012 presidential election, it was estimated that only 57.5% of the eligible U.S. population came out to vote. States that have a high voter participation rate also have a higher number of internet users, and while internet access does not fully depend on voter turnout, elected officials could help areas that need broadband access the most. HSI has created a map that estimates the percentage of 2016 internet users, using data from Internet World Stats, to see the correlation with the voter participation rate from 2012.   Top 5 States: Highest voter turnout, highest % of Internet users Wisconsin Voter Turnout: 72.9% Internet Users: 94.3% New Hampshire Voter Turnout: 70.9% Internet Users: 99.9% Maine Voter Turnout: 69.3% Internet Users: 94.1% Massachusetts Voter Turnout: 66.2% Internet Users: 98% Washington Voter Turnout: 65.8% Internet Users: 97.4% Bottom 5 States: Lowest voter turnout, lowest % of Internet users West Virginia Voter Turnout: 46.3% Internet Users: 80.1% Oklahoma Voter Turnout: 49.2% Internet Users: 77.2% Texas Voter Turnout: 49.6% Internet Users: 78% Arkansas Voter Turnout: 51.1% Internet User: 75.9% New Mexico Voter Turnout: 54.8% Internet Users: 77.3%   States that Need Internet Access the Most Places with high poverty and unemployment rates need help bridging the digital divide. Generally, people who live in the deep south, rural areas, or low income neighborhoods are falling behind in education, jobs, and technological literacy due to lack of broadband access. Mississippi has the least amount of internet users in the...
The Digital Nomad: A Brief History of Remote Workers

The Digital Nomad: A Brief History of Remote Workers

Today’s workforce looks different than it did just a decade ago. Cubicle farms and 9-to-5 schedules are no longer the norm for Americans — the market for digital nomads and remote workers has burgeoned. According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, half of the U.S. workforce works from home during part of the week and many Fortune 1000 companies have shed costly office space in favor of remote employees. Remote jobs available on FlexJobs rose by 26% from 2014 to 2015. Below is a look at other people, efforts, and companies that have impacted the growth of the remote workforce over the last four decades.   The Ultimate Timeline of Remote Working 1973: Jack Nilles coined the term “telecommuting” — using electronics to work remotely. Nilles referred to his work as a NASA engineer as telecommuting, and he estimated the style of work would be the norm in 10 or 20 years. 1982: Telecommuting expert Gil Gordon began his consulting business for companies wishing to start telecommuting programs. Over the next couple of decades, Gordon held multiple telecommuting conferences, published a regular newsletter, co-authored two books, and created management videos — all to promote best telecommuting practices. 1990: The city of Los Angeles established a Telecommuting Pilot Project from 1990 to 1992 that allowed over 400 city employees to work remotely. The goal of the project was to reduce air pollution and traffic as well as to increase productivity and qualified job candidates. 1991: Transportation engineer Patricia Mokhtarian published her first article on remote work, “Defining Telecommuting.” An early pioneer of telecommuting, Mokhtarian published many articles on how telecommunications technology impacts travel behavior...
The FCC Begins to Forge the Foundation for 5G

The FCC Begins to Forge the Foundation for 5G

The future of wireless broadband just got a little brighter last week when the Federal Communications Commission announced plans for the development of 5G networks. Tom Wheeler indicated that this might be “the most important decision” the FCC makes this year. We know what you’re thinking – 4G? LTE? 5G? Sounds like we’re running out of alphabet. What’s the big deal anyway? Let’s take a brief dive into what 5G is, what it could do for the future of wireless in America, and why the FCC’s ruling matters to you. “The United States will be the first country in the world to open up high-band spectrum for 5G networks and applications. And that’s damn important because it means U.S. companies will be first out of the gate.” Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman   What is 5G? 5G stands for “fifth generation,” and it indicates an advanced set of standards for how wireless networks operate. Currently, most networks utilize 4G and, until recently, this meant operating in a frequency spectrum below 24GHZ. A recent ruling by the FCC opens up the frequency spectrum above 24GHZ for auction to providers who would like to usher in a next generation wireless network. Previously, frequencies above 24GHZ were considered unusable given the current technology because the wavelengths were short and as a result, signal loss was too great. At higher frequencies, signals tend to be easily blocked, making reception indoors and over longer distances problematic. However, advances in technology and the ability to construct networks from smaller cells may be able to address these concerns within the next year. 5G wireless broadband would mean consumers...
Chill Out, Sharing Your Netflix is Not a Crime

Chill Out, Sharing Your Netflix is Not a Crime

Is it illegal to share your Netflix password? NO A few days ago, major media outlets sounded the alarm – Netflix freeloaders were going to jail. The internet gave a collective cry of panic. Except it wasn’t true. Not even a little. Here’s what did happen. Some federal court judge in California, in a case completely unrelated to Netflix, mentioned the company in his statement of dissent from the ruling of the court and everyone lost their minds. The ruling doesn’t necessarily have wide-spread implications for password sharing. The court decided the employee in the case had utilized someone else’s password with malicious intent to circumvent access that had been revoked upon termination. A few journalists glanced at that ruling, saw Netflix mentioned somewhere in the brief, and made a wild leap to a whole bunch of conclusions. Even if the ruling was relevant (which it doesn’t appear to be), Netflix has been clear about this issue. They are cool with you sharing your account.  So chill out and return to streaming your regularly scheduled programming. Now that we’ve put that fire out, let’s cover the rules about sharing a streaming account. Because beyond Netflix, there are plenty of services that allow you to share your account with multiple users. Let’s take a peek at four fairly popular ones and discuss the rules for sharing. Because sharing is caring people. Netflix is totally with you on this one. “We love people sharing Netflix. That’s a positive thing, not a negative thing.” CEO Reed Hastings, 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas   Four streaming services and their rules on sharing   Netflix...
DSL or Cable? How to Choose the Right Connection for You

DSL or Cable? How to Choose the Right Connection for You

Feeling confused? Broadband, DSL, cable, high-speed internet, fiber, coaxial cable, copper lines, bandwidth, upload and download speeds. What is all this jargon anyway? You just want internet connectivity that’s affordable and reliable. We get it and we’re here to help you decide. We’re going to break down the differences between the two most prominent types of high-speed internet service: DSL and cable. We’ll lay out clear advantages to both and give you some guidance about how to pick an internet service provider that works for you. First, let’s take a brief look at the technology that delivers internet to your house so you can better understand the difference between DSL and cable.   How it works (Pssst… it’s NOT a series of tubes) There are some basic technology differences in how the internet arrives at your home that are relevant to this discussion, so let’s start with how DSL and cable work. DSL DSL stands for digital subscriber line and it utilizes the phone lines that already run to your home. Don’t get this confused with your grandma’s dial-up connection, however. DSL internet service may run on the old copper wires that deliver phone service, but it doesn’t monopolize your phone connection and it’s much, much faster. DSL is widely available, even in rural areas, because nearly every part of the country has access to phone service. Unless you’re in the Alaskan Bush gnawing on caribou jerky, you can probably tap into a DSL connection. Cable This type of internet service is pretty much what it sounds like. Running on the same coaxial cable that delivers your TV service, broadband...
What Type of Broadband Internet Service Is Best for You?

What Type of Broadband Internet Service Is Best for You?

Before deciding which type of broadband internet — internet with speeds of 25 Mbps or faster — you should purchase for your home or business, it is important to consider factors such as where you live, if you want to package your internet and other services, the network’s speed, and how much speed you will need.   Find out which broadband internet service is best for you with the following steps: Learn about the different types of broadband internet services below (DSL, Cable, Fiber, Satellite, Wireless). Use the internet speed tool to find out how much speed you need. Check the Internet Service Providers (ISP) options in your area. Compare providers by customer satisfaction.   Types of Broadband Internet Service: Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) broadband connections are delivered through copper phone lines. Unlike dial-up internet, however, you can still use your phone while surfing DSL internet. DSL is generally available to anyone who lives near a telephone company, which means it may be a less viable option for those who live in remote areas or who no longer have a landline connection. One downside to DSL internet is that the further a customer lives from the ISP’s location, the slower their connection may be. Not all DSL connections qualify as broadband either, so check what speeds are available in your area before signing a contract if you want broadband speeds capable of supporting multiple devices on the Internet at one time. Who Benefits from DSL Internet: Customers in rural locations without access to other types of internet. Customers who don’t want to spend a lot of money on internet....
Five Fourth of July Fireworks Displays You Can Catch from Your Couch

Five Fourth of July Fireworks Displays You Can Catch from Your Couch

If you’re looking to experience Independence Day fireworks displays without the fuss, there are plenty of ways to usher in the Fourth with a bang from the comfort of your couch. We’ve collected some of the most prominent celebrations that will be streamed online or televised nationally, so you can get your Fourth on without having to fight the crowds.   Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, New York Catch the live stream of this epic celebration, now in its 40th year, online or televised nationally on NBC. A massive display erupts across the sky above the East River and is visible in the neighborhoods above Queens and Brooklyn. Synchronized to music, the show features over 54,000 individual fireworks erupting at a rate of 2,200 per minute. Macy’s 4th of July also features performances by Kenny Chesney, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Meghan Trainor beginning at 8/7 Central. Grab your popcorn and prepare to be dazzled. Stream online: Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC Watch last year’s celebration:   A Capitol Fourth, Washington D.C. View an Independence Day display live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. PBS brings this celebration home not just to viewers across the United States, but also to members of the armed forces stationed abroad. With over 20 cameras positioned around the capitol lawn, PBS’s live stream gives you the ability to choose your vantage point and get the best from your viewing experience. The concert that proceeds the fireworks display will include Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, and the National Symphony. You won’t have to struggle to get a front seat...

A History of the Internet (Infographic)

Before the Internet became the internet, it was just a tiny blip in the peripheral vision of technological advancement. And like any major innovation, it didn’t develop into the pulsing highway of information that has transformed our everyday life overnight. The internet occurred as a series of discoveries, building on one another until they scaled into the digital revolution. It might surprise you to know that our modern network can be traced all the way back to the 1800s, long before Charles Babbage. The internet’s story begins with the first long distance method of communication, the telegraph, and culminates into the dynamic, video-rich tapestry of media and sharing that sits on the cusp of virtual reality today. Come take a tour through the history of the internet and the origins of the most miraculous invention since the printing press.   A History of the Internet Before the Internet became the internet, it was just a tiny blip in the peripheral vision of technological advancement. And like any major innovation, it didn’t develop into the pulsing highway of information that has transformed our everyday life overnight. The internet occurred as a series of discoveries, building on one another until they scaled into the digital revolution. It might surprise you to know that our modern network can be traced all the way back to the 1800s, long before Charles Babbage. The internet’s story begins with the first long distance method of communication, the telegraph, and culminates into the dynamic, video-rich tapestry of media and sharing that sits on the cusp of virtual reality today. Come take a tour through the history of...
Internet Providers in the Salt Lake Valley

Internet Providers in the Salt Lake Valley

Image of Salt Lake City by Garrett (CC By 2.0)  Top Internet Providers Four major internet service providers (ISPs) offer high-speed internet service to homes in the Salt Lake valley: CenturyLink, XFINITY (by Comcast), Utopia, and Google Fiber. While most CenturyLink areas partner with DIRECTV, CenturyLink Prism areas are becoming more common in Salt Lake with TV service and high speed internet options. Enter your ZIP code below to see which providers offer service to your home. Compare providers There’s not a lot of ISP diversity in Salt Lake City — or in Utah as a whole — but many residents are lucky enough to live in a current or future fiber area. CenturyLink, Utopia, and Google Fiber each cover small but expanding sections of the valley with fiber-to-the-home services. For the purposes of this article, we’ll discuss internet providers available in the Salt Lake valley and Salt Lake City proper. Neighborhoods include The Avenues, Rose Park, Capitol Hill, Glendale, Poplar Grove, and Marmalade. Major cities include West Jordan, Midvale, West Valley, Taylorsville, Millcreek, Murray, Holladay, Sandy, Draper, West Jordan, Bluffdale, Riverton, Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Downtown SLC. If you’re new to the city check out this guide on where to move in Salt Lake City. See the map below for Salt Lake City areas covered by this guide. CenturyLink (Fiber & DSL) 87% of all Utahns and nearly every home in the valley can get CenturyLink. Customers in CenturyLink Prism areas rank the service much higher than areas with standard service. Unlike CenturyLink’s DSL service, Prism offers wired TV service that can be bundled with high-speed internet service. internet service in Prism areas is also usually faster for customers, which is nice for those who use the internet heavily. CenturyLink Prism consistently...