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Evaluating High-Speed Internet Options in Daytona Beach, FL

When it comes to high-speed internet service in Daytona Beach, FL, there are four major options, and the choices can seem overwhelming. According to HighSpeedInternet.com, a leading resource online collecting reviews and the latest information on prices and packages for internet service across the country, Daytona Beach high speed internet is available from AT&T, HughesNet, Brighthouse Networks, and Spectrum.

Internet Speeds in Daytona Beach

Among these four options, there are differences in speeds. AT&T offers two separate plans, one via DSL high speed internet and a fiber option. The AT&T DSL option offers download speeds up to 50 Mbps, while the fiber option provides 1000 Mbps for the fastest downloads in the Daytona Beach area. It might seem like AT&T would be the obvious option for Daytona Beach internet, but the fiber option is only available in 18% of homes.

Up next in terms of speeds is Spectrum high speed internet in Daytona Beach, with up to 100 Mbps downloads available. That makes Spectrum the best option for the 82% of homes where the fiber service from AT&T is not available.

Following up in terms of speed is Brighthouse Networks, which offers up to 50 Mbps. Brighthouse no longer accepts new customers as it has merged with Spectrum as part of the merging between Time-Warner and Charter.

Last in terms of speed is the satellite internet from HughesNet, offering up to 25 Mbps downloads. HughesNet service is really only recommended for those customers who live outside of Spectrum and AT&T provider areas, such as more rural and remote areas within the Daytona Beach area.

Internet in Daytona Beach by User Rating and Price

HighSpeedInternet.com also compiles user ratings based on a five-star scale. On this scale, AT&T and Spectrum are dead even at 3.5 stars, with HughesNet trailing behind with a rating of 2.5 stars.

Prices for internet only are comparable between AT&T and Spectrum, but with Spectrum customers who also need TV and/or landline phone services can bundle services together and get internet at a lower price per month than with AT&T. With the bundled price, Spectrum’s internet service runs 29.99 a month for higher speeds than AT&T’s.

The Verdict

When it comes to deciding on an internet provider in Daytona Beach, Florida, it comes down to one question: Are you in one of the 18% of homes where AT&T’s 1000 Mbps fiber service is available? If yes, then go with AT&T. If not, the 100 Mbps service from Spectrum is your best bet.

Microsoft to Help Bridge the Rural High-Speed Internet Gap

While the US government hems and haws about the direction of the internet, private corporations are stepping in to bridge the gap. This time it’s Microsoft, who is partnering with organizations across the US to form a coalition to bring high-speed internet access into rural areas.

Called Connect Americans Now (CAN), the coalition will broadcast hroadband internet into rural regions using unused TV signals, thus eliminating the need for the infrastructure necessary for high-speed internet providers to bring in wired internet.

More from GeekWire:

“Without a broadband connection, millions of students struggle to keep up with their assignments, Americans in rural areas are unable to fully utilize telemedicine, farmers are denied the promise of precision agriculture and businesses are unable to tap into the world of online commerce,” said CAN Executive Director Richard Cullen in a statement. “Congress and the FCC must stand with rural America by allowing internet service providers to deliver broadband via white spaces spectrum.”

CAN’s founding partners include Microsoft, the National Rural Education Association, the Schools, the Mid-Atlantic Broadcasting Communities Corporation, and others. The organization will start by launching an advocacy campaign in Washington, D.C. to put pressure on the FCC. The group will also form partnerships in rural communities and educate residents about delivering internet through TV white spaces.

Microsoft estimates it will provide internet for two million of the approximately 23.4 million rural Americans without access to high-speed internet, thus leveling the playing field when it comes to education, applying for jobs, and access to online medical and mental health care. Perhaps if this works, other providers will follow suit.

Scientific Discovery Could Improve High-Speed Internet

Combined research by the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Vermont could reduce the energy consumption necessary for high-speed internet connections while also reducing the necessary costs. The research was published in the journal Nature Communications and funded by the National Science Foundation. The work allows simultaneous nonlinear optical processing of multiple light beams by a single device without converting them to electrical form, which could lead to cheaper and more energy-efficient high-speed internet communications.

More from Science Daily:

“Our new nonlinear medium has allowed us to demonstrate simultaneous all-optical regeneration of 16 WDM channels by a single device, and this number has only been limited by the logistical constraints of our laboratory” Vasilyev said. “This experiment opens the opportunities to scale the number of channels to over a hundred without increasing the cost, all in a book-sized device.”

The multi-channel regenerator could even potentially shrink to the size of a matchbox in the future if the nonlinear-optical medium could be implemented on a microchip.

“This breakthrough is an example of how UTA researchers can positively impact the physical and economic well-being of society in the area of data-driven discovery and global environmental impact, themes in UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020 Bold Solutions | Global Impact,” said Jonathan Bredow, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering in UTA’s College of Engineering.

The new net neutrality rules may slow down connections for consumers—that is yet to be seen. But with continuous innovations like these, faster internet could be available to everyone at a much lower cost.

HughesNet Launches Gen5 High Speed Internet

About 46% of total internet installations in people’s homes fall below download speeds of 25Mbps, leaving almost half of the homes in the United States with substandard internet services in comparison to the rest of the country. Many of these underserved homes fall in rural areas outside of the purview of major landline internet providers, where they have determined the cost to build the infrastructure necessary to bring fiber optic internet into homes is not worth what they would make in return.

Satellite internet company HughesNet is looking to even the playing field a little bit. In December, they launched their EchoStar XIX satellite, which is now safely in orbit with all systems go and ready to provide satellite internet plans featuring 25Mbps download speeds with their Gen5 service.

More from Forbes:

With this new expansion of their high-speed internet services, Hughes expects to be able to compete for a lot of people still using DSL, dial-up, and other older internet technologies.

“One are we think is a cause of great frustration is low-speed DSL,” said Hughes EVP Mike Cook. “It’s a copper-based technology that telcos are not investing in. We think for people who are on that, HughestNet Gen V is a tremendous upgrade in service capability.”

The expansion of the satellite network also allows Hughes to help shed data caps. Under its new service, Hughes customers will have “soft” data caps – once they hit their data limit, the service will downgrade their priority in terms of service (meaning things will slow down at certain times of day) rather than cutting off service completely. The latter is a source of some consternation to satellite internet customers. Customers will also get a free 50GB worth of data per month if that data’s used during off-peak hours.

The big perk of this is that DSL and satellite customer who previously weren’t able to use streaming services like Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Prime will now have the opportunity. (Although Cook recommends sticking to standard def in order to avoid capping your data plan.) The plans are cost-competitive, too, with consumer plans starting at $49.99 per month and business plans at $69.99 per month.

While satellite internet does not offer all the benefits that some of the higher-level services in more urban and suburban areas offer, it is improving, and HughesNet is leading the way.

Virginia Improving High Speed Internet Access for Students

Many students across the nation, especially those in rural areas, lack the access to high speed internet necessary for remaining competitive with students attending schools in areas that do feature high speed internet access. As more and more work, and applying for jobs, is done online, not to mention the amount of educational material available online for students to access, it is imperative to get students up to speed, as it were, no matter where they’re located.

The state of Virginia is making those advances. More from the Hampton Roads Business Journal:

Virginia has made significant progress in the ongoing effort to bring high-speed internet to more schools and students statewide according to a recently published report.

EducationSuperHighway’s annual “State of the States” report on K-12 broadband connectivity, found that 72 percent of Virginia school divisions now meet the Federal Communications Commission’s minimum Internet access goal of 100 kbps per student, which is up from 46 percent in 2015 and 33 percent in 2014.

In addition, this year’s report also found that 72 percent of Virginia school divisions meet the minimum connectivity goal of 100 kbps per student, a significant jump from 46 percent at this time last year, and 33 percent in 2014.

Stay up to date on the progress of EducationSuperHighway here at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.

Canada Wants Every Citizen to Have High Speed Internet Access

The United States’ neighbors to the north face many of the same problems as the USA when it comes to high speed internet. Urban and most suburban areas are served by high speed internet service providers, but rural areas lack the infrastructure necessary for the fiber optic cables that provide high speed internet, and because there are few potential customers in these areas, providers have no incentive to build the necessary infrastructure. Canada has recognized this problem, and is trying to rectify it with up to $750 million earmarked for wiring up rural areas.

More from The Verge:

As part of declaring broadband a “basic” or essential service, the CRTC has also set new goals for download and upload speeds. For fixed broadband services, all citizens should have the option of unlimited data with speeds of at least 50 megabits per second for downloads and 10 megabits per second for uploads — a tenfold increase of previous targets set in 2011. The goals for mobile coverage are less ambitious, and simply call for “access to the latest mobile wireless technology” in cities and major transport corridors.

The CRTC estimates that some two million Canadian households, or 18 percent of the population, do not currently have access to their desired speeds. The $750 million government fund will help to pay for infrastructure to remedy this. The money will be distributed over five years, with the CRTC expecting 90 percent of Canadians to access the new speeds by 2021.

The new digital plan also touches on accessibility problems, with CRTC mandating that wireless service providers will have to offer platforms that address the needs of people with hearing or speech disabilities within six months. Blais said this timeline was necessary, as the country “can’t depend on market forces to address these issues.”

More on this story as it develops from the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.

Kansas Launches State Initiative for High Speed Internet in Schools

In order to keep schools up to date with those in other states, Kansas is making moves to spread high speed internet to schools throughout the state, a potential $100 million initiative with nonprofit EducationSuperHighway in the works.

More from the Garden City Telegram:

Officials described EducationSuperHighway’s role as providing technical expertise. The organization will coordinate with districts and internet service providers to develop plans for upgrades.

Gov. Sam Brownback said Kansas may have to allocate upward of $10 million toward the program, which he said would come from the Universal Service Fund. The hope is that 80-90 percent of project costs can be paid for through the federal government.

“Our goal is simple: bring digital learning capabilities to every Kansas classroom,” Brownback said. “Technically speaking, that means we need fiber-optic connections to every school. We need Wi-Fi access in every school. We need connectivity that districts can afford.”

EducationSuperHighway aims to provide districts with analysis and technical resources to help with upgrades that are cost-effective. According to the Kansas State Department of Education, the organization’s services will be free.

Kansas is not paying the nonprofit for its services, Brownback said. EducationSuperHighway draws upon a variety of corporate and philanthropic funders, including foundations connected to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

A largely rural state, Kansas faces some of the problems of other states with widespread rural populations, in that service providers do not see money in building the infrastructure necessary to bring high speed internet to far-flung areas. Hopefully this initiative will benefit not only schools, but in the long run, the entire population.

Google Fiber High Speed Internet Hits a Snag

Google Fiber, Alphabet’s high speed internet program piloting in several cities across the United States, is putting its efforts to expand on pause, as well as laying off or reassigning about ten percent of its staff, with the company deciding to refocus its efforts on wireless rather than fiber optic service. The eight metro areas that already have Google Fiber will not be affected but those in the cities where the company was supposed to expand will have to keep their current high speed internet services.

More from Ars Technica:

Here are the details on where Google Fiber will and won’t be deploying Internet service. Google Fiber is already available in:

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Austin, Texas
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Kansas City in Missouri and Kansas
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Provo, Utah
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • The Triangle in North Carolina

Google Fiber is still publicly committed to building in Huntsville, Alabama; Irvine, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Louisville, Kentucky. Those plans are unchanged, the company says.

Eleven areas that Google Fiber listed as either “potential” or “upcoming” Fiber cities are subject to the “pause,” or have simply been removed from Google Fiber’s published plans entirely. That’s where employees will lose their jobs. The cities where the ISP’s fiber operations will be paused or ended are:

  • Chicago, Illinois

  • Dallas, Texas

  • Jacksonville, Florida

  • Los Angeles, California

  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Phoenix, Arizona

  • Portland, Oregon

  • San Diego, California

  • San Francisco, California

  • San Jose, California

  • Tampa, Florida

Stay tuned at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog for more on this story as it develops.

AT&T to Challenge Cable TV with Affordable Streaming Service

It’s been a big year for AT&T. They just agreed to acquire media giant Time Warner (not to be confused with Time Warner Cable, obtained earlier this year by Charter Communications), and now they have announced a streaming TV service that could change the game when it comes to how households consume TV. DirecTV Now, this new streaming service, will offer more than 100 channels at a price of $35 per month, well below the charges for many traditional cable TV services.

More from Wired:

Previously, the company said that DirecTV Now, due next month, wouldn’t undercut the steep price of cable television. But a $35 price tag is very much a shot across the bows of cable companies like Comcast, and in revealing the new strategy at a conference in Southern California, AT&T CEO Randall Stevenson said as much. “It’s clear what customers want. They want premium content in a mobile environment,” Stephenson said. “Our goal is to drive prices down.”

The move is also a way of bolstering support for the company’s $85.4 billion deal to acquire Time Warner. Regulators will heavily scrutinize the proposed merger of two such large and influential companies, but the pair are insistent that the deal benefits consumers. Certainly, internet television benefits consumers. The ideal is a world where consumers can watch whatever they want over the internet from any device, rather than bow to the restrictions of old-fashioned cable TV.

According to Stephenson, AT&T envisions DirecTV Now as service that will eventually operate not just over landline internet connection but across 5G wireless connections, which it plans to deploy by 2018 and expand in 2019 and 2020. In this way, Stephenson wants to directly compete with cable TV. “I border on evangelical about it,” he said.

By the time the new service hits the market, the price may have changed, and competitors like Comcast and Charter Spectrum may have their own alternatives at the ready. But for now, it looks like AT&T and DirecTV are ahead of the game, and appealing to cord cutters in their own way.

High-Speed Internet is the Electricity of the 21st Century

Each generation has a technology that changes lives, transforms communities, and connects people across the United States and across the world. In the past, it was electricity. Then, the telephone. Now, it’s high-speed internet, and just like with those previous innovations, people in rural communities throughout the United States are being left behind.

Sherman, Mississippi is one of those towns, where the cost for major high speed internet providers is too great to provide the infrastructure necessary to give every resident and business access. That is, without federal funding.

More from DJournal.com:

The FCC’s 2009 Broadband Task Force reported 70 percent of homework assigned by teachers required some use of the internet.

According to the Pew Report, roughly 69 percent of Americans indicate that not having at-home high-speed internet would be a major disadvantage to finding a job, getting health information or accessing key information, a jump from 56 percent in 2010.

For years, the Public Service Commission has approved funds that are subsidies to phone companies called the Universal Service Fund.

Thus, the need has been recognized, and the funding is there. But more and more communities are having to wait, and being left behind, and that is not a good thing.