Updates

Access

2019

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided that the protections afforded by the federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), applies to websites and mobile apps, in a new ruling. According to the court, limiting access online essentially prevents a customer's access to services at the company’s physical locations. The decision went in favour of a visually impaired California resident Guillermo Robles who filed a lawsuit against Domino’s in 2016, after his unsuccessful attempt to order pizza online. Robles had sought a declaration that Domino’s was in violation of the ADA since their website or app was not designed to be compatible with the screen-reading software which he uses.

According to a news release published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the approval of a new ITU standard (ITU L.163) will pave the way for high-speed broadband services to be brought to rural communities through the use of lightweight, terabit-capable optical cables that can be deployed on the ground’s surface with minimal expense and environmental impact. According to the publication, even though radiocommunication can provide the ‘last mile’ connectivity, challenges arise when deploying in rural areas that are often many kilometres away from core networks. Optical infrastructure supported by the new standard, will therefore be indispensable in solving the challenge of providing true broadband to the otherwise inaccessible communities.

Denmark based company Bluetown, announced its  Airband Initiative with Microsoft which will bring Internet access to approximately 800 000 people in underserved communities in the Eastern region of Ghana. TV white space and wi-fi will be used to create affordable public wi-fi zones. The project will also provide Internet and free access to digital services such as e-learning, e-health, news and more) to local institutions and businesses .

The government of Gabon shut down the Internet and broadcasting services after an attempted military coup against the President. Later on the same day, government officials stated that everything was back to normal, despite continued reports of spotty Internet access.

The top reasons why UK residents switched their broadband Internet Service Provider (ISP) in 2018, were to save money (29.9%) or get access to faster speeds (25.4%), while 18.3% simply sought better internet quality. This was discovered from the results of an online survey of 1,380 ISPreview.com.co.uk readers, which was conducted between 16 November 2018 and 2 January 2019.

The outcome of the survey according to the report is not different from those of previous years, with broadband speed, price and service quality continuing predictably to be the motivator for people changing their ISP.

The authorities of Sudan blocked access to social media platforms that were being used to organise and broadcast anti-government protests in the country, Reuters reported. According to the users of the three main telecommunications operators in Sudan (Zain, MTN, and Sudani), access to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp has only been possible through use of a virtual private network (VPN).

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