Molokai slow internet causing problems for education, work

HONOLULU (AP) — Slow internet service has become an increasing problem for Molokai residents on Hawaiian Home Lands properties.

Service provided by a single telecom provider has caused difficulties for residents working at home or families engaged in distance learning, Hawaii Public Radio reported Monday.

Sandwich Isles Communication secured an exclusive license with the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in 1995 to bring telecom services to rural homestead communities. In return, other companies must use and pay for the Sandwich Isles infrastructure to reach customers.

Sandwich Isles founder Al Hee was convicted of federal tax fraud, served nearly four years in prison and faces nearly $50 million in fines for defrauding the U.S. government. The company was stripped of $257 million in assets.

Democratic state Rep. Lynn DeCoite, who represents Molokai, said she has received numerous complaints from homesteaders.


“Anger, frustration. You can’t even get through to a live body to talk about what the situation is, or negotiations of how they can have their bills paid, or you can transfer over to another carrier,” DeCoite said.

Hawaiian homesteader Kui Adolpho said her only option for service in Hoolehua is Sandwich Isles, but frozen screens and constant buffering are a daily ordeal for her three children taking elementary school classes at home.

Adolpho also works from home, adding to the strain on limited bandwidth.

She began an online petition to raise awareness about the problems, noting that some homesteaders have to pay for internet hot spots to obtain adequate service.

“I expected lags and, you know, the occasional interruptions. But it got to the point where my children couldn’t even get instruction at all,” Adolpho said.

Sandwich Isles said it is aware of the problems with internet speed and plans to upgrade its infrastructure.

The company also said it

Microsoft Hit By New Surface Problems

The Surface Duo is having a rough week. Microsoft’s dual-screened Android-powered mobile device has a unique form factor and offers a new way of working. To achieve this, it needs consumer confidence in the software and the hardware. It’s the latter that has been heavily discussed online, and not in a good way.

First up is a cosmetic issue; while these do not have a bearing on the functionality of the Surface Duo, when you are paying upwards of $1400 for the device, you don’t want it to loose its lustre after a few weeks. User reports of the plastic on the Duo starting to yellow strongly suggest that this isn’t a chemical reaction within the plastic, but a material that is quick to pick oils and grease. Nevertheless it’s not welcome.

Then you have the plastic cracking around the USB-C port. The thin nature of each side of the Surface Duo leaves little room around the USB-C port for moulding and it’s a natural weak point in the design. Those reporting cracked plastic between the port and the edge of the plastic note that charging the device is unaffected.

A small number of users are also reporting broken and seized hinges. Given the core nature of the Surface Duo this is a serious problem for those users affected.

While these issue clearly have an impact on the individual, the damage they can do to the Surface brand itself should

Virus Forces Europe to Confront Its Creaking Internet Problems

Massimiliano Capitanio

Source: Massimiliano Capitanio

Shortly after coronavirus forced Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to lock down the country, lawmaker Massimiliano Capitanio took an unusual call at his office in Rome.

It was an appeal for help from a hospital at the epicenter of the outbreak in northern Italy. Its administrators direly needed faster internet connections and computers to deal with the flood of patients. Capitanio — who sits on parliament’s telecommunications committee — called the country’s phone companies to help out.

To Capitanio, the pandemic was a wake-up call to fix Italy’s creaking internet. Now Conte has stepped in with a plan to kick-start investment by merging the country’s two biggest landline networks.

“Some families still don’t own a computer,” said Capitanio. “The government has been forced to step in and tackle this social emergency.”

Europe’s internet infrastructure is riddled with gaps and bottlenecks, exposed over the past seven months by surging hospital admissions to the rise of home working and explosion of e-commerce. Governments are now deciding how to intervene, after predicting the introduction of faster networks could lead to an annual benefit of 113 billion euros ($133 billion).

In Italy, the state investment vehicle Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA is expected to obtain a significant stake in a unified national network and give former monopoly Telecom Italia SpA confidence to speed up a roll-out of faster fiber-optic connections by removing rival Open Fiber SpA.

The plan tears up a guiding principle of the European project that more competition leads to better services. It’s part of a new pattern of engagement with industry that suggests Europe is watering down its anti-monopoly principles in response to China’s state-led expansion and Donald Trump’s America First agenda.

Building more robust infrastructure would stimulate stricken economies and spur the

Florida extends voter registration deadline after website problems

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis briefly extended the state’s Tuesday voter registration deadline hours after its website crashed in the final hours of availability.

Florida residents now have until 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday to register online or in-person, Secretary of State Laurel Lee said in an email.

Voters who tried to visit the Florida Department of State website on Monday night were greeted with a message from Cloudflare, a cybersecurity company that specializes in mitigating attacks from hackers who try to knock sites offline with a massive influx of traffic. The voter registration site received 1.1 million visitors an hour, Lee said.

But Cloudflare’s CEO, Matthew Prince, said that increased traffic to election sites Monday night didn’t appear to be an attack.

“Traffic up, but that’s to be expected as people are legitimately registering to vote,” Prince said in a text message Monday evening. “As of now, no indications of malicious traffic to any of the voter registration sites we help protect.”

The problems lasted for “about seven hours,” DeSantis said at a news conference Tuesday.

Seven organizations filed a lawsuit Tuesday to extend the new deadline.

Andrea Mercado, executive director of New Florida Majority, a progressive group that took part in the lawsuit, said 7 p.m. was not enough time to let people know they can still register.

Mercado said there is always a spike in registrations as states get closer to election day. In the past week, New Florida Majority registered 800 people online and another 840 people in person.

“It’s too bad that our Florida leadership doesn’t do better,” Mercado said in a phone call. “It’s denying democracy to so many people.”

Florida is one of at least three states whose voter registration sites have gone offline in recent weeks, though the only one that did so

Websites down at several Pa. agencies because of computer problems

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