Americans might not be able to take full advantage of the 5G iPhone

  • On Tuesday, Apple is expected to release its first iPhone models that support 5G networks.
  • Those iPhones will be able to tap into faster next-generation networks from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile for faster download speeds and stronger wireless connections.
  • But in the United States, the carriers are still building their 5G networks, and the mid-band networks available in other countries which balance fast speeds and wide coverage aren’t widely available in the U.S. yet.

Tim Cook holding a sign: Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers the keynote address during the 2020 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, June 22, 2020.

© Provided by CNBC
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers the keynote address during the 2020 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, June 22, 2020.

On Tuesday, Apple is expected to release its first iPhone models that support 5G networks.


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Those iPhones will be able to tap into faster next-generation networks from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile for faster download speeds and stronger wireless connections.

In the United States, the carriers are still building their 5G networks. When the 5G iPhone comes out, depending on what bands it supports, some consumers looking for a sea change in terms of wireless speeds may have to wait until their carrier catches up with the phone’s capabilities.

Speeds for 5G will be faster, but not necessarily fast enough to be a reason for upgrading until U.S. carriers finish building their networks. So far, 5G download speeds are just 1.8 times faster than 4G LTE speeds in the United States, according to data from Opensignal, a firm that tracks wireless network speeds around the world.

But in other countries with 5G networks that use what’s called “mid-band frequency,” speeds are five times as fast as LTE, according to Opensignal.

5G is not a monolith. There are three different versions of 5G connections, which each use different radio frequencies and come with their own advantages

New Nationwide Program Offering Phones to Millions of Low-Income Americans

Millions of Americans on low-income, including those receiving unemployment benefits amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, may qualify to receive a free smartphone, in addition to free cell service, under a new government partnership with TruConnect, a nationwide wireless service provider.

TruConnect has partnered with Lifeline, a government program offering affordable wireless service to low-income customers launched by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, which most Americans don’t know about, according to the co-founder and chief executive officer of TruConnect, Matthew Johnson.

TruConnect’s free service includes “talk, text, and 3GB of data each month plus free international calling to select countries. You may even qualify for a free 5″ LTE Android smartphone,” the company website states.

Johnson told California’s KTLA: “Currently, there are roughly 30 to 40 million people who don’t have access to high-speed internet and that’s only increased recently with the issues due to COVID-19.

“Across the U.S., the two basic programs that automatically qualify you are Medicaid and Snap, so if you’re on one of those two programs you automatically qualify,” Johnson noted.

Unemployment benefits may qualify as a form of income eligibility and those interested can enter their zip code and email at the TruConnect website to apply.

The Federal Communication Commission explains: “Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services.

“Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund. The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands,” the commission adds.

While there are other companies that offer free cell phone service to qualifying low-income individuals, TruConnect differentiates itself by offering additional services, such as

As Millions Of Americans Face Wildfires And Hurricanes, This Kentucky Startup Helps Them Rebuild Faster

Natural disasters including Midwestern windstorms, Gulf Coast hurricanes and West Coast wildfires have wreaked havoc for millions of Americans this year. Settling insurance claims and rebuilding after a disaster is a burdensome task, and all the harder during a global pandemic.

That’s where Louisville-based insurance tech startup WeatherCheck comes in. The four-year-old company collects data from dozens of sources — including FEMA and mapping-software maker Esri — to build a detailed model of weather damage across the U.S. and Canada. That data helps individuals, mortgage lenders, corporations and insurers prepare for natural disasters before they happen — and also process claims much faster after damage occurs.

“Almost 80% of Americans who own property or are renting have an insurance policy,” says Demetrius Gray, the 32-year-old cofounder and CEO of WeatherCheck. “When one of our users has a particular loss, we step in and help them advance those dollars. We’ve been able to reach out directly and say, ‘hey, we’re here to support you.’”

Before the pandemic, the company made most of its revenues selling data subscriptions to insurance companies and property owners. For a fee, customers can use WeatherCheck to access damage reports for all their properties and use a live monitoring tool to prepare for upcoming storms or hurricanes. When the virus began to spread, that business took a hit. As state governors imposed stay-at-home orders in March, the firm cut its sales forecast for the year by 20%.

“Our primary imperative internally is to sell to insurance companies and agents and brokers,” says Gray. “Back in March, there were a number of companies that said, based on this uncertainty, we’re not making any decisions.”

The pandemic also opened up new opportunities for the company. With customers facing a harder

Opinion | In 50 years of PBS programming, content for Americans of all classes and political views

Polling shows the resilience of the reputation PBS has built over the past five decades. Some 68 percent of respondents told YouGov between August 2019 and August 2020 that they have a positive opinion of PBS, making the service more popular than awards-dominating HBO and putting it on the heels of streaming giant Netflix. A Pew Research Center study on polarization and the American media published in January found that PBS is one of just three outlets — from among 30 choices — trusted by Americans of both parties more than they distrust it.

Paula Kerger, the president and chief executive of PBS, says that trust starts close to home. Even if viewers are skeptical of the media writ large, she argues, they trust journalists who are a part of their own community.

Small rural stations are helped by shared branding and programming, while the service’s urban behemoths benefit from the member stations’ insights and roots.

PBS also does more than take kids to the Land of Make Believe and their parents to English country houses. “American Portrait,” for instance, uses audience submissions to power on-air programming and events. This structure relies on two core assumptions: that the lives of ordinary Americans are newsworthy; and that people are interesting to each other, and not simply as objects of partisan contempt or scorn.

Some of PBS’s most popular programming also speaks to fundamental questions that can get steamrolled on more frenetic news networks, or marginalized by channels eager to make “prestige TV” and profits.

In a time of “patriotic education” programs and falling monuments, PBS attempts to navigate a more personal approach to what Kerger calls “a hunger for us to understand where we came from.” The long-running hit “Antiques Roadshow” is about more than the excitement of potentially striking

The Cybersecurity 202: Americans are as insecure as ever on the 17th annual Cybersecurity Awareness month

“At the beginning it was really about trying to convince people they should even care about this issue,” said Jenny Menna, a former DHS official who managed the grant that funds the awareness month program during its early years and is now a cybersecurity executive at U.S. Bank. “Because of the state we’re in now, you no longer have to make that case. Now it’s, ‘Okay, now that we have your attention, here’s what you need to do to be safer.’ ”

Americans who had little idea what cybersecurity was nearly two decades ago are now being bombarded with news about the dangers of cyberattacks targeting election systems and the potential for disinformation and other digital dangers lurking on their apps and social media platforms. The coronavirus has also spawned an unprecedented wave of attacks targeting hospitals and aimed at conning people made desperate by layoffs and medical bills. More broadly, Americans have likely received a barrage of notices from companies that their data was stolen or passwords compromised. 

The annual cost of cybercrime, which was comparatively negligible in 2003, had grown to more than $80 billion annually by 2013 and to about $600 billion annually by 2018, according to estimates from the cybersecurity firm McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank. Consumers have reported losing more than $152 million to coronavirus-related fraud since the pandemic began, according to the Federal Trade Commission. 

But for all the focus on raising cybersecurity awareness, many companies still don’t follow basic practices designed to limit hacking threats. 

And the vast majority of cyberattacks are accomplished with very little effort by conning people into clicking on suspicious links and attachments when they should know better.  

That trend line has some cybersecurity pros wondering whether National Cybersecurity Awareness Month’s typical