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

Quibi’s Slow Start Puts Pressure on Katzenberg to Boost Cash

(Bloomberg) — Quibi, one of Hollywood’s most ballyhooed startups, is having a rocky first year.

Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg  envisioned an app that would entertain people during the odd, in-between times in their lives — while commuting, say, or waiting in line at the bank. But when the April launch date arrived, Americans were in lockdown due to the coronavirus, meaning such moments had all but disappeared.

On Sept. 21, the Wall Street Journal reported that Quibi has so far failed to reach its subscriber targets and is working with advisers to assess its options, including a possible sale or a capital raise.  



Jeffrey Katzenberg sitting on a bench: Quibi Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg And CEO Meg Whitman Interview


© Bloomberg
Quibi Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg And CEO Meg Whitman Interview

A lot can change in the future. Quibi could have a wildly popular hit show that lures in millions of new subscribers. A nation of smartphone consumers venturing back into the world could embrace the service as their daily commutes return. Or the changes that Quibi has made, such as enabling users to watch Quibi on TV sets and to screenshot shows, could increase its popularity. Still, Quibi faces a formidable challenge. The company declined to comment for this article.

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By compiling Quibi’s reported and public statements about content spending, advertising, subscribers and more, a picture emerges of a company headed for financial distress after a tough first year. In one scenario, if little changes, the company faces a funding shortfall of about $1.8 billion by 2024 and $6 billion by 2030. Katzenberg, who has made a career selling stories of characters beating the odds, has said he’s up for the test.

Content

Quibi launched in a year of fierce competition, compounding the difficulty posed by the pandemic. Well-known brands, from HBO to NBCUniversal, started competing streaming services and existing ones, led by Netflix, were 

Survey: Many feel their current internet is too slow and overpriced, yet few have upgraded

Three-quarters of respondents didn’t know what internet speeds would be adequate for their household and the overwhelming majority have yet to upgrade their service.

remote work

Image: iStock/GaudiLab

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, companies around the globe adopted remote work policies in recent months. At the same time, many schools and universities are conducting classes virtually to ensure the safety of students and staff this fall. Needless to say, this en masse shift to distanced learning and telecommuting has increased the need for high-speed internet for millions. A new survey analyzes consumers’ sentiment regarding their current internet capabilities, bandwidth needs, provider pricing expectations, and more.

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On Monday, HighSpeedInternet.com, a site to explore and compare internet providers,  released a report detailing the results of a recent anonymous US survey involving 1,000 people. Overall, three-quarters of those surveyed did not know the internet speeds their household needed to match current demands. As the author of the report points out, this could explain why almost half (45%) said their current internet is too slow although only one-in-six (16%) have upgraded their internet service plans since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

For many, marketplace pricing appears to be playing a role in the decision to forgo an internet upgrade. The majority of respondents, about six-in-ten (61%), believe their current internet plan is overpriced. Nearly half of respondents believe that a “reasonable price” for internet service is in the $20 to $50 range. However, the average cost of monthly internet service is approximately $80, according to the report.

The report notes potential reasons explaining the disparity between the number of people who report having inadequate internet speeds and those who have upgraded their service. For one, the author reasons that