Dec 22, 2017

Newark commits to keeping its fiber network net neutral

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. Photo: Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images)

The mayor of Newark, NJ, is taking a stand against the recent FCC decision to overturn net neutrality rules. Ras Baraka will announce today that the city's high-speed fiber optic network will continue to prohibit blocking, throttling and fast lanes on its network even after the FCC rules go away. The city's contracts with third parties that connect its network will also include net neutrality clauses.

Why it matters: It's not the first time local officials have pledged to abide by regulations that the Trump administration has rolled back (remember the Paris Agreement on climate change?). On the net neutrality issue, Newark appears to be the first municipality to take a stand.

What to expect: The tech crowd will cheer Newark's voluntary commitment to net neutrality. But don't expect a slew of cities to follow suit. Most cities don't operate their own municipal broadband network, which is an extremely expensive undertaking. Their businesses and residents have to get broadband service through private companies like Comcast, Verizon or smaller local providers.

Between the lines: Newark says its fiber network (as well as a lot of dark fiber coursing beneath the city) has helped attract companies that need access to its high-speed network. Newark is also gunning to be chosen to host Amazon's second headquarters, for which high-speed broadband is a requirement. So the city is appealing to the pro-net-neutralty leanings of the biggest tech companies as a differentiator. The city plans to expand Newark Fiber next year.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,094,068 — Total deaths: 58,773 — Total recoveries: 225,519Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 273,880 — Total deaths: 7,077 — Total recoveries: 9,521Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: Wisconsin's governor called for a last-minute primary election delay. "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said on the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
  8. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
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Government will cover uninsured patients' coronavirus treatment

Azar at Friday's briefing. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The federal government will cover the costs of coronavirus treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a White House briefing Friday.

How it works: The money will come from a $100 billion pot set aside for the health care industry in the most recent stimulus bill. Providers will be paid the same rates they get for treating Medicare patients, and as a condition of those payments, they won't be allowed to bill patients for care that isn't covered.

More states issue stay-at-home orders as coronavirus crisis escalates

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order on Friday as the novel coronavirus pandemic persists. The order goes into effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and will remain in place through April 30. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also issued a statewide social distancing order on Friday.

The big picture: In a matter of weeks, the number of states that issued orders nearly quadrupled, affecting almost 300 million Americans.

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