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Broadband technologies are getting better and faster — but access to them is still concentrated in metro areas and suburbs, leaving vast swaths of the country with marginal service or nothing at all, Axios' Kim Hart and Sara Fischer report.
Why it matters: Benefits of the broadband advances are mostly going to consumers who already have plenty of options for robust internet connections. Despite efforts to narrow the digital divide, rural areas, small towns and low-income neighborhoods in big cities still struggle to have access to reliable and affordable broadband service.
Driving the news: The Federal Communications Commission last week voted to require broadband service providers to report more detailed data about where their networks are available after criticism that the agency's data overstates broadband access.
Last week, Verizon announced that 5G is now available in parts of 4 additional cities and plans to have 5G service in more than 30 by the end of the year.
T-Mobile and Sprint, who pitched their merger as a way to help narrow the urban-rural digital divide, now have regulator approval for the deal under the condition that the companies unload assets to Dish to create a fourth national wireless carrier.
The big picture: Even though many rural households may have the ability to connect to the internet, consumers with low download speeds won't be able to participate in the online economy by video chatting, streaming video or telecommuting.
Between the lines: 5G networks using the highest-speed airwaves won't reach rural areas for years because the signals can't travel very far.
The bottom line: There's significant overlap between the parts of the country that have been left behind economically over the past decade and those that are broadband deserts.
Go deeper: Read their full story.
Tech companies are willing to work more closely with law enforcement to fight white nationalist terrorism, but the industry is skeptical of the White House's seriousness on the issue.
Meanwhile, a number of smaller providers are already taking action against 8chan, the anonymous chat service that's been used by mass shooters to post manifestos — including those behind the attacks on a shopping center in El Paso, Texas, on a synagogue in Poway, California, and on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The big picture: President Trump called on social media to do better monitoring in the wake of recent mass shootings, but the companies point out the White House still has yet to sign on to recommendations made in the wake of the Christchurch shooting.
Driving the news: As part of his comments following the Dayton and El Paso shootings, Trump called on law enforcement and social media companies to work together more closely.
What they're saying: While the Big Tech companies didn't comment on the record, they shared a consensus around several points...
Our thought bubble: Trump's speech condemned "white supremacism," but his call to social media companies asked them to detect "mass shooters" rather than pursue any specific group. The question is just how deeply the administration will want social media and law enforcement to go after extremists who may support the president and often share his rhetoric.
An iPhone owner using Apple Card to make a payment. Photo: Apple
Apple today begins processing the first applications from consumers to get the new Apple Card, the credit card it is debuting in conjunction with Goldman Sachs. Apple won't say how many people of those who pre-registered will be getting the cards Tuesday in the first part of what it's calling a "preview" of Apple Card.
Why it matters: It's part of a broader push into services from Apple, but also puts the company in direct competition with the banks and credit cards already part of Apple Pay.
How it works: At its base level, the Apple Card is an "iPhone-first" MasterCard that can be used anywhere Apple Pay or MasterCard is accepted. However, there are several things that make Apple Card distinct from other credit cards out there.
CEO Tim Cook confirmed last week that the card was being tested already by thousands of employees and that a consumer launch would come this week.
YouTube yesterday terminated the popular channel run by "Soph," a 14-year-old girl whose anti-gay and anti-Muslim speech and threats against the company and its executives had previously led to disciplinary action.
The final straw, per BuzzFeed, was a "12-minute anti-gay rant" in which she also encouraged her followers to "make sure to blame me in your manifestos” — an apparent reference to the texts left by those taking part in real world hate violence.
Why it matters: The Google-owned video site has been facing criticism on a variety of fronts for how it assesses and regulates hate speech.
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