internet

Josh Harbour / special to Kansas News Service

Ashley Leal parks in front of the Plains, Kansas, Community Library. It’s about to close, but she doesn’t care. She pulls out her blue laptop.

“I’m ... using the Wi-Fi,” Leal says with a laugh.

Her home internet was so slow, she came to the library parking lot. Cars often idle there in the evening while their drivers tap into a plodding, but treasured, link to the internet.

“I’m just thankful that we have somewhere to go,” Leal says.

It’s the only free internet in this small western Kansas town. For many people, it’s the only internet, period. Surprisingly, part of the problem, and the solution, for rural areas may lie in Netflix traffic.

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Lawmakers in Washington may end net neutrality next week, and that could be bad for small businesses on the High Plains.

As The Texas Tribune reports, net neutrality is an Obama-era regulation that requires internet companies to treat all customers the same. If the rule is repealed, internet service providers like AT&T and Suddenlink could prioritize access to some websites over others.

LARS P / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Kansas and Texas are among 12 states that Microsoft aims to bring broadband Internet to within the next five years.

Jeroen Bennink / Flickr Creative Commons

Hackers have gained access to the records of hundreds of thousands of jobseekers who used an employment website run by the State of Oklahoma, reports NewsOK.

The security breach occurred on the website OKJobMatch.com, and authorities say 430,000 people’s information may have been compromised. The hacked information includes names, birthdays and Social Security numbers.

Shelley Zumwalt, a spokeswoman in the Gov. Mary Fallin's office, said anyone who’s ever accessed the site is probably vulnerable.

In rural Nebraska, over 70 percent of the state’s net job growth come from people creating their own jobs, by owning their own businesses, but a current law is undermining the success of small business by favoring online retailers.

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Last month two Texas lawmakers filed legislation to battle cyberbullying in Texas schools. The bill seemed like a home run—no one wants children to be bullied on the Internet. Cyberbullying can lead to low self-esteem, and even suicide.

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Two northwest Kansas superintendents are excited about the prospect of having their small school districts equipped with high-speed Internet.

David Paul Morris / Bloomberg News

Facebook wants to expand free Internet service in the United States, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

The social media giant is working with rural Internet providers on a program called Free Basics. The initiative would give Americans access to a limited number of websites for free.

WSJ.com

E-commerce is transforming rural America in a lot of ways. In small towns, big-city conveniences are now only a click away. But, as The Wall Street Journal reports, the change comes with a price.

Morning Consult

Rural residents still aren’t using the internet as much as their urban counterparts, according to a new study.