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Broadband Roundup: Apple Settles Over Aged Batteries, Senator Fights the Homework Gap, Twitter on Coronavirus

Adrienne Patton



Photo of Sen. Van Hollen from his website

Apple consented to a settlement of $500 million for not disclosing “that iOS artificially limited processor speeds as phone batteries aged,” reports Adi Robertson for The Verge.

Because Apple users did not know about the feature that “was meant to stop real problems with performance,” they purchased new devices instead, Robertson reported.

The settlement will be divided among iPhone 6 and 7 users and attorneys. Depending on how many consumers claim their share, the amount afforded could rise.

“Apple will offer $25 to any current or former owner of a covered iPhone,” and attorneys will receive $90 million, writes Robertson.

However, if costs surpass the allotted settlement, then consumers will collect less money.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen introduces Homework Gap Trust Fund Act

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, announced in a press release the Homework Gap Trust Fund Act, which allocates funds from the Federal Communication Commission C-band auction into closing the digital divide.

As homework is increasingly assigned online, as many as “12 million students do not have access to the internet at home.”

“The homework gap exacerbates educational inequality, and we must work to address it immediately,” said Van Hollen.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who has been a staunch advocate for closing the homework gap, endorsed the legislation.

“Kudos to Senator Van Hollen for this bill, which would capitalize on funds raised by an upcoming FCC spectrum auction to provide solutions to connect kids everywhere to digital opportunity,” said Rosenworcel.

Twitter asks employees to stay at home due to the novel coronavirus

In an effort to stem person-to-person spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Twitter asked employees to stay home if possible, reports Sam Dean for the Los Angeles Times.

While Twitter announced in a blog post that this is “a big change,” it admitted that the company has already “been moving towards a more distributed workforce that’s increasingly remote.”

Twitter cautioned employees all over the world to work from home, but said this measure would be “mandatory” for employees in Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea “due in part to government restrictions.”


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