Meta Launches Threads, Surf Internet Acquiring MiSignal Assets, FCC Awards ACP Outreach Grant

Millions of users have already signed up for the Twitter alternative.

Meta Launches Threads, Surf Internet Acquiring MiSignal Assets, FCC Awards ACP Outreach Grant
Photo of Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg from Wikimedia Commons

July 6, 2023 – Meta’s Threads app debuted on Wednesday, providing billions of users with an alternative to Twitter amidst growing dissatisfaction with the Elon Musk-owned social media platform.

Ten million people signed up for the service within hours, according to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The numbers continued to soar, surpassing 20 million sign-ups by Thursday morning, reported NBC News, which based its figures on the number of Threads badges visible on Instagram users’ accounts.

Threads bears a resemblance to Twitter in terms of appearance, allowing users to post messages, engage in conversations with others, and express appreciation through likes or reposts. Furthermore, the app enables users of Meta-owned Instagram to follow the same accounts on Threads, potentially helping individuals expand their follower base.

“Our vision is to take the best parts of Instagram and create a new experience for text, ideas and discussing what’s on your mind,” Zuckerberg said in an Instagram post. “I think the world needs this kind of friendly community, and I’m grateful to all of you who are part of Threads from day one.”

Surf acquiring fiber assets of MiSignal

Surf Internet, a Michigan-based fiber internet service provider in the Great Lakes region, acquired the fiber network assets of another local company called MiSignal.

The acquisition on Wednesday marks an expansion of Surf’s investments in Livingston County, Michigan.

With the purchase of MiSignal’s fiber broadband network, Surf said it plans to invest an additional $20 million over the next three years to extend their fiber network to more than 18,000 rural households in the area.

MiSignal provides symmetrical gigabit internet speeds to residential and commercial customers in eastern Michigan. As part of the transaction, all MiSignal team members will be joining the Surf Internet team, the companies said.

MiSignal’s business phone system services and customers are not included in the acquisition and will continue to operate under the MiSignal name.

Surf currently serves over 29,000 customers across 45 markets and has previously said it expects to exceed 100,000 premises passed with its fiber-to-the-premises service this year.

Center for Population Studies awarded ACP outreach grant from FCC

The University of Mississippi Center for Population Studies was awarded a $350,000 grant from the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program on Wednesday.

According to a statement, the center will utilize the funds to identify Mississippi residents without broadband internet access and provide assistance to eligible households in obtaining discounts on internet service of up to $30 and $75 per month on tribal lands through the Affordable Connectivity Program.

The center said it aims to collaborate with communities on broadband-related issues as part of an ongoing initiative.

“We are very excited about this grant, as this program is underutilized within the state of Mississippi, despite so many people – including many students on campus and in the surrounding areas – actually qualifying for it,” Jillian Morrison, a fellow at the center, said.

The FCC funding allows the center to provide information to those eligible for discounted broadband internet service and to guide the sign-up process.