U.S. in Global Telecom Coalition, Free Broadband in Syracuse, More Changes on Twitter (X)

The new U.S.-led group aims to develop broader international consensus on critical areas of telecommunications policy.

U.S. in Global Telecom Coalition, Free Broadband in Syracuse, More Changes on Twitter (X)
Photo of Bill Simmons, executive director of the Syracuse Housing Authority by Katrina Tulloch from Syracuse.com

October 5, 2023 – The United States announced Thursday it has joined forces with Australia, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom to establish the Global Coalition on Telecommunications.

The coalition’s primary objectives include enhancing cooperation and coordination within its member nations, to work on shared priorities that consist of diversifying the telecommunications supply chain and further advancing open network architectures.

Additionally, the group aims to develop broader international consensus on critical areas of telecommunications policy matters and amplify opportunities for innovation and growth within the industry.

“GCOT represents the most extensive international collaboration to date, specifically focusing on the priorities outlined in its joint statement of intent,” Commerce agency the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said in a press release.

The NTIA is leading the nation’s participation in GCOT, having support from the State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy.

“The critical telecommunications issues of today are global in scope,” NTIA head Alan Davidson said in the release. “This groundbreaking coalition will help the U.S. and our partners respond decisively to cross-border opportunities and challenges.”

2,500 Syracuse households to receive free internet service

Thousands of households in Syracuse are going to receive free broadband internet service, following the launch of a pilot program Monday.

The program, a collaboration between the city and the Syracuse Housing Authority, is called “Surge Link” and is part of the Syracuse Surge initiative which plans “to ignite economic growth and neighborhood transformation in Syracuse and Central New York.”

The 2,500 households receiving the free service will include residents of the Syracuse Housing Authority properties, to help address digital divide in the community.

“25% of our residents currently do not have access to internet, so this will be a great investment in the infrastructure,” said Bill Simmons, executive director of SHA.

Surge Link is funded by the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act and has the intention to serve low-income and other underserved communities in “10 census tracts on the south, southwest and near west sides of the city.”

X, formerly Twitter, officially removed headlines from links on its platform Wednesday, following owner Elon Musk’s announcement to enhance the site’s aesthetics.

Musk announced his intention to remove headlines in August, posting on his platform, “This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the (a)esthetics.”

Links posted on the site now appear just as the image that was included in the article. Additionally, text is also included “on the left-hand corner of the image noting the domain of the link.”

In order for users to visit the page, they now have to click on the image to proceed.

The new look hasn’t applied to advertisement links and is noticeable for iOS and desktop users.