New ‘Dig Once’ Policy from White House, Texas Social Media Law Stayed, Starry Defaults on RDOF

October 7, 2022 – A Delaware judge on Thursday granted a request by Elon Musk to postpone the trial date in his dispute with Twitter.

The trial was originally scheduled for October 17, but the judge allowed the parties until October 28 to agree to terms on which Musk would buy the social-media company.

“If the transaction does not close by 5 p.m. on October 28, 2022, the parties are instructed to contact me by email that evening to obtain November 2022 trial dates,” the judge said in the order.

Since rumors began to swirl in the weeks leading up to the initial deal – struck last April – the Musk–Twitter saga has been a “will-they-won’t-they” story for the ages. After Musk tried to back out of the deal, alleging Twitter had misrepresented the number of bots on its platform, the social-media company sued him last summer to complete the sale.

On Monday, the Musk team reversed course, offering to buy Twitter on the terms of the original agreement. Twitter signaled its agreement. On Thursday, however, Musk asked to nix the October 17 trial date, which he said would allow time for his financing banks to process the deal’s funding.

“Twitter will not take yes for an answer,” the Musk filing said. “Astonishingly, they have insisted on proceeding with this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and gambling with their stockholders’ interests.”

 “‘Trust us,’ they say, ‘we mean it this time,’ and so they ask to be relieved from a reckoning on the merits,” Twitter shot back. 

NTIA: Who still lacks home-internet connectivity?

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration published a blog post Wednesday analyzing the roughly one fifth of America living without a home-internet connection.

According to NTIA data, 58 percent of offline households said they are uninterested in getting connectivity. The average reported age in this respondent group is 60.5 years, nearly a decade older than the average age of respondents with internet at home. This group was half as likely as internet-at-home respondents report school-age children in the household.

“No-interest” respondents also said they are unlikely to use internet outside the home – only 13 percent said they do – and 83 percent said the maximum monthly price they would be willing to pay for internet is $0.

The second most common reason for lacking an at-home connection – given by 18 percent of respondents – was price. This group’s average reported age was roughly the same as “internet-at-home” respondents, and was more than 50 percent more likely to report school-age children at home than the “no-interest” group – 19 percent to 12 percent. Only 54 percent said they are unwilling to pay any monthly amount for internet.

Neither the “no-interest” nor the “too-expensive” group is significantly more rural than the “internet-at-home” group. Members of both offline groups, however, were nearly twice as likely to say they have no post-secondary education than their online counterparts. 15 percent of internet-at-home respondents reported yearly family incomes of less than $25,000, compared to 35 percent of “no-interest” respondents and 45 percent of “too-expensive” respondents.

Bethel Native Corporation gets $42.4 million for fiber network

Bethel Native Corporation will partner with GCI to build a 405-mile fiber network in Alaska, the telecommunications company announced Wednesday.

The deployment, which will stretch from Dillingham to Bethel, is funded by a $42.4 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. GCI says the network will offer two-gigabit speeds.

“BNC celebrates this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring high-speed internet service to Bethel, Platinum, Eek, Napaskiak and Oscarville,” said BNC president and CEO Ana Hoffman. “Once complete, the fiber project will provide community residents with access to the same internet plans and prices GCI offers to consumers in Anchorage. Fiber’s faster speeds and unlimited data will be transformational. It will improve the quality of life here at home and, ultimately, the broader Y-K Delta.”

GCI says a project name will be announced and more details provided at virtual press conference on Monday, October 10 – Indigenous Peoples’ Day – at 3 p.m. ET. Register to attend the here.