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No Fool Like a Broadband Fool

Proving that no industry is immune to the foolishness of April 1, telecom companies, media foundations and even physicists took to the web today to poke fun at the technology in our lives. Here's a round-up of some of the best headlines.

Citing Muni Broadband Dispute, Chattanooga Secedes

In the land of broadband-flavored April Fools' Day stories, the Benton Foundation takes the prize. The organization's daily roundup of "news" includes several chortle-worthy pieces riffing off the broadband issues of the day. The best is a story about the Chattanooga City Council voting to secede from Tennessee because of disputes over municipal broadband. (See FCC Clears Way for Muni Network Expansion.)

The source link connects to a local news article from 2014 advertising 93 new kittens and puppies up for adoption.

Another favorite from the Benton list include a story claiming that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) will merge with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) in a monster $172 billion transaction. A third story details a supposed net neutrality complaint filed by Pearl Jam that accuses AT&T of editing Meerkat and Periscope streams of one of the band's live performances.

Introducing Dial-Up Mode

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is a perennial prankster on April 1, and it's making no exception for 2015. This year, the web giant announced on its Google Fiber blog that it will roll out a new dial-up mode for Google Fiber subscribers in Kansas City.

According to the post, Google has found that some customers miss the long website loading times that used to give them an opportunity to "take care of the little things." To correct the problem, Google said it has created new technology that withholds photons from Google fiber strands and decreases Internet speeds by up to 376 times. "In doing so," added Google, "the light-based fiber optic technology dims to a flicker of its previous capacity, giving our users those precious moments to load the dishwasher, hug the kids or walk the dog."

Google said the new dial-up mode will roll out to Gigabit customers across Kansas City, Provo and Austin in the coming weeks.

CERN Researchers Confirm the Existence of the Force

Last but not least, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) joined the April Fools' Day fun with an announcement that researchers have proven the existence of a new fundamental force in the universe, namely the Force. Playing to all the wishful thinkers in the galaxy, CERN said that while scientists haven't figured out what causes the Force, many have already started to apply the energy field to activities such as "long-distance communication, influencing minds, and lifting heavy things out of swamps."

A "diminutive green spokesperson" noted, "Very impressive, this result is."

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

kq4ym 4/6/2015 | 9:11:07 AM
Re: Dial-up If it weren't for those cat videos and streaming music, I'd just love to have my dial up back. But, those April 1 jokes are getting to me in my old age. Have just heard that the Florida Legislature will outlaw all such pranks in media starting 2016.
danielcawrey 4/1/2015 | 7:12:53 PM
Dial-up I remember playing Doom 2 Deathmatch using dial up. So I don't think that's very funny!

Can't we just forget about those old dial-up days already? It's not nostalgic at all!
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