Hashtag Trending October 8 – Alberta Covid App Blunder; U.S. Internet is Pricey; Intel Scraps U.K. Chip Plant

With files from Samira Balsara

Alberta’s COVID-19 contact tracing app will cost the province a hefty amount, a study reveals U.S. internet is costly and lacks reach, and Intel is scrapping plans to build a chip plant in the U.K.

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Friday, October 8, and I’m your host, Jori Negin-Shecter.

Alberta’s COVID-19 contact tracing app will cost the province $4.3 million dollars by the end of the year. According to a CBC News article, the app has notified about 1,500 people of potential exposure. While over 300,000 people have downloaded the ABTrace Together app, just 158 of them entered a positive COVID-19 test result into the app since its launch in May 2020. This is a fraction of the 306,000 people that  have tested positive for COVID-19 in the province since the start of the pandemic. Dr. James Talbot, a professor of public health at the University of Alberta says the app’s lost potential is disappointing as it could have been a powerful tech tool during the height of the pandemic.

People in the U.S. pay more for slower internet than European, Canadian, and Asian counterparts, according to the Open Technology Institute from technology

A survey by the Pew Research Center from earlier this year revealed that 7 per cent of Americans lack access to dependable broadband. According to CNBC, one of the reasons for this is costly internet prices in the U.S. A policy analyst from Open Technology Institute says that people in the U.S. pay more for slower internet compared to those in other countries. The Open Technology Institue’s 2020 Cost of Connectivity Report revealed the average cost of internet per month is the U.S. $68.38. That is higher than the average price of internet access elsewhere in North America, Europe and Asia. 

BBC: "Intel not considering UK chip factory after Brexit" from hardware

Finally, Intel’s CEO says the company is no longer considering building a factory in the U.K. due to Brexit. According to the BBC, Intel’s CEO told the news publication that prior to leaving the European Union, the U.K. would have been a contender for the factory. Instead, Intel will seek to build its factory outside of the U.K. in favour of support from the EU. Intel is aiming to boost its output during a global chip shortage that has severely affected the supply of cars and other electronic goods. Intel’s CEO says the company is hoping to get agreement on a site plus EU support by the end of the year. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Jori Negin-Shecter.

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