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Comments on news posted 2012-09-24 09:25:39: To get the NBC acquisition approved, Comcast last year proposed a condition requiring they offer $10, 1.5 Mbps broadband tier (dubbed "Internet Essentials") to low income homes. ..

page: 1 · 2 · 3 · next


Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

1 recommendation

Widen the net maybe...

But if you can't pay your bills you don't deserve service.

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3
reply to thequestione

Re: question

That would be one bad result of not enforcing payment for previous Comcast bills.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Internet for all

In Massachusetts, if a debt is over six years old (and the creditor has not bothered to file suit), then it is a dead debt as the statute of limitations has expired.

As for Internet, it is becoming as essential as basic telephone service. If you want to apply for a job, most companies require you to apply for employment on their website. Many things are done online these days such as paying bills, banking, among other things. Going to a library or community center (with very limited hours of operation due to budget cuts) is no longer viable as you cannot complete a job application in a 30 minute slot. In Massachusetts, you can apply for food stamps online via the state website. Financial aid for college is also an online application. Many school projects are also online.

I do think there should be a low cap on Internet essentials (such as 50 or 100 gb) so they have plenty of data to do essential things (such as searching for a job or accessing educational opportunities) but not enough data to do fun things such as gaming, streaming HD movies, etc.

The postal service is on the brink of collapse so when that happens, the Internet will be the only way of communication besides the telephone. It will probably be within my lifetime that legal notices (such as court summons, eviction notices, subpoenas, etc) will be served by E-mail and carry the same legal weight as a paper notice.
--
I wish I still lived in Iowa; Everything there from rent and groceries to Cable TV is much cheaper in Iowa (especially with an overbuilder in town).


pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD
reply to Alex J

Re: Fight On Comcast

said by Alex J :

That was one of a dozen conditions that Comcast knew would make the impact minimal. If they're going to offer to do it, I see no problem with making them do it right.

So then what's the problem? If people are being denied this offer because they owe money to Comcast, then why is it wrong for Comcast to deny them service, as per the terms of the offer?
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.

ssavoy
Premium
join:2007-08-16
Dallas, PA
Reviews:
·Anveo

1 recommendation

Fair

These requirements are pretty fair. If you're already paying for service, you can technically afford it. If you owe Comcast money, then why should they continue to provide you with a service?

I know far too many people that can't afford basic necessities, but somehow manage to have cable TV.

dianasatyr

join:2008-12-13
Baton Rouge, LA

1 recommendation

reply to Metatron2008

Re: Widen the net maybe...

I thought I'd tune into the comments to pick up on some of the usual poor- folk bashing, and it started right out with this:

"why should they be forced to provide service to deadbeats who don't pay their bills?"

Arggggh! SOME PEOPLE CANNOT MAKE GOOD MONEY, ALRIGHT.

When I grew up in Texas long ago my dad was a WWII veteran with partial disability due to PTSD (not called that then). He was plagued by debilitating depression and some other things. My mom was a war bride from Scotland, shy by nature, who was totally out of place in Texas, which only made her shyer and more withdrawn.

The best they could do is run a small ma and pa store. The cash flow was tiny. The were often late on their bills, and worried constantly about next month's bills. Later they went bankrupt because their store was on the "Dallas Highway", which was replaced by the new Interstate.
There was just no way out for them.

The current failure of much of America to extend themselves a little and comprehend that not all people are effective economic actors, or have the capability to be, disgusts me. Believe it or not, folks, compassion is an age-old virtue, although your Right ideology has virtually destroyed it on the public stage.

Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

1 recommendation

reply to pnh102

Re: Fight On Comcast

said by pnh102:

I've always contended that Comcast's $10/month service should be available to all of its customers, and I hate to defend Comcast here but why should they be forced to provide service to deadbeats who don't pay their bills?

Make it $20/mo and extend it to everybody. $20/mo is more than fair for 3mbit/s service, and it's blatantly unfair to compel them via force of law to offer a "basic" or "essentials" tier that's only available to a select few at the expense of everybody else. The law also compels them to offer a broadcast only tier for those people who can't get OTA reception, and access to that tier is not limited to the poor.

No State shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

14th Amendment, United States Constitution. This violates the spirit, and likely the letter of that clause. There is no reason why the poor (however you define them) are more worthy of access to a lower tier of broadband service than the rest of us. Many people could get by just fine with 3mbit/s service. Too bad most of them are in the middle class and will be compelled to pony up $40/mo or more for a higher level of service they don't need.

And, btw, concur wholeheartedly on the bit about customers in arrears. The electric company is not compelled to turn on people in arrears without a payment arrangement, why should Comcast be? If nothing else they could offer a three or six month repayment plan, which is what the electric utility would do in most jurisdictions.


pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD
I could definitely agree with a $20/month for 3mbit service price point. But I do feel they should have had more stringent conditions imposed in exchange for approval of the NBC merger (which I think should never have been allowed in the first place).

Assuming a customer is in good standing, the "for the poor" argument conveniently allows for Comcast to wiggle out of fulfilling this commitment. If the requirement was for "everyone in good standing" then this would not be an issue.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.


pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD
reply to dianasatyr

Re: Widen the net maybe...

said by dianasatyr:

I thought I'd tune into the comments to pick up on some of the usual poor- folk bashing, and it started right out with this:

"why should they be forced to provide service to deadbeats who don't pay their bills?"

Arggggh! SOME PEOPLE CANNOT MAKE GOOD MONEY, ALRIGHT.

When I grew up in Texas long ago my dad was a WWII veteran with partial disability due to PTSD (not called that then). He was plagued by debilitating depression and some other things. My mom was a war bride from Scotland, shy by nature, who was totally out of place in Texas, which only made her shyer and more withdrawn.

The best they could do is run a small ma and pa store. The cash flow was tiny. The were often late on their bills, and worried constantly about next month's bills. Later they went bankrupt because their store was on the "Dallas Highway", which was replaced by the new Interstate.
There was just no way out for them.

The current failure of much of America to extend themselves a little and comprehend that not all people are effective economic actors, or have the capability to be, disgusts me. Believe it or not, folks, compassion is an age-old virtue, although your Right ideology has virtually destroyed it on the public stage.

Did your parents spend money they didn't have on things they did not need? If they grew up in the first Great Depression then my guess is probably not.

Again, I affirm that cable TV is not a life-critical service under any circumstances. If you have trouble making ends meet, then perhaps you should consider dropping that before you complain about having no money.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.


Alex J

@apexcovantage.com
reply to pnh102

Re: Fight On Comcast

Because it was all a big ruse. Comcast piled up a list of restrictions (of which owing money is the only part you're focusing on) they knew would mean most people wouldn't qualify. Regulators should do a better job in being hard asses with these companies and not accepting conditions that mean nothing. In grown up countries run by "mature adults," regulators use the M&A approval process to actually get things of worth in negotiations. It's how it works, allowing the benefits of greater wealth for the company with community and societal perks.

In this case there is no problem because Philly called Comcast on their nonsense.


Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

1 recommendation

reply to dianasatyr

Re: Widen the net maybe...

said by dianasatyr:

I thought I'd tune into the comments to pick up on some of the usual poor- folk bashing, and it started right out with this:

"why should they be forced to provide service to deadbeats who don't pay their bills?"

Arggggh! SOME PEOPLE CANNOT MAKE GOOD MONEY, ALRIGHT.

When I grew up in Texas long ago my dad was a WWII veteran with partial disability due to PTSD (not called that then). He was plagued by debilitating depression and some other things. My mom was a war bride from Scotland, shy by nature, who was totally out of place in Texas, which only made her shyer and more withdrawn.

The best they could do is run a small ma and pa store. The cash flow was tiny. The were often late on their bills, and worried constantly about next month's bills. Later they went bankrupt because their store was on the "Dallas Highway", which was replaced by the new Interstate.
There was just no way out for them.

The current failure of much of America to extend themselves a little and comprehend that not all people are effective economic actors, or have the capability to be, disgusts me. Believe it or not, folks, compassion is an age-old virtue, although your Right ideology has virtually destroyed it on the public stage.

Well why stop there? If you are entitled to free cable, why not free houses? Free cars?

I'm not rich by any means, but I have ambitions. I also try to be responsible. I try to pay my bills.

Do you even know what the word responsibility is hippy? or am I now one of the right?

Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

2 recommendations

reply to pnh102

Re: Fight On Comcast

Well, I'd concur on the merger, this type of vertical integration is disconcerting to say the least. Time Warner spun off Time Warner Cable to separate the production and delivery aspects of its business, which is what should be happening in this business. On an unrelated note, as a GE shareholder, I think it was a boneheaded move on their part to sell NBC, but that's a different discussion altogether.

I do think they should be compelled to offer a basic tier of internet service, alongside the basic tier of cable (e.g., broadcast only) service they've always had to offer. Heck, they should also have to offer a basic tier (e.g., local calling only, no special features like call waiting or caller id) of phone service, since they are well on their way to driving the ILECs out of the landline market.

These basic services should be available to everyone, regardless of income or other special circumstances. For the internet and phone service they should have to accept a reasonable (say three months) payment plan for customers in arrears, these are essential 'utility' services that shouldn't be outright denied to anyone, so long as the customer is willing to make a good faith effort to repay what they owe. Heck, you could even allow them to ask for a deposit, as the phone and power companies can, repayable in full with interest after 12 months of timely payments.


battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to brianiscool

Re: Internet

Don't for get the "It's for the children" card....


Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state
Actually, especially in poor neighborhoods, something like the internet, where you can learn and better yourself instead of buying booze or guns, would be very helpful for children.

But these people need to have ambition as well..

tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS
reply to tshirt

Re: holding companies accountable...

said by tshirt:

How about holding individuals accountable?
You owe Comcast Money.... pay it BEFORE you get a special discount on new services.
Why doesn't Philadelphia pay off their old bills, so Comcast could then provide service under the terms they ALL agreed to as part of the deal.

And why do you repeatly suggest cable theft (even when enabled by crooked contractors) is an acceptable alternetive to only using what you can afford to pay for?

Those who were either knowingly or unknowingly stealing have no bills to speak of.. they paid "UPFRONT" for the service provided. It's the legit customers who would have the problem.. the poor fall behind on bills of all kinds.. when other more greedy companies take a bigger chunk of their meager incomes than expected.. such as healthcare, or energy, or food, maybe even rents & insurance.

If you REALLY want to stack up corporate irresponsiblity against individual irresponsibility over the past 12 years, that's a challenge corporations will lose 99.99999999% out of 100%

thedragonmas

join:2007-12-28
Albany, GA
kudos:1
reply to pnh102

Re: Internet

said by pnh102:

said by PapaMidnight:

There's no way [brianiscool] actually said that in all seriousness...

It is still a true statement nonetheless. If someone can make a "good enough" "living" by being on food stamps, Medicaid, SSDI, LIHEAP, LifeLink (government provided cell phones) and any other number of welfare programs, then where's the incentive to move to a job?

SSDI = social security disability insurance.

your really gonna say disabled people should be forced to work even if there unable to do so? yeah i know, im focusing on this one part of your statement, but im about fedup with people taking that stance. dads 70, has herniated disks in his back, herniated disks in his neck, blind in his left eye, has an artificial hip he got when he was in his 20's thats wearing out. you think he can work? fact is thanks to a former employer skipping out on taxes (something im sure the guy in your tag line would approve of since it meant more profits for the company) hes on ssi, $698/month, think you could live on that? its not as easy as people think, and no, he doesnt get all those things you just listed, people seem to think every one on ssi is gaming the system.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 edit
reply to pnh102

Re: Fight On Comcast

said by pnh102:

Perhaps these people, especially if they are in such dire financial straits, ought to re-think their need for pay-tv services. TV isn't essential under any circumstances.

Perhaps you should read the article again and then post something showing you actually comprehended it.

After that, I would recommend you edit a couple comments you have made showing that you comprehend it as well.


FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to skeechan

Re: More DSLR Conjecture

Maybe I missed it, but I couldn't find anything that says Philly forced Comcast to do anything. Making the headline invalid.
--
»www.gop.com/2012-republican-platform_home/
»www.gop.com/2012-republican-plat···onalism/

Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
reply to Metatron2008

Re: Internet

said by Metatron2008:

Actually, especially in poor neighborhoods, something like the internet, where you can learn and better yourself instead of buying booze or guns, would be very helpful for children.

If they can buy booze and guns can't they also buy internet service?

said by Metatron2008:

But these people need to have ambition as well..

Ding ding ding, we have a winner....

Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: Internet for all

said by IowaCowboy:

but not enough data to do fun things such as gaming, streaming HD movies, etc.

Unrelated to the topic at hand, but why do people keep mentioning gaming in the context of caps? Most gaming uses very little bandwidth, indeed, there are games that can still be played quite well on a dialup connection. Other games use dialup levels of bandwidth, they just need a lower latency than dialup can provide.

Gaming really doesn't amount to much in the grand scheme of things. Downloading the latest and greatest games from Steam/elsewhere requires moving a sizable number of bits, but playing that game once you have it really doesn't amount to much.

Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY
reply to ssavoy

Re: Fair

said by ssavoy:

I know far too many people that can't afford basic necessities, but somehow manage to have cable TV.

My favorite are the people who can't afford basic necessities but manage to find a way to feed the nicotine and/or alcohol habit.


tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to tmc8080

Re: holding companies accountable...

Those that paid upfront still had a bill it just was at the extreme promo price, instead of the normal price they were entitled too.
and this isn't about equalizing the "irresponsibility's" of individuals VS corporations
ComCast made an offer of several generous benefits mainly towards low income families as part of the merger.
As Karl's article points out the Philly schools failed to widely offer info and applications to eligible persons, and so Philadelphia "FORCES" new concessions on comcast.

Why is comcast (really all other customers) being forced to underwrite Philly's changing of the deal?

I'm actually in favor of the offering of the HSI to enhance the educational possiblities for those families...BUT aren't we teaching several bad lessons here?
A} Order whatever you want, not what you can afford
B}You don't need to pay your bills, and It won't effect your future credit.
C} Gov't can change the terms of any deal on a whim, and force companies to pay for it.

I think, if the city wanted to pay peoples bills or guaruntee the "deposit" as part of their welfare scheme, it might be reasonable, but to force comcast to do it is quite different.

does it also force loan companies to eat missing car payments so it's easier to find work or get the kids to school? Shouldn't DELL/HP/SONY be forced to give them better computers, and a big screen so they can see all the details on the internet homework? How about the electric company (PECO), should them subsidize not just basic electric service, but let them use all the want for free. The other customers won't mind, PECO rates are so low .

Weather or not the corporations have been "irresponsible" (and you and I might disagree on some definitions about that)
It does not absolve the individual from learning basic individual responsibility, personal ethics, if you will, which might make corporations act more responsibly in the future.


Alex J

@ecatel.net
reply to FFH5

Re: More DSLR Conjecture

How about you read the article, Mitt? Philly (the people, not the government) got Comcast to improve the qualification standards through protest.


pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD
reply to Skippy25

Re: Fight On Comcast

The article summary specifically mentioned paying for cable TV as being a problem for persons in this situation.

You clearly don't agree with me.

This means you believe that cable TV is a vital service.

Think about how intelligent that sounds for a second. Then come back.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.


pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD
reply to thedragonmas

Re: Internet

Why yes, I do think too many people are gaming SSDI as a freebie for when their unemployment benefits ran out.

»news.investors.com/business/0420···m?p=full

But to be fair to you, this sounds more like an enforcement problem than a policy problem.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to pnh102

Re: Fight On Comcast

If that is the case I apologize. I assume you are referring them having an unpaid bill and being disqualified.

Obviously, they arent paying for it then and TV should not disqualify them from getting this "charitable service".

GroovyPhoenx

join:2006-05-22
Gloucester, ON

1 recommendation

reply to brianiscool

Re: Internet

said by brianiscool:

If you keep on giving cheaper stuff to the poor. They will continue to stay where they are. We should not subsidize prices for the poor. This will just want them to remain at a low salary rate.

This has got the be the most ignorant statement I have read today... I get 10$ internet so I want to stay poor to keep it? Wow...


FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to Alex J

Re: More DSLR Conjecture

said by Alex J :

How about you read the article, Mitt? Philly (the people, not the government) got Comcast to improve the qualification standards through protest.

I read the article. And people whining doesn't constitute FORCING Comcast to do anything.
--
»www.gop.com/2012-republican-platform_home/
»www.gop.com/2012-republican-plat···onalism/


pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD
reply to Crookshanks

Re: Internet

said by Crookshanks:

If they can buy booze and guns can't they also buy internet service?

The booze part is the perfect reason why anyone on government assistance should be forced to submit to and pass routine drug, alcohol and tobacco screenings (the ones where you are watched as you pee in the cup, or perhaps a blood test, etc.) as a condition for getting help. I'd go even further and require that the government also check with cable TV, cell phone and other providers to ensure that these people really are so poor that they aren't purchasing any of these things either.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.


Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

1 recommendation

reply to GroovyPhoenx
said by GroovyPhoenx:

said by brianiscool:

If you keep on giving cheaper stuff to the poor. They will continue to stay where they are. We should not subsidize prices for the poor. This will just want them to remain at a low salary rate.

This has got the be the most ignorant statement I have read today... I get 10$ internet so I want to stay poor to keep it? Wow...

There are quite a few people who, once given things repeatedly, are lazy and have no pride for themselves, and would rather keep what they have then work for better.