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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. ..


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

1 recommendation

Fight On Comcast

quote:
As you might expect, most low-income homes live in debt, and much of that debt is for a very common service (TV).
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?

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.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.

Alex J

@sunwave.com.br

Re: Fight On Comcast

I hate to defend Comcast here but why should they be forced to provide service to deadbeats who don't pay their bills?

Comcast proposed this entire idea themselves.

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

Re: Fight On Comcast

said by Alex J :

I hate to defend Comcast here but why should they be forced to provide service to deadbeats who don't pay their bills?

Comcast proposed this entire idea themselves.

But the conditions of the service being offered (barring other difficulties) required that the customer in question not owe money to Comcast. When it comes to persons who do owe money to Comcast, why should Comcast be compelled to offer this or any other kind of service?
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.

Alex J

@apexcovantage.com

Re: Fight On Comcast

When it comes to persons who do owe money to Comcast, why should Comcast be compelled to offer this or any other kind of service?

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.

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

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.

Alex J

@apexcovantage.com

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.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

1 recommendation

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

Re: Fight On Comcast

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.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

2 recommendations

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.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2

Re: Fight On Comcast

They are not compelled to do anything... much like the employee who is free to quit if they don't like being exploited & the customer is free to go somewhere else if they are being taken advantage of, Comcast has a choice they can make: They are free to get out of the cable TV/Internet business and open a different type of business instead.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

1 edit

Re: Fight On Comcast

said by CXM_Splicer:

Comcast has a choice they can make: They are free to get out of the cable TV/Internet business and open a different type of business instead.

That's a false choice, they've invested billions of dollars into this business, their human capital understands this business, and they have contractual obligations in this business.

Besides, I don't think you read my post before you replied. My issues are two fold:

1) They should have to offer basic tiers of service to everybody, not just low income households. You work for Verizon in New York State, can you imagine if they tried to say that message rate service would henceforth only be available to households that qualify for school lunches? Everybody else has to have Verizon Freedom for $50+/mo.

2) No company, not Comcast, Verizon, or anyone else, should be compelled to offer service to people who owe it money, absent some sort of payment arrangement. Three months is reasonable, if you can commit to paying new charges on time, while repaying what you owe over three months, then you get turned on. Otherwise you go without the service. Asking them to forgive what you owe is asking too much, if you need debts forgiven you should be filing bankruptcy, not complaining about how awful the utility company is.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2

1 edit

Re: Fight On Comcast

My issue was mostly with the 'compelled' argument which you brought up in two posts. The 'false choice' is used very often to coldly defend a corporate upper hand in situations all the time (don't like a pay cut? find a different job). It is certainly worth pointing out the false choice that business has in the face of regulations they don't like. And since Verizon is gutting its copper business as we speak it is questionable if it really is a 'false choice'.

When it comes down to it, Yes everyone should have lower tiers available to them willingly by the provider. If the provider refuses to offer a lower tier, I don't have a problem with them being required to do so for low income people as a condition of engaging in their business. If they refuse to offer it to you too, I would blame the company... not the low income mandate.

As for Verizon's low income service... they actually do have dialtone (I think it used to be free) for low income people who qualify. I will find out if they still offer it and what the details are. They are also required to allow 911 calls even if they disconnect you for non-payment (although admittedly that isn't much 'service').

Edit: It is called LifeLine service. It is not a mandate to the phone companies but a federal subsidy to help pay for the line. They also offer it for wireless.

»www22.verizon.com/cs/groups/publ···_v10.pdf
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 edit
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.

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

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.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

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".
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

Internet

How will providing cheap internet to the poor improve the economy?

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

Re: Internet

said by brianiscool:

How will providing cheap internet to the poor improve the economy?

I don't think this has anything to do with the general economy.
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Internet

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.

kdwycha

join:2003-01-30
Riverview, FL
Reviews:
·Bright House

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.

Yeah i'm quite sure the poor really want to stay at a low salary rate. :/

PapaMidnight

join:2009-01-13
Baltimore, MD

Re: Internet

said by kdwycha:

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.

Yeah i'm quite sure the poor really want to stay at a low salary rate. :/

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

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

Re: Internet

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?
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

1 recommendation

Re: Internet

It is true. I know several people who do it. The only thing they are driven to do is keep having children so they can get more welfare. I am not joking.
thedragonmas

join:2007-12-28
Albany, GA
kudos:1
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.

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

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.
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1
They get used to it and no ambition occurs.
CXM_Splicer
Looking at the bigger picture
Premium
join:2011-08-11
NYC
kudos:2

Re: Internet

Isn't that also an argument to cut corporate subsidies?
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Internet

I believe the middle class needs more help than the poor. Middle Class people need to be awarded for working on a daily basis not the poor who sit around and do nothing.

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

1 recommendation

Re: Internet

a great many of "the poor"* work just as hard, in some cases much harder/longer hours trying very hard not to be poor.
due to economic ,educational and individual disadvantages/disabilities many never had the chance YOU have.

* it's easier to classify/discriminate against some other group when you depersonalize them with names like "the poor" or "the 47%".
Try think of them as individuals, and Americans rather than something beneath YOUR status.
Maybe treat others as you would hope to be treated, were your roles reversed.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA
said by CXM_Splicer:

Isn't that also an argument to cut corporate subsidies?

It isn't amazing that despite the $16 Trillion in debt that neither major party is seriously campaigning to end the billions and billions of corporate welfare.
GroovyPhoenx

join:2006-05-22
Gloucester, ON

1 recommendation

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...

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

1 recommendation

Re: Internet

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.

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

Re: Internet

said by Metatron2008:

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.

So if "the great society" has conditioned them to react that way, then we MUST take responsiblity to "re-educate" them/recondition them to value the rewards of working for it.
Not punishment, but consistant goal oriented reward systems.

Alex J

@apexcovantage.com
Why does everything have to "improve the economy." Why can't we just help one another once in a while like compassionate human beings?

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state
People who ask this don't understand the power that the internet gives to knowledge. I'm sure you guys will just say they'll surf for porn, but why even have schools then? Ever met a school kid?

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
Don't for get the "It's for the children" card....

•••••••
mullinsmf

join:2011-09-02
Morrisville, NC

1 recommendation

Are you really that dumb? Don't you realize that the more youth, especially poor youth are educated, fewer of them will drop out of society & become a burden rather than a contributor?

In most schools today, children are assigned homework that either require internet access or would at least be enriched by internet access? Saying they should go to the library is not an option for many youth. Especially the ones who must risk going through gang controlled areas to get there.

Beyond homework however, can you deny that internet access in & of itself will enrich the life & mental grow of a child? Dial-up is not a viable option today.

We talk about a level playing field, Well, let's provide one. It is well & good to piously drone on about how poor people should not steal or commit crime to provide for their families. (note, I am not advocating crime for greed or substance abuse)
However, those of us who can buy a new car every year, or throw out 1 -2 year old appliances and furniture because we are tired of their color & decide to change the decor, cannot understand the mind set or despair of a poor family that has never owned anything new and must squeeze every bit of use from a car, an appliance or a sofa before they go to a salvage store to buy a replacement.
Those of us that have a secure career cannot understand the hopelessness of those that are unemployable because of mistakes made when they were young and now would be so grateful for a legal way to support their family that they would bend over backward to be the best employee in the company.

Someone who has never had an empty refrigerator cannot understand how a man or a woman feels when their child says for the second or third day in a row that they are hungry.

However, I ask you, if you & your spouse were both laid off. All income has ended, all savings are depleted and you do not qualify for any assistance. You do not have anyone for a safety net and your baby has no diapers or milk, you older kids have no food.

Would you steal or rob? Or would tell your wife & kids that doing without builds character?

Before you dismiss that as impossible in America, realize that many people face that choice everyday.

How does that relate to internet access? The better prepared a child is when he or she enters the work force, the better are their chances to get a job that has a future.

The more poor kids that enter college, the fewer of them that enter prison & must be supported with our tax dollars.

As a matter of face, unless you enjoy paying to feed & house a grown, able bodied man, we should demand that our society do any & everything possible to get every child on welfare or food stamps prepared to succeed in college and get them in college.

We should support the President in increasing funding for education rather than going along with the fat cats that own the private prisons and benefit from stealing kids from college so as to make them cash cows for the prison industry.

My tax bill is high enough without taxing me more to send people to prison to earn the stockholders (mostly people in the so-called justice system) of the prisons higher dividends.
tmc8080

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

holding companies accountable...

Comcast seems to be whining.. hey.. you never bothered to enforce that low cost DSL service with AT&T, why should we have to fill empty promises either..

Well, friends.. the pendulum is swinging back.. and in some small way people can stop thinking things are so bad (economy wise)

-- oh yeah, they still are.. then you wonder why so many people got Comcast services on the "cheap" through a 3rd party contactor.. no dobut contractors turned on cablemodems too for a "set" yearly price too.. ($100?)

•••

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

More DSLR Conjecture

said by Karl Bode :
As you might expect, most low-income homes live in debt, and much of that debt is for a very common service (TV).[
Says who?

Meanwhile why should OTHER RATEPAYERS be subsidizing service for anyone? It seems the philanthropists (with everyone else's money) in government forget that Comcast doesn't print money.

If the government wants to give stuff away, let the politicians go into their own pockets to do it instead of stealing it from Comcast subscribers.

••••
davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3

Comcast's low income offering and the merger.

I wonder if Comcast might end up regretting the merger with NBC similar to the way Sprint regrets the merger with Nextel. That stupid move was pushed by merger and acquisition people who were really the only ones who made money. The greatness of Nextel was destroyed and Sprint poured the limited capital it had into the attempted merging of two totally incompatible cultures, networks, clients, and regulatory systems. I think the money would have been better spent improving Sprint's cellular geographic coverage. They could have done a proper study of WiMax prior to considering getting involved in that technology. They probably would have never gotten involved with WiMax if they had researched it correctly.

I wonder what great opportunities Comcast has missed by getting involved in content production through the merger with NBC.
Os

join:2011-01-26
US

1 recommendation

Comcast Offered This

Considering that Comcast offered this up as a silver platter to get conditional approval, I think that tells us a lot about the profitability of broadband, and how badly we're being ripped off by monopoly pricing.

thequestione

@comcast.net

question

if comcast didnt enfore the people owing money, couldnt they theoretically just sign up for the service, not pay, get disconnected, then sign up again?
davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3

Re: question

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

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.

•••

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).
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

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.

anon202

@rr.com

Re: Internet for all

Diablo3 requires pretty much 1mbit each way every second the game is running
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.

••••

PeteC2
Got Mouse?
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-20
Bristol, CT
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Comcast

I can see both sider actually...

Look, you surely can not blame Comcast for wanting to limit a new service to folks that already have reneged on paying for another service from the same company. If you owe me money, i may be understandably reluctant to have you take on any more debt with me.

However, the other side of this is that internet service is used for many productive things that cable t.v. is not, including access to services, including medical, and information that can include job searching sites, educational information etc.

I think that Comcast is being over-villanized over this, but perhaps taking that requirement away is not without merit.
--
Deeds, not words

Darknessfall
Premium
join:2012-08-17
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
·Comcast
·AT&T U-Verse

Over Reacting

Those requirements are incredibly fair in my opinion. I even feel Comcast is super generous with the bandwidth that service has. 3/768 is a pretty good amount for $10 and for low income families. If I made this plan it would be 768k/384k as that's all you really need for what they SHOULD be doing if they cannot afford it.

Also, if you haven't payed them for something in the past and still haven't tried your hardest to do so, what makes you think they want to take you in if you're not willing to pay?

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

Re: Over Reacting

I believe they would likely setup a payment plan for anyone offering in good faith to pay back past debt. They might even for give some debt if a reasonable effort is made to repay.
Besides the public good/charitable side of this it's good business to get previous no-pays, back on a legit paying customer basis going forward. and it's really good business to get another generation feeling like ComCast is their provider of choice.

Lone Wolf
Retired
Premium
join:2001-12-30
USA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL

1 recommendation

Low Income

People with low income should not need access to the internet as they should be worrying about their important bills such as food, housing and clothing.

They can get internet access at the library.

I can see my Comcast bill rising because of this and the high number of low income people here in Philly.

pclover

join:2008-08-02
Santa Cruz, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Low Income

Yes, You can live with out it but in today's world it's almost at a cost why? There is alot of stuff you can live without.

Alot of employers will no longer take paper job applications so you could be denied employment due to this which could make your life better!

When you call and ask them they say. Apply online!

Alot of education is done online or with online resources now so if you don't have this you could be left out.

Going to the library 24/7 is not always a feasible option. My local community college is a prime example. All of there computer classes are done online and require you to have a internet connection.

I think the Internet is in-between luxury and necessity if you can utilize the resources of it.
lancguy

join:2012-03-25
Lancaster, PA

The whole problem(s) with this arguement

First, Internet access is still a luxury. People can survive without internet access. My dad does it, and so does one of my brothers. Do they know it's there? Yes. Do they need it to survive? No, they do just fine without it - though for different reasons. Myself and my other brothers managed to navigate education without internet service.

There are ways to live without the Internet. If push came to shove we could live without internet service. If I need to pay a bill I can either call the company or mail my payment instead of paying on line. If I really needed to contact someone I can call that person or send a letter. If I need to submit an online application, I could go to the library or the unemployment center to do so. People can survive without the Internet....it just takes more effort.

Second, should any company be compelled to provide internet service under any situation, is a bad argument from the start. Internet is not a basic necessity. Nor is cable tv. Nor is VOIP since just about any location can still have phone over copper or wirelessly. You can still call someone to pay a bill. USPS is still alive. Payments and communications can still be sent by mail. And just about everyone has some sort of phone service to make telephone calls to pay bills, make appointments, or keep in contact. If someone had their internet service cut their life wouldn't end....it would not cause them to freeze in the winter, or unable to call 911 if they have a stroke.

Third, what the hell does providing internet service have to do with combining a information delivery company with a video content provider have to do with each other? Providing low-cost internet to low income households should not have been required for this merger.

Fourth, since internet service is not a required basic service like electric, phone, or gas, can the Government impose on a company conditions to provide a service at a cost well below market values? Comcast does not use government provided bandwidth (Read Frequencies) for internet. Information transmitted over the internet is sent over Comcast's own network that they built from the house to the headend. The government (Federal, State, or Local) did not subsidize the network Comcast built. And Comcast has to pay fees to the local franchise for the "privilege" to build out the plant to household's in that municipality. Comcast, TimeWarner, CableVision, and all the other MSO's built their own plant that carries the internet over their own hybrid system. Verizon, AT&T, and now Google have or are building their own plants for internet and other services.

Fifth and finally, since when is any company (utility or otherwise) required to provide service on any level to a customer who owes money to them? If I don't pay my electric bill, regardless of my income level, they will not reconnect me to the grid until I pay the balance I owe them. Yes, I know of special medical situations that must PUC's allow, but I can't think of a single medical condition that requires internet access outside of magickjack.

I say cudos to Comcast for starting up the program regardless of their motives. The really didn't have to. And if that really would have been the only way to get the merger through, they could have probably won on appeal. Since the merger, they have not appealed. And they have worked hard to expand the program. What company would restart a relationship with a customer who owed them money?

There are many conditions that I agree with on this merger, and yeah, I feel it could have gone further (such us de-bundling channels). But this whole internet thing was stupid to begin with.

I guess this is my whole problem with this site. Everyone on here fails to realize that the MSO built the hybrid network. They have to pay a franchise fee to the municipality for the "privilege" to service the homes in that municipality. They have to pay to maintain that network and upgrade it. They have to pay the content providers for the right to transmit a program. And the MSO has to make money. Or else they can not maintain and rebuild their networks and or pass on a return to their investors that contributed money to build the network to start with. When networks increase their retrains fees who do you think is going to pay for it?
TreeTops

join:2008-11-23
97742

Interview with cohen on WURD 900 AM

lancguy makes some great points. I recently heard an interview with Cohen on WURD AM and as stated above everyone but comcast was blamed for the low sign up rates in Philly. When I needed internet access at home I used the free version of netzero dial up for years and never even hear this or other low cost alternatives suggested as an option to Internet Essentials (AKA Comcast indoctrination program).
I also found it interesting that on their Internet Essential site I could not find what speed was available or what the specs were on the $150 "computer" that Cohen mentioned during the fluff interview.