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fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

I say it's an OPTION.

I don't think it's a utility, a luxury, and ESPECIALLY a right.

Utility: Usually runs on it's own pipe such as telephone, gas, sewer, or electricity. It's a first run line of service. Broadband requires a secondary carrier to allow it to run, at least in todays' infrustructure.

Luxury: Some people choose to have it and others' don't. No one's life depends on this service so to add it to your monthly budget would definetly be a luxury since there is nothing that changes your life for the worse by not having it. (And yes, telephones are a lifeline becuase of 911 service)

A Right?: Hardly. We have the righ to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I don't recall broadband in there. If broadband were a "right" then I think not only everyone would have it, but it would be subsidizes and there would be no monthly bill.

An option?: You betcha! You can live with it or without it. People make the choice to have broadband. Unlike Heating/lights, sewer and water, in which you MUST have in a house to be legal, I don't thinkg broadband will ever fall into this category. Phone? It's middle of the line. It CAN be a lifeline service, but it's still not required to be in every home like power is to be inhabitable.

I will add this, though.. I think that with more business pushing people to use the internet for services, in some cases penalizing people for not using the internet like the airlines do, I would say that if there ever was a requirement to subsidizing that these businesses that penalize people by moving more people to use the internet by cutting back or eliminating phone centers, or those that penalize people for using call centers, THEY should be forced to pay to subsidize internet connections. I think alot of business out there forgets that many people don't have computers and internet - those being mostly the elderly and the poor. I say if it's ever classified as a utility, that they keep this in mind.


wifi rocks

@verizon.net
said by "fiberguy":
I don't think it's a utility, a luxury, and ESPECIALLY a right.
(...)
I will add this, though.. I think that with more business pushing people to use the internet for services, in some cases penalizing people for not using the internet like the airlines do (...)
Here's an interesting question - what if the primary means for a citizen to interact with the services of their govt', is through the internet? Doesn't or wouldn't that change your view of whether or not such network-based access, is a "luxury" versus a "right"? Every citizen should have the basic right to access / interact with their gov't. They should have to pay a fee to do so. (The "poll tax" was found to be unconstitutional, if I have my history right. It was originally intended to deny the right of sufferage to slaves, because they couldn't afford to pay the tax in order to vote, while rich white slaveowners of course had no problems in doing so.)

Should the majority of gov't services be moved primarily or exclusively "on the internet" (and many already are doing so), then for internet (broadband) access to remain the province of the wealthy (as a "luxury"), then a significant portion of the citizenry would be effectively defacto disenfranchised, and this would end up being a modern-day "poll tax", under a different guise. For the good of the stability of society, that cannot be allowed to happen. (That is more-or-less what the "digital divide" is truely all about, btw.)


wifi rocks

@verizon.net
Oye vey. Minor correction.

"They should have to pay a fee to do so." should read
"They should *NOT* have to pay a fee to do so."

fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
reply to wifi rocks
I can't say that I agree with your thinking.

Let's take your theory.

#1, you CAN interact with your Govt' - go to a library and it's free. Also, you can interact with your gov using a dial up connection - found as cheap as $6.95 a month.

We aren't talking about access to the internet in general, we are talking about speed.

With this, not everyone has a washer and dryer in their home. What do they have to do? Leave the home, go to a laundermat and wash there. Should people have the "right" to a washer and dryer in every home? This is the same theory as people having to go to a library to use the the internet for faster speeds. Again, no one is totally cut off, rather, they may not be able to afford the luxury of having it in their home - what's the alternative? Go to the library where it's free.

There are also cafe's where you can use the internet or Kinkos for about what, $5 an hour or so? How long do you really need to be online with the govt sites anyway?

I can pretty much get everything I need done on the internet, truly, in under an hour... and I do alot. People live on the internet more than they really "need" to with the exception of work, which is a whole different story here.

And sorry, I don't subscribe to the so-called "digital divide"... I think to lump computers into a category 'just because' is meaningless. This is more of a social or class divide. Even lower class, lower earner families have computers. There are many places where you can get a computer for $300.00 complete - and a good one too! So, when these lower income families are putting on $145 nikes on their feet, don't tell me they can't afford a computer.

(On another note? in the 12 years I have been in cable tv, I have gone into MANY lower income homes / projects and installed serivices with bills of $130+ a month. It's all about personal choice and where you want to spend your money) We don't live in a country where we all have the "right" to have everything. Sorry,.. just my opinion (and some fact)