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FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

What we don't need is one more welfare program used to give Internet away as yet another drain on the taxpayer. And anything Comcast does to subsidize Internet is just a higher price for existing customers who pay full price for service. Internet access is available for free at public libraries, schools, coffee shops, restaurants, McDonalds, etc. Is it as convenient as having it available in the home? No. But libraries are just fine for searching for and applying for jobs online. The gov't already gives away phones with Internet access to the poor. When is enough, enough?
--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."


fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA
said by FFH:

The gov't already gives away phones with Internet access to the poor.

No, they don't. The Safelink phones are barebones "candybar" models, like a Motorola W175G, that has no network capabilities, only voice & text. Safelink participants can choose from 3 plans, with 60 minutes per month, 125 minutes per month (with no international calling or text available), or 225 minutes per month (with no international and no roll-over). There is no data option, since the phones are incapable of data.
--
Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1

Wilsdom

join:2009-08-06
reply to FFH
Except the connection costs Comcast close to nothing, and Comcast is making a profit even at $10/month, after the few months it takes to cover the modem


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

2 edits
reply to FFH
You could barely even call this a subsidy. Few qualify, and the discounted price (and it's not like they really take a loss with a few thousand people paying $10 for 3 Mbps down, 768 kbps, which is about what that speed is worth) goes up in a year or two as well. Not to mention the fact that this is more like a PR program that will ultimately add more subscribers, using government as the advertising venue for Comcast services.


FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to fuziwuzi
said by fuziwuzi:

said by FFH:

The gov't already gives away phones with Internet access to the poor.

No, they don't. The Safelink phones are barebones "candybar" models, like a Motorola W175G, that has no network capabilities, only voice & text. Safelink participants can choose from 3 plans, with 60 minutes per month, 125 minutes per month (with no international calling or text available), or 225 minutes per month (with no international and no roll-over). There is no data option, since the phones are incapable of data.

Wrong. Some Safelink phones support data and data can also be used.
»www.safelinkwireless.com/Safelin···nditions

17. DATA SERVICES.
With certain SAFELINK WIRELESS phone models, you can download ring tones, graphics, access information services such as news, weather and sports ("Information Services") and utilize multi-media messaging services ("MMS") (ringtones, graphics, Information Services and MMS are collectively referred to as "Data Services") through our Wireless Mobile Web ("WAP"). Data Services are additional Services offered by us at an additional charge in the form of a debit of minutes for Your use of such services.
Accessing and Purchasing Data Services. In order to purchase, download or access Data Services, your handset must have active service and sufficient available airtime minutes. Your handset will not let you open the WAP browser without an airtime balance of at least 10 minutes. Each time you access our Wireless WAP with your handset's browser, 0.5 units per minute will be deducted from your handset ("Access Charges"). Access Charges are deducted in full minute increments. WAP access of less than 60 seconds is rounded up to the next full minute. Access Charges begin when your handset makes a data connection. This should occur shortly after you open your browser, send or receive a multi-media message (e.g., a picture), initiate a content download, view subscribed Information Services or if WAP access is initiated for any other purpose. Access Charges end when the data connection terminates. This should occur shortly after you close your browser, successfully receive or send a multi-media message (e.g., a picture), after a successful content download or after any other closure of a WAP session. The WAP access duration and the related Access Charges are NOT determined from the exact moment you press a button on your handset to open or close the browser.
In addition to the Access Charges, there will be an additional one-time charge for any content you select to download ("Content Charge"). The Content Charges vary depending on the type of content. You will be advised of the Content Charges prior to finalizing your purchase. The Data Services you purchase and download may only be used or viewed on the handset for which they were purchased and cannot be transferred to any other device, including a new or replacement handset. Data Services are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Purchase Options for Data Services: You may purchase Data Services either through your handset's WAP browser or through the Internet (accessed with a personal computer) at www.tracfone.com
When you purchase Data Services from the Internet at www.tracfone.com, the Content Charge will be shown in both U.S. Dollars and in minutes. You will have the opportunity to select one of two payment options: (1) using a credit card to pay the purchase price shown, or (2) a direct deduction of minutes from your SAFELINK WIRELESS handset. If you buy a TracFone card the number of minutes to be charged is based on the last airtime card added to your handset. See Purchasing Data Services With Airtime Minutes below.
How to purchase from the Internet (www.tracfone.com): Go to "Downloads and More" at www.tracfone.com and enter your SAFELINK WIRELESS serial number (ESN /IMEI) and SAFELINK Wireless Number. This will take you to the Wireless Data Services content catalog where you can browse, sample and purchase ringtones and/or graphics. After you find a title and select "Buy," you will be presented with the two purchase options described above.
How to purchase through your handset's WAP browser: Select "BROWSER" on your handset then select "Start Browser" and you will be presented with a menu. When you use your handset's WAP browser to purchase Data Services, only the unit charge purchase option is available. You may not purchase Data Services through your handset using a Credit card. Note: Ringtones can only be sampled at www.tracfone.com.
Purchasing Data Services With Airtime Minutes: If you add TracFone airtime cards, the charges for Data Services purchases are determined by the last airtime card added to your handset. The chart below details the number of minutes you will be charged for each dollar you spend for the Data Services you purchase. Your phone will be assigned the appropriate dollar-to-minute conversion factor each time an airtime card is added to your handset. The charges for Data Services in U.S. Dollars and/or minutes and the dollar-to-minute conversion factor(s) are subject to change without prior notice.


--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."


baineschile
2600 ways to live
Premium
join:2008-05-10
Sterling Heights, MI
reply to FFH
Agree. This program was designed for kids, NOT adults. Maybe Ford or GM should start subsidizing cars for the poor.

Sorry, you want internet? Get a job.


nerdburg
Premium
join:2009-08-20
Schuylkill Haven, PA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to Karl Bode
Karl,
I'm not sure why you are calling Internet Essentials a "promotional deal"? As I understand it as long as the children qualify for NSLP, they get the internet deal. No? Explain more please.

silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA
reply to FFH
There was some event SafeLink related around here lately that drew massive lines of people to get the free service. Watched people pull up in their fancy cars the system allowed them to buy....


baineschile
2600 ways to live
Premium
join:2008-05-10
Sterling Heights, MI
reply to Karl Bode
Karl - I normally agree with you, you are being shortsighted here. Even though the month to month may not be costly for Comcast, they are still an active cable customer. That means, there is cost to support and maintain them. $10/mo, no matter what speed or level of service, is skinning teeth when it comes to cable support.

What if the wiring in their home is shoddy? Or the cat pees on the modem and needs to be replaced? All those costs are covered by the company, NOT the consumer. Granted, this isn't a representation of everyone on the plan, but it does cover a reasonable percent.

You are also missing the point of this program. It was initially designed for customers that had subsidized school lunches; in other words, households that had children, and the target use was educational purposes, NOT for entertainment, or strictly supporting everyone who was classed as low income. There is free internet available at libraries if people want to use the internet at no cost.


HotRodFoto
Premium
join:2003-04-19
Denver, CO
reply to FFH
said by FFH:

What we don't need is one more welfare program used to give Internet away as yet another drain on the taxpayer. And anything Comcast does to subsidize Internet is just a higher price for existing customers who pay full price for service. Internet access is available for free at public libraries, schools, coffee shops, restaurants, McDonalds, etc. Is it as convenient as having it available in the home? No. But libraries are just fine for searching for and applying for jobs online. The gov't already gives away phones with Internet access to the poor. When is enough, enough?

because everyone has access to places mentioned above? Not. Schools, maybe, but in this day and age, homework is done on a pc using an internet connection. Naturally schools aren't open all hours of the day or on the weekends to accommodate kids who might need to access the internet for homework. The Gov't already gives away phones? You mean the Lifeline program which was put in place under Reagan?

It is time the internet was regulated as a utility like many other places on planet earth. It is essential in this day and age basically.
--
Capturing the images of Colorado
»jdebordphoto.com


tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to baineschile
said by baineschile:

Karl - I normally agree with you, you are being shortsighted here.

I agree with Karl that this is well worth it to ComCast AND those that qualify.
those kids /families get a home connection (If you've ever been to the Library you'd know even the best equipped ones computers are booked soild during any hour that kids are SUPPOSED to be out of school) and like any homework some parent participation can really keep it on track.
For comcast is the value that these no better educated kids, will likely feel comfortable choosing ComCast as a provider when the reach that point in life (have a job/home of their own)
No the program doesn't work for everyone (outstanding bills, other internet plan/provider, don't meet the program requirements,) (gov't programs are buried deep in paperwork, something many of the poorest may require help to finish), and caseworkers barely have time to get the food/housing assistance done.
And Philadelphia is a good place to start (the city has both the richest rich and poorest poor in areas just a short bus ride away)


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

There was some event SafeLink related around here lately that drew massive lines of people to get the free service. Watched people pull up in their fancy cars the system allowed them to buy....

Same here, you drive by any low income housing property and you see luxury convertibles (BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc) in showroom condition parked outside. It seems that they cannot afford market rents but they can afford luxury cars.

Meanwhile, I drive a 12 year old car that I just put over $2000 into to put back on the road after spending 6 months taking the bus. It needed a complete exhaust system and new tires to get a sticker, then I had to replace an O2 sensor (at a cost of $200) and I just sunk another $350 into it to replace a belt and the tensioner pully.

It would be kind of nice if I could afford a brand new Ford Fiesta.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

GLIMMER

join:2004-01-17
Fisher, IL
reply to nerdburg
said by nerdburg:

Karl,
I'm not sure why you are calling Internet Essentials a "promotional deal"? As I understand it as long as the children qualify for NSLP, they get the internet deal. No? Explain more please.

its not a promotional deal.... It goes my the NSLP. And my sister has this program and she works 40 hours a week and is a single parent. Its a nice program. They ask for so much paperwork that is why most people dont get signed up for it.


tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to FFH
But the subsidy is exactly the same of no connection access fees and no USF , around $9a month for a landline, similar for a cellphone paid as a rebate.
If you use more minutes or data the subscriber pays the balance Plus all state and local taxes on the full amount.
The phones really aren't free, just cheap if you only use them as a lifeline, their rates are quite expensive for extended use.


toby
Troy Mcclure

join:2001-11-13
Portland, OR
reply to FFH
The poor don't need to be pay sales taxes to be subsidise the schools/fire/police/roads for the non-poor... either.


joetaxpayer
I'M Here Till Thursday

join:2001-09-07
Sudbury, MA

2 recommendations

reply to baineschile
said by baineschile:

You are also missing the point of this program. It was initially designed for customers that had subsidized school lunches; in other words, households that had children, and the target use was educational purposes, NOT for entertainment, or strictly supporting everyone who was classed as low income.

I'm going to slip my thoughts in right here. For all the tax money I spend that goes down the drain, if this program gets internet to kids whose parents wouldn't otherwise afford it, I'm in favor of that.
The expensive cars in housing projects are a red herring. I owned a rental property, and the single dad had my sympathy. The market rent was $600 and I accepted $400/mo from him. When I went to collect, I didn't begrudge him his big TV, bought before the divorce, nor his kid's light up sneakers and video games. Not even his fridge stocked with beer. It was his two pack a day smoking habit I resented. Family first, but rent should have come before that habit.

It's tough to look at these issues objectively.

biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy
Better to drive the car you earned. I would feel like a piece of crap driving a Ford Fiesta that I was only able to afford through defrauding the government. It's too bad there's no more shame in society

TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath
reply to IowaCowboy
Most of those cars come JDB, and AutoMax/CarMax. You pay weekly payments to keep the car "running". Also its called child support payments that most would get and gov't support in terms of cash assistance that is set aside for families already.

But the phones? Those are not given away by the gov't, each and every phone customer pays for those phones under USF. Which the cell phone plan was put into place under Bush. The LifeLine system has been in place for DECADES!


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

Better to drive the car you earned. I would feel like a piece of crap driving a Ford Fiesta that I was only able to afford through defrauding the government. It's too bad there's no more shame in society

And a Ford Fiesta is considered an "economy" car. When my car was out of service, I had to rent cars to go to my grandmother's house in Maine (because public transit in Biddeford is absolutely useless), and I would book economy cars through Avis and they gave me a Ford Fiesta once and that thing was tiny. I am 5' 5" and my mother is 5'1" and that thing was ok to drive but my poor mother had no legroom in the back seat.

If I were to buy a brand new car on the taxpayers dime, I would buy an economy car, not a luxury convertible.

As for me, I am biased towards domestic cars and I've owned cars from all of the big three (first vehicle was GMC, second was a Mercury, and I currently drive a Dodge). I've had the best luck with the Mercury (made by Ford) in terms of reliability.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA
reply to FFH
said by FFH:

said by fuziwuzi:

said by FFH:

The gov't already gives away phones with Internet access to the poor.

No, they don't. The Safelink phones are barebones "candybar" models, like a Motorola W175G, that has no network capabilities, only voice & text. Safelink participants can choose from 3 plans, with 60 minutes per month, 125 minutes per month (with no international calling or text available), or 225 minutes per month (with no international and no roll-over). There is no data option, since the phones are incapable of data.

Wrong. Some Safelink phones support data and data can also be used.
»www.safelinkwireless.com/Safelin···nditions

But, the data services are extra cost to the user, they are NOT provided by the government program. The government program only pays for voice/text minutes, not data. And again, while one of these candybar phones MIGHT have WAP ability, have you ever used a WAP browser on an old cellphone?
--
Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1


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

Most of those cars come JDB, and AutoMax/CarMax. You pay weekly payments to keep the car "running". Also its called child support payments that most would get and gov't support in terms of cash assistance that is set aside for families already.

But the phones? Those are not given away by the gov't, each and every phone customer pays for those phones under USF. Which the cell phone plan was put into place under Bush. The LifeLine system has been in place for DECADES!

In my opinion, if they want to give out free phones, they should be landlines only. I grew up in the '90s and we survived with a landline and by throwing 35 cents into payphones.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

Same here, you drive by any low income housing property and you see luxury convertibles (BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc) in showroom condition parked outside. It seems that they cannot afford market rents but they can afford luxury cars.

Like clockwork, one can always count on the anecdotal tales of luxury cars, steak & lobster dinners, and iPhones for every welfare recipient.
--
Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1


Daveintuk

@comcast.net
I can tell you that this is not a tale.

As someone that works in the utility industry and visits quite a few home's a month, these individuals do have these type of cars. They also have 63" LCD tv's, xbox's, ps3's, and home audio systems that make a technogeek drool.

I always wonder what is so wrong with the system that home's like my wife's and mine are typical middle income but can't justify getting all this new stuff unless the old breaks.

So yeah, they're not tales. They're facts.


fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA
Yes, the vast majority of welfare recipients are driving a Lexus, eating steak & lobster every night, and have mega systems installed in their homes. It's a conspiracy, I tell you!
--
Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1


tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
There are a few such cases.
But some the public assistance laws don't count certain types of assets on purpose, ie in the recent downturn many people lost jobs and may have owned all or part (with a bank)of a nice car and a nice house, but they could get food stamps is a temporary bridge so you could already own or be given a nice car and live in "the projects", also you don't own those homes so when you get a few buck under the table or otherwise you might buy or trade for car parts or a big tv. in reality even if they have a fancy looking car and live there you probably can't afford to fill the tank or go out to eat.


joetaxpayer
I'M Here Till Thursday

join:2001-09-07
Sudbury, MA
reply to Daveintuk
said by Daveintuk :

As someone that works in the utility industry and visits quite a few home's a month, these individuals do have these type of cars. They also have 63" LCD tv's, xbox's, ps3's, and home audio systems that make a technogeek drool.

I'd imagine these folk were employed and even if living beyond their means, made these purchases while working. 63"? You walk around with a tape measure?


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

I'd imagine these folk were employed and even if living beyond their means, made these purchases while working.

And that's probably the biggest weakness of all the programs.
people end up in those places for all sorts of reasons, accident, durgs, illness lack of skills, mental problems, etc.
but a fair number are second generation and never developed the skills/desire to move out and up. too often the "training" offered is more as punishment/make work, and not true assistance, as a learning opportunity.
It would be well worth spending MORE per person NOW if it could inspire at least some to work there way out.
It's like inner city kids who have never been to a farm, if you don't know what's out there or that you can have/work for it too, the concept is a strange as living on the moon.
The war on poverty has left some victims trapped in the refuge camps.

TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
reply to IowaCowboy
Pay Phones are dead in the US. And as long as the USF funds those cell phones, then they will keep going out.


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

1 recommendation

said by TBBroadband:

Pay Phones are dead in the US. And as long as the USF funds those cell phones, then they will keep going out.

Like I said, if they want to give out free phones, they should only give out free landlines. Or they could give out free cellular home phones (Verizon Wireless home phone connect).

fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
reply to IowaCowboy
Stand by... there's MILLIONS of dollars stuffed in the new Immigration Reform bill for cars for certain groups of people.. Yes, the government IS getting in the business of handing out cars... WHAT THE HELL!