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Critics: Comcast's $10 Broadband is a Shallow PR Ploy
When Government Acts as a Comcast Advertising Vessel
by Karl Bode 10:25AM Friday Jul 12 2013
Several years back, Comcast trotted out a $10, 3 Mbps broadband offer aimed at low-income homes in order to get regulatory approval of their acquisition of NBC. As I noted at the time, the original offer was, like most merger conditions these days (especially ones companies volunteer for) pretty pathetic, intentionally designed to exclude as many qualifying customers as possible. After the program's problems resulted in protests in places like Philadelphia, Comcast shored up the program a bit -- but critics still say it still exists as more of a good will PR show pony than a serious effort to bridge the digital divide.

Click for full size
John Randall points out that a program Comcast has seen endless bubbly positive press for is really an ad campaign in disguise, and one most low-income users don't qualify for or use. Users can't have existing Comcast service, must qualify for several government programs, and can't owe Comcast any money (guess what kind of people usually owe their cable company money?).

The report notes that 2.6 million should qualify nationally but only 150,000 are signed up for the program (5.8%), while just 3,250 families are participating (3.3 percent of those eligible) in Comcast's hometown of Philadelphia.

The few who do sign up for the program are converted to full-price Comcast customers as the promotional deal expires, meaning that all this really is is an ad campaign -- with the government itself doing much of the advertising under the guise of bridging the digital divide. But as Randall notes, the real benefit for Comcast has been the illusion of caring corporate citizenry, and the public relations mileage the program created:
quote:
Comcast routinely points to the Internet Essentials program in response to calls for regulation aimed at reliably easing the digital divide. This distracts the press and regulators from the real issues: local monopolies, the lack of competition for high-speed Internet access, and the need for regulatory attention. As of June 21, 2012, Comcast had delivered the Internet Essentials message to over 100 members of Congress and more than 2,000 state and local officials.

To broaden its outreach effort, Comcast also engaged leading intergovernmental associations at the state and local level such as the National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and various other organizations of elected officials. On top of that, Comcast say that the impressions generated by media coverage of Internet Essentials launch events earned it “millions of dollars” worth of media.
To see an example of how such a program is used politically, you only need to look at Comcast's David Cohen's recent speeches about how the United States is secretly a broadband powerhouse with no price or competitive issues. The only real issue in broadband, insists Cohen, is the digital divide, an issue Comcast would have you believe they're bravely fighting with their Essentials program that costs them nothing, and connects relatively nobody.

But as Randall notes, all Comcast is really doing is putting on a stage play to misdirect people from the same old problems that have always plagued this industry: miserable customer service, high prices, and limited competition. It's for that exact same reason that the FCC copied Comcast's plan as a regulatory effort. If you play up the digital divide and the hollow efforts to bridge it, people won't pay attention to the fact that they still only have the choice of one or two overpriced broadband providers, whose customer service quality make films like Sharknado seem like high art.

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FFH5
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

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

said by FFH5:

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

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

said by fuziwuzi:

said by FFH5:

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."
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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....

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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Springfield, MA
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Reviews:
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Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

1 recommendation

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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!
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
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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
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·Verizon Broadban..
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Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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
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1 recommendation

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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).

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

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

said by IowaCowboy:

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).

Landlines don't work for the homeless or those so transient as to have no permanent/regular address, ALL of who are faced with violent or medical emergencies far more often then most of us all comfy at home. It is not only a lifeline, but maybe the only reliable point of contact for both assistance, family, medical and potential employers offering the next step toward independence, something everyone should hope for and help with.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

Thats my point!

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

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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
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Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
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Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
I'm sure you're an authority on this topic, right?

... I can tell you, as many others in here can, that MANY of these welfare recipients, entitlement takers, section 8 living people live a pretty nice life.. a life that's FAR better than the hard working people that enter their homes to serve THEM.

Sorry.. think again.. since you're not a social worker, you don't have access to raw data, or any thing else, you can only assume like most of us.. however, there are some of us that see it first hand. Yea.. they get a pretty damn good life.
Expand your moderator at work

joetaxpayer
I'M Here Till Thursday

join:2001-09-07
Sudbury, MA
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
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Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
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kudos:3
Seriously? A tape measure? ... some people know what they're talking about and know what to size a damn TV with out a tape measure.

Also.. let me toss this out there. People that file for bankruptcy.. they have to actually give up property over and above a certain amount of exempted property. In some states is better than others. Florida,... they let you have about $1,000 in personal property.. California, much more.. Hmmm.. wonder where the states are coming from.

Dude.. there are just people out there that game this system.. and what's worse, today, more and more people are being coached on HOW to work the system, and SOME of those coaches work for the very agencies that hand out "the money that the REST of us work for".. that line sounds familiar doesn't it? .. I think the liberals LOVED to toss that line out in the face of American's..

tshirt
Premium
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Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
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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.

fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA
said by FFH5:

said by fuziwuzi:

said by FFH5:

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
Wilsdom

join:2009-08-06
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:42

2 edits
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.

nerdburg
Premium
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Schuylkill Haven, PA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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.
GLIMMER

join:2004-01-17
Fisher, IL

Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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.

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:42
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.

I have to dig up the exact number, but the offer does eventually expire. Originally, as part of the NBC Universal merger "condition" it was two or three years from the date of the merger. I know Comcast extended that somewhat, but I also remember it does eventually end -- and these users marketed to through this "deal" then pay full rates eventually.

baineschile
2600 ways to live
Premium
join:2008-05-10
Sterling Heights, MI
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.

tshirt
Premium
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Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
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Re: The US doesn't need to subsidize Internet for poor

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)

joetaxpayer
I'M Here Till Thursday

join:2001-09-07
Sudbury, MA

2 recommendations

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.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
For one of the rare times, I agree with you.

I'm not sure how low income somehow equates to a low rate, for a short period of time. As in I guess the interwebz is going to just magically make you not be low income in a year or two. Seems like a pretty stupid program at best.

baineschile
2600 ways to live
Premium
join:2008-05-10
Sterling Heights, MI
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.

HotRodFoto
Premium
join:2003-04-19
Denver, CO
said by FFH5:

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.
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toby
Troy Mcclure

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

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

Smoke & Mirrors

quote:
the real benefit for Comcast has been the illusion of caring corporate citizenry, and the public relations mileage the program created
The NBC acquisition deal should be reviewed by the regulatory agency based on Comcast's complete failure to adhere to the agreement & spirit of one of the key points of the merger criteria.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Whose Shallow PR Ploy?

You can't blame Comcast.

They were simply doing the administration's bidding.

And they got off quite cheap!

••••

POB
Res Firma Mitescere Nescit
Premium
join:2003-02-13
Stepford, CA

Subsidy for me, but not for thee

I have to laugh at the folks who are so adamantly opposed to subsidizing other Americans, and, at the same time, the other half of their tax kitty goes to billion dollar American corporations like Comcast that pay very little to zero in taxes and yet reap billions in tax refunds. I guess it's OK to subsidize as long as a tax-dodging company gets the money. Meanwhile, if it's to help out other Americans, then suddenly it's a bad thing.
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