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Cable Industry's 'Adoption Plus': Altruism Or PR Stunt?
Helping the poor, or getting taxpayers to fund in school ad campaigns?
by Karl Bode 12:09PM Wednesday Dec 02 2009
The cable industry this week is busy patting itself on the back for a new initiative they've dubbed "Adoption Plus." According to the cable industry's chief lobbying and PR arm, the National Cable And Telecommunications Association, Adoption Plus has been created to "promote sustainable broadband adoption for a vitally important-but-vulnerable population" -- namely middle school-aged children in low income households without broadband. As such, the industry says they're offering discounted broadband to low income homes. In a blog post, NCTA boss Kyle McSlarrow highlights the plan as such:
quote:
A+ would promote the adoption of broadband service to households that do not currently receive it, by offering comprehensive digital media literacy education, discounted computers, and discounted home broadband service to households representing up to 3.5 million American children in grades 6 through 9 who are eligible to receive a free or reduced-cost meal through the National School Lunch Program.
Click for full size
The NCTA was quickly praised by its usual group of yes men organizations and loyal lawmakers. AT&T's top lobbyist Jim Cicconi called the proposal "creative," while expressing how AT&T was eager to participate in the new program. Even new FCC boss Julius Genachowski issued a statement (pdf) praising the industry's "considerable investment" in the new project. Trade mags highlighted the new program with the usual lack of skepticism.

It's not particularly clear if any of them actually looked at the proposal first.

For one thing the program is simply a proposal, and it's not fully cooked yet. As it stands, the cable industry is promising to offer broadband to new families only for half price for two years, modem rentals for half price, free installation of the service, and free parental control and online security software. It also asks for $100 million in federal funding to create "digital media literacy programs" under the Adoption Plus "brand." It also proposes to offer schools discounted hardware, if the NCTA can find hardware vendors to play along (none are signed on so far) and Uncle Sam ponies up a good chunk of the cash.

Not everybody was as easily impressed as the FCC was. Digging a little deeper into what the cable industry is actually offering has left consumer advocates underwhelmed. According to consumer advocacy group Free Press' Research Director Derek Turner, the new program is "vaporware, a PR stunt, and offers no 'deal' at all."

Using Comcast pricing as an example, 50% off of Comcast's $42.95 3 Mbps Performance broadband tier would be $21.48 (plus fees). But Comcast offers any Joe off the street the same tier for $19.99 for the first 6 months. They do offer a 1 Mbps economy tier for $24.95, but the tier's usually reserved for those who threaten to cancel. Meanwhile, offering "half off a modem rental fee" is equally specious, given the modems involved can usually be bought on Amazon for $30, and Comcast just raised their modem rental fee $3 to $5 (a fifty cent savings). As for throwing in "free security software?" Regular customers already get that too.

The program was designed to get FCC kudos and taxpayer funding for a program that essentially acts as little more than a PR campaign for the cable industry, says Turner. "This doesn't cost NCTA's members a dime," says Turner, "because the bulk of those homes who do participate wouldn't have been a customer at all, or they might have been a DSL customer," he says. "They are merely bringing NCTA's members a 60% profit margin per participating home versus an 80% profit margin," argues Turner.

According to Turner, taxpayers shouldn't be subsidizing Comcast's 80% profits or their advertising campaign disguised as altruism. "Comcast should have to offer a $10 package, then it can get a subsidy," he says, noting how the price of broadband isn't regulated. "If NCTA were serious, they'd offer a flat $10 per month fee, after a 6 months of free service," he suggests.

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NOVA_Guy
ObamaCare Kills Americans
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Why?

What's wrong with just lowering the prices for everybody to something reasonable? $60/month for high speed internet is highway robbery, yet it's what Comcast forces its subscribers to pay.

Oh, and just in case the government hasn't yet figured it out... if a family can't afford to even get a DSL line or something in their house, how are they going to afford a computer?

This looks like yet another waste of money to me which is unfortunately likely to be funded by my tax dollars, thus allowing the lazy and stupid to reach even further into my wallet and enjoy higher lifestyles from my labor without contributing a damn thing in return.
--
To all liberals: I am NOT one of your parents, so get the heck out of my wallet. It's time for you to grow up and take some personal responsibility for taking care of yourselves, which means not relying on the government to give it all to you.
westdc

join:2009-01-25
Amissville, VA
kudos:1

Re: Why?

How about Giving every (family) or just the breeders, free high speed internet & computers and then close all the public schools and force the children to learn on line.

Release all the Teachers (except for those nedded for teching a class online)

The money saved from transportation, heating and cooling.

The offer of lower cost internet to the poor folks is just a way of the cable and telco's to feel good about doing something !they are not going to do anyway.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Re: Why?

The teachers union would never let that fly.

Besides, in today's economy, who's going to stay home to homeschool the kids?

You also seem to forget that school provides much more than just book smarts. There is an important social component of development that we all get from going to school with other people.

jester121
Premium
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Lake Zurich, IL

Re: Why?

said by fifty nine:

Besides, in today's economy, who's going to stay home to homeschool the kids?
All the unemployed people?

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC

Re: Why?

Free porn is probably doing a booming business.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
said by fifty nine:

The teachers union would never let that fly.

Besides, in today's economy, who's going to stay home to homeschool the kids?
Technology will. Behavioral correction collar with GPS and wire in the house when GPS sats out of range. It works perfectly on inmates, pets, and livestock.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
said by NOVA_Guy:

Oh, and just in case the government hasn't yet figured it out... if a family can't afford to even get a DSL line or something in their house, how are they going to afford a computer?

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mbNaTu5kOQ
Network Guy
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I got it wrong all these years

I should have been on Section 8 and welfare. As a dumbass worker bee for the past 11 years, I'm witnessing my take-home purchasing power dwindle while the weak links of society get a place to live, usually an apartment in a brand new private home registered with Section 8 or brand new HUD buildings that keep propping up in the city, and they even get "relocation" money too for furniture, etc etc.

Some people are just fucking laaaaaaaaaazyyyyyyyyyy.. There should be career loser camp somewhere in Wards Island. That should motivate any asshole in the system to get a trade certificate or associate degree and earn a keep.

NOVA_Guy
ObamaCare Kills Americans
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Re: I got it wrong all these years

Personally I like the idea from a while ago about moving all the welfare folks to some of the military bases we've closed. The housing, food, medical, school, etc. facilities are all there already so that should cut down the cost to taxpayers.

Each of the residents could be assigned a job on base to take care of themselves and others-- landscaping, food service, education, janitorial, machine shop, auto mechanic, etc. This would help them learn skills that they could use to find jobs in the coming years, while allowing them to help take responsibility for taking care of themselves. Who knows-- the base might even be able to become self-sufficient...

Those who do not want to make welfare a lifestyle would quickly learn skills and get back on their feet while being taken care of in a safe environment. Those who prefer otherwise can stay there as well, at reduced expense to taxpayers. This sounds like an all around win-win situation to me.
--
To all liberals: I am NOT one of your parents, so get the heck out of my wallet. It's time for you to grow up and take some personal responsibility for taking care of yourselves, which means not relying on the government to give it all to you.
openbox9
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Re: I got it wrong all these years

If we have to have a welfare system for the lazy and inept (unfortunately I don't see our welfare society decreasing any time soon), I actually like this idea. Once sufficient skills have been taught, these communes could even be farmed out to surrounding areas to conduct menial labor. After all, if the lazy want Uncle Sam to take care of them, they should at least give a little back to society.

NOVA_Guy
ObamaCare Kills Americans
Premium
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Re: I got it wrong all these years

I'd like to know what you mean by "menial labor", as I envision some of the folks living on these bases as learning career skills of some sort-- be it auto mechanics, becoming a truck driver, becoming a chef/cook, etc.

Sure, some of them will do less skilled (more menial?) jobs, such as janitorial services and the like... but I see my idea as also providing an opportunity to those who truly want to become something more but just need a second chance.

On its face, your statement about them being farmed out to do more menial jobs sounds more like treating these folks like poor serfs who should be forced to do their masters' bidding. Surely I'm reading too much in to that comment?
--
To all liberals: I am NOT one of your parents, so get the heck out of my wallet. It's time for you to grow up and take some personal responsibility for taking care of yourselves, which means not relying on the government to give it all to you.
openbox9
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Re: I got it wrong all these years

Yes, you're reading too much into my comment. "Menial" wasn't the best word to use. I should have used "skilled". My apologies.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
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said by openbox9:

If we have to have a welfare system for the lazy and inept (unfortunately I don't see our welfare society decreasing any time soon), I actually like this idea. Once sufficient skills have been taught, these communes could even be farmed out to surrounding areas to conduct menial labor. After all, if the lazy want Uncle Sam to take care of them, they should at least give a little back to society.
Dont you see your proposing "communism"? Wait, its biblical brotherhood and responsibility and work ethic, it will be ok with the conservatives, NVM.
openbox9
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japan
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Re: I got it wrong all these years

said by patcat88:

said by openbox9:

Once sufficient skills have been taught, these communes
Dont you see your proposing "communism"? Wait, its biblical brotherhood and responsibility and work ethic, it will be ok with the conservatives, NVM.
Considering my choice of words, yes I realize its communism on an extremely limited scale. My logic is that if the taxpayers are going to continue to be burdened by those that wish to abuse the existing social system, we the taxpayers should lessen that burden however possible. Instead of my tax money being flushed down the drain paying for the lazy who are happy to leech off of Uncle Sam with their new cars and big screen televisions (yes, I know welfare recipients like this), I would like to see them at least make an effort to pay dividends to those who continue funding their lifestyles. Nothing is free in life. Now before anyone jumps me, I do realize that there are many legitimate recipients of our social welfare system. I do not have a problem with society supporting the disabled and those that may be out of a job, but are actively searching for employment and/or bettering themselves.
patcat88

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Re: I got it wrong all these years

said by openbox9:

Instead of my tax money being flushed down the drain paying for the lazy who are happy to leech off of Uncle Sam with their new cars and big screen televisions (yes, I know welfare recipients like this), I would like to see them at least make an effort to pay dividends to those who continue funding their lifestyles. Nothing is free in life. Now before anyone jumps me, I do realize that there are many legitimate recipients of our social welfare system. I do not have a problem with society supporting the disabled and those that may be out of a job, but are actively searching for employment and/or bettering themselves.
Those people aren't poor, they live very comfortably. You know anyone with an off the books job qualifies for welfare.
openbox9
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japan
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1 edit

Re: I got it wrong all these years

said by patcat88:

You know anyone with an off the books job qualifies for welfare.
Fully aware of that, from seeing it firsthand. It's disgusting! Those are the people I'm primarily speaking of that need to return something to society.

Edit: Or better yet, we should clean up the damn welfare system. Just like the USF and many other government programs froth with waste and abuse.

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Communism doesn't work so the military commune idea will fail. The number of police you have to hire to keep them in the "fence" out weighs any benefit.

Oops just described all public housing.
Network Guy
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Re: I got it wrong all these years

said by Corehhi:

Communism doesn't work so the military commune idea will fail. The number of police you have to hire to keep them in the "fence" out weighs any benefit.

Oops just described all public housing.
LMAO!

NOVA_Guy
ObamaCare Kills Americans
Premium
join:2002-03-05
I'm not looking at it from a current public housing perspective. This is something different, something much better.

The current public housing situation just throws everybody in all together, without really having a defined plan, timeframe, or avenue to encourage self improvement or growth. This creates less hope of improving one's situation, encourages complacency, and gives power to the thought that one cannot control one's own destiny. People in that type of situation are robbed of hope, and in some cases no longer feel personal responsibility for their own actions or situation.

I'm proposing something different, something that presents those who want a better future with the opportunity to improve themselves. There would be jobs to do, for which they would be paid. There would be ways to learn skills, with a clearly defined path to get people started in the right direction. With some on welfare it won't matter. But there are likely others for whom it will matter-- people who will use this as a true safety net and use their second chance wisely.

Look at it this way: no matter what, a plan like this leaves us all better off. It likely reduces the overall costs associated with welfare and sustenance programs. And it provides a means for those recipients who are looking for help to better themselves to actually do so, thus reducing the overall welfare roles (thus in theory reducing overall welfare program costs).

My idea is based primarily upon the old adage that goes something like "Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he eats for a lifetime." I don't know if it would work, but I don't see how it could produce worse results than the program we have in place right now.

Do you have any better ideas, or suggestions about how this idea could be improved?
--
To all liberals: I am NOT one of your parents, so get the heck out of my wallet. It's time for you to grow up and take some personal responsibility for taking care of yourselves, which means not relying on the government to give it all to you.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
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1 edit
said by Corehhi:

Communism doesn't work so the military commune idea will fail. The number of police you have to hire to keep them in the "fence" out weighs any benefit.

Oops just described all public housing.
Then they get no food. A little bit of pain and they will straighten up.

workfare

@optonline.net
said by Network Guy:

I should have been on Section 8 and welfare. As a dumbass worker bee for the past 11 years, I'm witnessing my take-home purchasing power dwindle while the weak links of society get a place to live, usually an apartment in a brand new private home registered with Section 8 or brand new HUD buildings that keep propping up in the city, and they even get "relocation" money too for furniture, etc etc.

Some people are just fucking laaaaaaaaaazyyyyyyyyyy.. There should be career loser camp somewhere in Wards Island. That should motivate any asshole in the system to get a trade certificate or associate degree and earn a keep.
over 98% of the state run programs force "clients" to work, even if it is a BULLSHIT JOB--- UNLESS they can prove some kind of disability.. then their status changes. you'll know this once you lose your job (involuntarily) then exhaust the generous portion of extended unemployment insurance and must rely on the system you seem to be ignorant about. the ONLY way it turns into welfare is if the state social workers are LAZY and can't find these people b/s jobs and/or training programs go get these people off workfare.

anywho, the cable industry doesn't need to do this to get good will from public opinion. they need to do what's right such as killing the 250gb cap idea, kill metered billing, expand deployments and infrastructure upgrades, and lower prices. there is no reason why millions should be spent on a program such as this when taxpayers already support library programs. the only reason I can think that cable wants to do this is so that they can promote future consumers of their services. right now the current consumer base is pretty much set in which telecom company they want to buy broadband, tv and phone service from and they are only loyal if they can afford to be.
patcat88

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Jamaica, NY
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Re: I got it wrong all these years

said by workfare :

over 98% of the state run programs force "clients" to work, even if it is a BULLSHIT JOB--- UNLESS they can prove some kind of disability.. then their status changes.
And you have no idea how easy that it. Obesity, arthritis, heart conditions, mental disability, PTSD, diabetes, alcoholism (liver), pregnancy, maternity leave, etc.

Here are guaranteed conditions. »www.ssa.gov/disability/professio···ings.htm

pizz
bye bye twc. hello Comcast.
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said by Network Guy:

I should have been on Section 8 and welfare. As a dumbass worker bee for the past 11 years, I'm witnessing my take-home purchasing power dwindle while the weak links of society get a place to live, usually an apartment in a brand new private home registered with Section 8 or brand new HUD buildings that keep propping up in the city, and they even get "relocation" money too for furniture, etc etc.

Some people are just fucking laaaaaaaaaazyyyyyyyyyy.. There should be career loser camp somewhere in Wards Island. That should motivate any asshole in the system to get a trade certificate or associate degree and earn a keep.
So what about the people who are on disability, should they be packed up and shipped off as well? I guess in this day and age, Nazi Germany policies can be applied very well now.
--
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westdc

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Re: I got it wrong all these years

said by pizz:

said by Network Guy:

So what about the people who are on disability, should they be packed up and shipped off as well? I guess in this day and age, Nazi Germany policies can be applied very well now.
I agree!!, That would be a start!
Network Guy
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1 edit
said by pizz:

So what about the people who are on disability, should they be packed up and shipped off as well? I guess in this day and age, Nazi Germany policies can be applied very well now.
I said LAZY. The jerk off who would prefer living off their baby mama who's a career system recipient. The one who doesn't want to finish school, take up violent behavior as a "disability." Yes, in this day and age there are still plenty of those.

Obviously those with a disability should have their fair shake. Can't expect someone who can't produce involuntarily to rot out of existence. That would be nazi-like, and as much as many insensitive tax payers who are better off would like to see this happen, I'm glad our constituents still protect them.

zoom314

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Re: I got it wrong all these years

said by Network Guy:

said by pizz:

So what about the people who are on disability, should they be packed up and shipped off as well? I guess in this day and age, Nazi Germany policies can be applied very well now.
I said LAZY. The jerk off who would prefer living off their baby mama who's a career system recipient. The one who doesn't want to finish school, take up violent behavior as a "disability." Yes, in this day and age there are still plenty of those.

Obviously those with a disability should have their fair shake. Can't expect someone who can't produce involuntarily to rot out of existence. That would be nazi-like, and as much as many insensitive tax payers who are better off would like to see this happen, I'm glad our constituents still protect them.
Agreed, Those who are Disabled(visible or not), Blind or yes Seniors should get a fair shake and Yes I'm permanently Disabled and about to turn into a Senior either in 2010 or sometime later.

Of course with only $845 a month(Supplemental Security Income or SSI, SSI does not come from the Trust Fund) one has to be frugal, Yes I can make ends meet, But replace the car? Nope, Not enough income, Thanks to Congress.
--
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chimera

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You forgot that a fair number of the homeless also suffer from mental disorders which in a fair number of cases count as disabilities.

FFH
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he says. "They are merely bringing NCTA's members a 60% profit margin per participating home versus an 80% profit margin," argues Turner.
Free Press' Research Director Derek Turner is full of it when he claims that cable companies are making 80% profit margins. It is the usual rantings of anti-corporate idiots like this that make these people lose all credibility with anyone that knows anything about or follows financial news. But I am sure the welfare society lovers are eating it up.
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funchords
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1 edit

Re: I got it wrong all these years

said by FFH:

he says. "They are merely bringing NCTA's members a 60% profit margin per participating home versus an 80% profit margin," argues Turner.
Free Press' Research Director Derek Turner is full of it when he claims that cable companies are making 80% profit margins. It is the usual rantings of anti-corporate idiots like this that make these people lose all credibility with anyone that knows anything about or follows financial news.
Well, argue with those who write financial news:
"Comcast, for instance, has a profit margin of 55% in video but 70% in phone and 80% for broadband, estimates Bernsteins Mr. Moffett." -- »blog.ockhamresearch.com/index.ph···to-come/
(added later in edit) --
"A big cable operator, like Comcast, gets 55 cents of contribution toward overhead and profit from each $1 of revenue from television services. But it gets 70 cents from voice communications and 80 percent from Internet access." -- »blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=11870
--
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IndyThinkr

@att.net

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Re: I got it wrong all these years

Those are general, non-audited numbers. Let's use Google Finance.

Comcast
»www.google.com/finance?q=cmcsa
Net Profit Margin 10.61% in 3Q2009

Google
»www.google.com/finance?q=goog
Net Profit Margin 27.57% in 3Q2009

Verizon
»www.google.com/finance?q=vz
Net Profit Margin 10.59% in 3Q2009

Derek Turner

@myvzw.com
MR. JunkMail,

While I don't normally comment on blogs, I felt I could help inform this debate by citing my sources for you.

This margin figure is actually well known and confirmed many places, and in fact, it has been linked in these forums numerous times.

For example, the Wall Street Journal: »blog.ockhamresearch.com/index.ph···to-come/

You note that the WSJ is considered to be a financial news outlet.

And this is verified by the FCC's own broadband task force. See slide #44 here:

»hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/a···42A1.pdf

Which explains an ISPs' total (capex + opex + transit) cost in an urban area are $91 per customer per year. Assuming cable ARPU for modem service of $40 per month, that is an 81% profit margin.

I don't appreciate being called an "anti-corporate idiot", as I think those who know me, even those in the ISP industry would disagree with that point. But that's not really the issue. The real issue is the supra-competitive profits earned by cable ISPs and the loss in consumer surplus this lack of competition causes.

I do find your comments enlightening, and I am glad I had the opportunity to help inform you on this one specific point.

•••

skuv

@rr.com
said by Network Guy:

I should have been on Section 8 and welfare. As a dumbass worker bee for the past 11 years, I'm witnessing my take-home purchasing power dwindle while the weak links of society get a place to live, usually an apartment in a brand new private home registered with Section 8 or brand new HUD buildings that keep propping up in the city, and they even get "relocation" money too for furniture, etc etc.

Some people are just fucking laaaaaaaaaazyyyyyyyyyy.. There should be career loser camp somewhere in Wards Island. That should motivate any asshole in the system to get a trade certificate or associate degree and earn a keep.
Man, it really annoys me when people say things such as this. "I'm so stupid for working all these years! I should go on welfare, etc etc etc."

Yeah, why don't you try that? Why don't you become so poor that you need to be on welfare and get cheaper housing and other help. I'm sure you would be so comfortable living that way.

Do you actually think the majority of people that are on these programs are HAPPY?

You are making it seem as if the minority that games the system, by being lazy plus being a criminal making money illegally on the side, is somehow the majority and all of them just love living this way.
Network Guy
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Re: I got it wrong all these years

These people don't ever worry about making rent, utilities, not pissing off a boss, etc etc. Of course the lifestyle surrounding their circumstance is very different from someone who works. Doesn't change the fact that they will still have a roof over their heads no matter what.

funchords
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Good, Thanks, but this tames the symptom, not the sickness

[note: I consult with Free Press, but I haven't talked to anyone at Free Press about this story or program.]

Okay, real good on the target of who badly needs help: older children in middle and high school who can't do their homework or apply for scholarships due to the lack of online access. Not so great that it's only two years, given that they will need this help from seventh-through-twelfth grades.

But isn't the problem that broadband generally is priced too expensively, owing mostly to monopoly/duopoly cable and telephone providers having too little competition to tame prices naturally? Doesn't this band-aid just allow that problem to continue unsolved, hopefully with less regulatory pressure?
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•••
jus10

join:2009-08-04
Sterling, VA

Disgraceful at best

quote:
For one thing the program is simply a proposal, and it's not fully cooked yet. As it stands, the cable industry is promising to offer broadband to new families only for half price for two years,
I was going to ask why the heck the discounts went away when the kid got to high school but hey, there's not even a point to asking that question if its just codeword for a "two-year promo".

quote:
modem rentals for half price, free installation of the service, and free parental control and online security software.
Whoop-de-do. Free spyware. Awesome.

quote:
It also asks for $100 million in federal funding to create "digital media literacy programs" under the Adoption Plus "brand."
Ah good. $100 million in taxpayer money for "copyright brainwashing".

quote:
It also proposes to offer schools discounted hardware, if the NCTA can find hardware vendors to play along (none are signed on so far) and Uncle Sam ponies up a good chunk of the cash.
Dump your old outdated hardware on the poor today for a tax write-off and money from the government! Operators are standing by!

Deplorable.
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1

America needs an information superhighway.

The cable industries proposal is a red herring. How quickly we forget. Back in the good old days of the Dial-Up Internet there a terrible problem for ISP's. Competition! Anyone could lease a broadband connection to a peering point, Install a Radius Server, Modem Pool, Telephone Lines and sell internet access. The ISP that I was employed by had cartons full of obsolete modems from 14.4Kbps to 33.6Kbps. Why were they there. Competition. Customers would actually change ISP's because a competitor offered higher speeds and or lower prices. ISP's had to continually upgrade their equipment to keep up with competitors in order to stay in business.

When the Internet business began the average monthly fee for internet access cost about $25.00. Even before widespread deployment of Cable/DSL Broadband, prices for dial-up internet access dropped to about $15.00 per month for 56K download speed.

If the government can spend many billions of dollars to build the Interstate Highway System for Automobiles they can afford to spend a few billion to see that every home is wired with fiber for data. Content providers and ISP would use bandwidth on the public fiber network to carry their traffic for a fee just like the trucking industry uses roads and pays taxes for their use.

Unless there is the same level of competition for broadband service providers as there was in days of dial-up the consumer has no hope of fair pricing.

NOVA_Guy
ObamaCare Kills Americans
Premium
join:2002-03-05

Re: America needs an information superhighway.

This idea sounds enticing. But I'm tempted to argue against public funding to wire every home with fiber and then allow ISPs to charge customers any significant amount of money.

If the infrastructure is built with public funds, and I'm paying the ISP for access, doesn't that mean that I'm really paying for the same thing twice? Or would you see the ISP then as something different-- an entity that provides free access through public-built pipes, charging only for value-added services like access to video/newsgroups/telephony/etc.?
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To all liberals: I am NOT one of your parents, so get the heck out of my wallet. It's time for you to grow up and take some personal responsibility for taking care of yourselves, which means not relying on the government to give it all to you.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

How about this?

Government program gives every home in this range a near-netbook (12" screen). Then ISPs subsidize their own economy tier of service to $15, $10 of which the customer pays. If the household already has TV (cable) or a landline (telco) the costs of providing service are low anyway, and AT&T/Verizon/TWC don't have to subsidize their service much anyway since they all have $20-per-month pricing tiers.

I think that's about as reasonable as you can get if you want the gov't to step into things.