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Networking The Internet AT&T Government The Almighty Buck United States Technology

Comcast Launching $9.95 Low Income Broadband Plan 277

MojoKid writes "Comcast is launching 'Internet Essentials,' a new initiative offering discounted Internet access and home computers to families that meet low income requirements. The program was mandated as a requirement of Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal, earlier this year. In that way, it's very similar to AT&T's Naked DSL program, which AT&T was required to offer as a condition of its merger with BellSouth. Internet Essentials will be available wherever Comcast offers broadband, which means 39 states."
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Comcast Launching $9.95 Low Income Broadband Plan

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  • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <> on Sunday August 07, 2011 @05:54AM (#37013040) Homepage

    Look, if they're going to offer subsidized internet access to low-income households, I think the real move should be to nationalize it altogether. If Comcast and/or the FCC can acknowledge that it is a public right to have affordable internet access for everyone, then it is high time the profit motive were removed from the equation. Oh, wait, you guys completely fucked that up with the national health care plan... carry on with your nihilistic ledger-padding then!

  • by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @06:24AM (#37013112) Journal

    For as long as it's profitable (mistreating customers is ALWAYS profitable when you have a monopoly on a good or service that is essential, and Internet access is)...or the people all out rebel.

    I don't see the latter happening in the US, sadly.

  • by DavidShor ( 928926 ) <> on Sunday August 07, 2011 @07:03AM (#37013224) Homepage
    Eh. Every country that has better broadband than us does it via extensive government intervention. Our internet is more expensive and slower, by a considerable margin, than most other countries in the OECD, even when you just look at dense cities. The best internet in the country is in Utah, where government has just rolled out their own fiber. Markets are great, but they don't really work with utilities. Monopolies, network externalities, economies of scale, etc.
  • by espiesp ( 1251084 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @07:14AM (#37013268)

    I think you're confused as to what a "right" is.

    It doesn't mean it's given to you. It means you are given the opportunity to pursue it without undue harassment by the Gov. In a sense, things that are rights can also be a privilege if there is an associated cost. Really, all rights, natural and otherwise come at a cost. Even freedom is directly free, but in indirectly has a cost in that at some point you have to fight for it.

    I personally think this is bad news bears all around. The infrastructure is already spread thin - at least judging by my internet speeds and costs. Last thing we need is a flux of new subscribers that are low-income (read: jobless or underemployed) who have all the time in the world to suck up my precious bandwidth.

    If people want internet, they can work for it just like I have to. It's not a necessity to survive. Last thing these people need is another incentive not to succeed.

  • Familial Bias (Score:4, Insightful)

    by macraig ( 621737 ) <> on Sunday August 07, 2011 @07:24AM (#37013290)

    Read the details: it's ONLY offered to families with young children. If you're single and down on your luck, you're still down on your luck; if you're an older couple with teenaged kids fallen on hard times, tough luck for you, too.

    Ageism strikes again. Think of the children!

  • by arcite ( 661011 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @08:18AM (#37013436)
    Access to internet is as essential now as access to drinking water and electricity. Selfish bastards such as yourself can go back in your hole.
  • by alendit ( 1454311 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @08:19AM (#37013440)

    Infrastructure spread thin? Your speeds and costs are direct result of the lack of competition in the US ISP market. Here, on the right side of the ocean nobody can even remember the time, when the internet was volume limited or when you had to pay for it more than 20-25 euro.

    But hey, what do I know? I'm sure your problem is not the greedy corps trying screw you over, but the poor cloging your tubes...

    PS. Purposely ignoring your definition of "rights", because it would only start a flame war.

  • by digsbo ( 1292334 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @11:23AM (#37014254)
    Amen. There is very little real material need in the USA. My wife's work in the public schools has put her in contact with the "parent" type that always has a $35 nail job but "can't pay" for her child's subsidized medication ($1/day or something like that) which is essential for their psychological well-being and ability to learn and avoid becoming a delinquent. We've gotten so bitter about giving to charities that we've basically decided it's got to be some legitimate organization in a foreign country that we know will make sure people are fed (i.e. not anything UN oriented) when giving to poverty-relief groups.
  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday August 07, 2011 @01:01PM (#37015064) Journal

    I know a lot of poor smokers and they simply switched to the filtered cigars when the prices got nuts. At a pack a day that is $75 a month or $900 a year. Not anywhere close to what you are quoting friend. Sadly in some neighborhood it is getting cheaper to smoke dope than it is to smoke cigarettes. Didn't we learn anything from prohibition?

    As for the Comcast thing? Good luck folks. I know plenty of poor and older folks that tried to get the naked AT&T DSL and for all intents and purposes it don't exist. by the time they got done tacking on fees and requirements and hoop jumping most gave up. I don't think I ever met anyone that actually managed to get it. When the government makes them offer something like this they make sure the bullshit and flaming hoops are so high that you'll just give up. Yeah good luck folks.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.