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Title: Here's The FCC's Plan To Narrow 'Digital Divide' For Better Internet Access
Source: Tech Times
URL Source: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/5 ... -better-access-to-internet.htm
Published: May 30, 2015
Author: Menchie Mendoza
Post Date: 2015-05-30 11:53:20 by Willie Green
Keywords: obamaphone, internet, broadband
Views: 1637
Comments: 6

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is emphasizing the critical role of the Internet in modern life, communication, education and employment. The Federal Communications Commission is redefining broadband access as a new "lifeline" feature in addition to the landline and wireless phone access many low-income American familes already receive.

For 30 years, low-income households have received assistance from the federal government in paying their phone bills. Now, Wheeler is proposing the same subsidized access to advanced telecommunications services, ensuring that all Americans can afford broadband Internet service.

"Broadband is every bit as important today as plain old phone service was 30 years ago," said Gene Kimmelman, CEO of Public Knowledge and a former Justice Department official.

Currently, more than 95 percent of households belong to the $150,000-and-above income bracket that have broadband or high-speed Internet service. However, only 48 percent belonging to the $25,000-and-less income bracket have the service in their homes.

Under Wheeler's proposal, low-income recipients will be able to choose between phone service, Internet service or even a combination of both. This will extend the current coverage of the Lifeline program that was started in 1985 that has a monthly credit of $9.25.

The costs of the expanded program will be covered by the universal service fee that consumers pay on phone bills issued by landline telephone companies, wireless telephone service providers and Internet phone service providers.

In 2014, at least 12 million households had been served by Lifeline at the cost of $1.7 billion, been paid for by surcharges on customer telephone bills.

Wheeler wanted "an overhaul of the way we determine eligibility for Lifeline to the low-income consumers most in need of the support, to eliminate the gap in opportunity between the Internet broadband haves and have-nots."

As Wheeler tweeted, "Today, broadband is necessary for full participation in society. The current divide between digital "haves" and "have-nots" is unacceptable."

To be eligible, a household should have an income that falls at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty line. Participants could also participate in other programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and free school lunch.

Some broadband service providers are already offering budget-friendly Internet to households that are in the school lunch program or on food stamps. There are providers, such as Comcast, that offer an Internet Essential program at a monthly cost of $10. The program has however been criticized for very slow speeds of 5MB per second and for extending its eligibility to a low number of people.

Broadband, as defined by the FCC, should have download speeds of up to 25MB per second and higher.

The new proposal is scheduled to undergo voting on June 18. A final vote is expected to be achieved before the end of the year.

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#1. To: Willie Green (#0)

"The program has however been criticized for very slow speeds of 5MB per second"

Criticized by who?

If a poor person is receiving in-home Internet service that I'm paying for and complains that 5MB is too slow and demands 25 MB, they can go to the f**king library.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-05-30   12:10:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: misterwhite (#1)

f a poor person is receiving in-home Internet service that I'm paying for and complains that 5MB is too slow and demands 25 MB, they can go to the f**king library.

They can't get to the f**king library unless you subsidize high-speed mass transit & passenger rail too.

Some people march to a different drummer - and some people POLKA.

Willie Green  posted on  2015-05-30   12:38:30 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: Willie Green (#2)

These people can WALTZ their way to the effin library.

jeremiad  posted on  2015-05-30   12:40:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: Willie Green (#2)

"They can't get to the f**king library unless you subsidize high-speed mass transit & passenger rail too."

They can f**king walk. Hopefully that won't interrupt their busy schedule of doing nothing.

I live in the country and tolerated dial-up for years. Then years more on 2MB ADSL. Currently I'm at 5MB broadband and pay $40/month.

And they want me to pay more so someone else can get 25MB for free?

misterwhite  posted on  2015-05-30   13:04:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: Willie Green (#0)

only 48 percent belonging to the $25,000-and-less income bracket have the service in their homes

Misleading. On top of the 48% of low income people who have wired broadband service, 13% have broadband service on their smartphones, for a total of 61% or lower income people with broadband access.

On top of this, most libraries in the U.S. have PCs with broadband access which are offered at no charge to the public.

There are really only two groups of people who don't have broadband access today:

1.) People who don't want it, e.g., the elderly

2.) People living in very remote rural areas (about 6% of the population).

Over the past 20 years, the Internet has been the biggest driver of innovation and economic opportunity. The politicians can't stand it, so now they are trying to get their grubby little fingers all over it. They are just going to fuck it up, like they fucked everything else up.

cranko  posted on  2015-05-30   16:15:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#6. To: Willie Green (#2)

They can't get to the f**king library unless you subsidize high-speed mass transit & passenger rail too.

There are almost 1100 libraries in NYC which means there is one right around every corner in the city, they can walk a couple of hundred yards it won't hurt their dumbasses. $5 says they would walk much farther to get to their friendly neighborhood drug dealer!!

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

CZ82  posted on  2015-05-30   16:25:30 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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