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FCC unveils plan to provide broadband to the poor

By Rick
Nov 9, 2011
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  1. The Federal Communications Commission has released information regarding a new strategy to increase broadband proliferation amongst low-income families. The commission has labeled the initiative "Connect to Compete" and has billed…

    Read the whole story
     
  2. chaboi390

    chaboi390 TS Rookie Posts: 83

    Wish the Australian government would roll out the national broadband network...
     
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 1,949   +381

    So wait, if im already paying for internet but it costs way too much and its digging a hole in my pocket, im not eligible. fantastic.
     
  4. motrin

    motrin TS Enthusiast Posts: 156   +8

    @ikesmasher sounds like thats a problem with your isp not the fcc.
     
  5. While no doubt a handfull of the poor United States civilians to gain internet access should this become a reality benefit themselves from this, lets be honest... It will grant most three things, access to facebook, games and porn.

    Save the money... put it toward the deficit.
     
  6. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Maniac Posts: 368   +52

    Try reading...

    "Despite its "biggest effort" proclamation, the FCC will not be directly investing any federal money. Instead, the agency is leveraging the wealth and reach of telecommunications companies, non-profit organizations and other private businesses to provide discounts, logistics and service to as many poor families as possible."
     
  7. DeliciousPie

    DeliciousPie TS Member Posts: 43

    Internet access to all is the 21st century equivelent of building public libraries.

    I think it's important for the future. Education and access to knowledge is a good thing.
     
  8. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,336   +280

    Some people have a problem seeing beyond their own yard. Many of these things have reciprocal effects that go beyond what you may see immediately. It's the same as focusing your attention on the K-12 education system... the citizens you end up with after they're all grown up are likely to be much more productive and educated enough to know that what happens to the commoners will eventually affect them. Things like lowered crime rates, more opportunity for innovation and discovery, higher productivity, etc. are sure to be some long term results. Sure, there will be a fair share of problems raised by this (pr0n, facebook, etc.) but that's inevitable.
     
  9. No cool people use Facebook anymore.
     
  10. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,105   +18

    You are completely right. In theory. But the reality is that you're going to get a very very small return on your investment. Now if you're one of those people that thinks that the one kid who benefits from this is worth the 99 who are going to waste this, then that's cool, but its equally valid for people to question the need to subsidize the facebook/porn needs of others just so that one diamond in the rough will flourish. I stopped believing in this myth of poor nobility that if somehow they are just given the right opportunity they will grasp at the golden ring.

    Two more things. ONne ANYTIME the gov't gets involved, somehow the taxpayer will pay for it. If Comcast does this, and gets tax breaks, guess what, we're paying for it. If there are gov't subsidies, we will pay for it. The whole point of politics is to pillage the taxpayers in order to benefit yourself and the businessmen that put you in office.

    And two, you don't need high speed broadband to learn. I was stuck with a horrendously slow connection for 2 weeks when I got to school, and had no problem accessing all the educational sites I needed. Who needs a 15 MBit connection to read Wikipedia or some high school or university web site? Its youtube and video that needs the high speed, not a text only page.
     
  11. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 1,949   +381

    @motrin-Its the only internet available where i live. (charter)
     
     
  12. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 566   +105

    "...lets be honest... It will grant most three things, access to facebook, games and porn."

    "And two, you don't need high speed broadband to learn."


    Yes! We must fight this because THAT IS what the poor DOES all day long...Watch porn and Facebook.
    /sarcasm
     
  13. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,105   +18

    You disagree? You're going to tell me that a broadband connection is needed for education? I call bullshit. What is needed is the motivation to learn. If these people have NO internet access, then yes, I agree, some internet access is needed. But if you're going to tell me that he needs a T1 line to his house to read wikipedia, then I'm going to disagree.

    I'm all for giving internet access to everyone. I am not for running a fiberoptic line to some village in BFE where everyone is hopped up on Oxycontin and meth.
     
  14. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 566   +105

    Actually my point was more how people like to think they can tell others what they can and can't do with their lives. People seem to think that just because they pay taxes that gives them the automatic right to dictate where that money goes. Guess what?..good or bad you voted for people to make that decision for you. Don't like what they are doing..vote them out. Coming on an internet forum and bitching does nothing but keep the powers that be fat and happy using your tax dollars to finance their next fishing trip.

    "I'm all for giving internet access to everyone. I am not for running a fiberoptic line to some village in BFE where everyone is hopped up on Oxycontin and meth."

    Again..way to lump everyone together. Yes ALL poor people are hopped up on Oxycontin and Meth./sarcasm

    "You're going to tell me that a broadband connection is needed for education?"

    Your right..lets make every school get dial up. Those kids don't need to see the educational content that You Tube actually has. (do a search on You Tube for "quadratic formula" I bet you might be surprised.)
     
  15. "Despite its "biggest effort" proclamation, the FCC will not be directly investing any federal money. Instead, the agency is leveraging the wealth and reach of telecommunications companies, non-profit organizations and other private businesses to provide discounts, logistics and service to as many poor families as possible."

    In other words, when your cable bill goes up, you'll know why. You're not just paying for your access, you're paying for theirs too.

    Personally I think I need to get myself fired. I mean and can get $1.99 land line. $4.99 cell phone service and now $9.99 internet service all for just signing up for food stamps!
     
  16. jetkami

    jetkami TS Rookie Posts: 99

    Insight into the typical mind of the spoiled and privileged class.
     
  17. Im for this move. For those saying we should just put it into the deficit, the only real way to take care of the deficit is to get more people working. This can allow a wider bunch to do that, from the contractors that install the lines to the consumer who can now find a job to work from home. (since they are in rural areas)
     
  18. At the minimum yes, the people don't dictate the content or bandwidth usage of websites they might want to access, and wikipedia is not the only learning tool. If you think 56K is ok in this day and age, then you may be looking back to the "good old days" with rose tinted glasses... I remember 56K, it wasn't fun, practical or good value for money - in fact if I'm frank it was **** and annoying - and that was well before the days of youtube, downloadable content and hi definition tits and ***. I remember sites loading up in a piecemeal fashion and most of those sites used few images, and were designed to fit on an 800x600 screen.

    Also this is not really about "education", at least the article does not directly mention it. It's about giving poorer families access to the web - simple as that. What the poorer families do with that access is largely up to them, it's not really my business or anyone else's, but I think lumping such people into a "trailer trash" category as you have is unfair. This will give poorer people, adults, children and older people alike access to the web, so it could be seen as a good thing.

    As to the real motives? Well as every business stand to gain through more product exposure, more people viewing ads and buying online, etc - I'd say that's pretty obvious. The poor are actually the best consumers - they collectively buy in the largest quantities and at the highest profit margins - believe it or not there are also economic benefits to this......
     
  19. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,105   +18

    Oh please. Look at the statistics of what people actually use the internet for. It *IS* Facebook, it *IS* porn, it *IS* Netflix.

    And these are the (ostensibly) educated "privileged" people who can afford broadband.

    So if you're going to look at the poor, which ARE statistically under educated, you're going to assume that they are going to use that internet for noble pursuits which the more affluent people aren't?

    This isn't anecdotal evidence, this is reality. Meth use *is* disproportionately high in poor communities. Teen pregnancy is high in poor communities. I'm not being a ****, this is just how things are. The information is all out there. Don't be outraged, look it up yourself.

    Look, I don't care if poor people want to play on Facebook or surf for porn. I just care about who is going to pay for it. So let's be real here. If most "regular" internet users use the internet for these purposes, why am I so crazy to assume that is what poor people are going to use? And if that is going to be on my dime, then yes, I can complain about it.

    And regardless of what the gov't is saying, the taxpayer is going to pay for this somehow. Maybe on a federal level, maybe on a state or municipal level, but somehow tax dollars will be spent on bringing broadband to poor people.

    And as caravel pointed out, the real reason is to get poor people to buy things from corporations.And those corporations are going to talk to their politician friends and get us to pay for it all, just like we paid for the bailouts and all this other crap. Every single altruistic thing the gov't has done for the past two decades (at least) has brought a lot of profit to someone. Sure, it may do good to the end user, but someone makes a lot of money doing so, that's the American way.
     
  20. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 566   +105

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0921862.html

    Top 10 activities from that site:(numbers are percentages)

    Send or read email 92%
    Use a search engine to find information 89
    Search for a map or driving directions 86
    Look for info on a hobby or interest 83
    Research a product or service before buying 81
    Check the weather 80
    Look for health/medical info 75
    Get travel info 73
    Get news 73
    Buy a product 71
    Visit a local, state, or federal government website 66

    "Oh please. Look at the statistics of what people actually use the internet for. It *IS* Facebook, it *IS* porn, it *IS* Netflix."

    They trouble with statistics is they can always be skewed to fit the need. Just because Facebook and porn are popular does not mean that is what everyone does.

    "This isn't anecdotal evidence, this is reality. Meth use *is* disproportionately high in poor communities. Teen pregnancy is high in poor communities. I'm not being a ****, this is just how things are. The information is all out there. Don't be outraged, look it up yourself. "

    This is like saying Cocaine or Ecstasy use *is* disproportionally high in wealthy communities. Since its an easier obtainable drug, Meth is much worse? Drugs are drugs. Teen pregnancy is the result of what..teenage girls being uneducated? Seems to me that might be all the more reason to get internet services into poor areas.

    "Look, I don't care if poor people want to play on Facebook or surf for porn. I just care about who is going to pay for it."

    Well according to the article:

    "Despite its "biggest effort" proclamation, the FCC will not be directly investing any federal money. Instead, the agency is leveraging the wealth and reach of telecommunications companies, non-profit organizations and other private businesses to provide discounts, logistics and service to as many poor families as possible. Morgan Stanely, for example, will be providing microloans to families to who may need to purchase the $150 computer package. Redemtech will be furnishing $150 refurbished laptops and desktop packages as Microsoft will also be offering free software and a line of $250 computers for underprivileged families."

    Looks to me like this is generating business for several companies. Cable will make more money adding subscribers, banks will make money off the micro-loans, and whoever doesn't will be able to write the losses off on their taxes. Kinda looks WIN-WIN to me.

    " And if that is going to be on my dime, then yes, I can complain about it."

    Hows that working out for ya?
     
  21. Breech

    Breech TS Member Posts: 79

    Spot on right here. Self reliance is a lost ideal in this country. I see no need to subsidize the lazy and unmotivated. There are plenty of success stories involving persons of limited financial means that educated themselves the good old fashioned way.........with books, papers and pencils. At least, that's how I remember going about my education. If you want a computer and internet then go earn it like the rest of us had to.
     
  22. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,105   +18

    Like the self reported statistics that you quoted to support your argument?

    "Percent of Internet users who report this activity"

    How is that working out for you?
     
  23. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 566   +105

    Works just fine for me. LOL

    This link was in my original post : http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0921862.html
    Please argue with them about the numbers, I didn't conduct the study. In fact, here is when the study was conducted: Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project tracking surveys (July 22, 2008). Please feel free to post the links to your data that claims all poor people do is watch porn, Do Facebook and watch Netflix.

    2. "Percent of Internet users who report this activity" I have no idea where you got this. Please elaborate.
     
  24. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,105   +18

    Its the heading of the column right above the percentages. Its a study, so its self reported. The web site you provided. I actually read it.

    Show me traffic analysis disproving me. FB is the second most visited site in the world according to Alexa, and Netflix takes up 1/3 of all bandwidth during peak times:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2395372,00.asp#fbid=WX2sIrjAetI

    And what we're talking about here is BROADBAND, not any sort of internet access. I never said that I don't want them to have any internet access. But when people always say that the internet is needed for e-mail, or to look for work, or to learn, none of those activities require a broadband connection. The ONLY thing you need broadband for, essentially, is the transmission of video. That is the bandwidth hog. The HTML and text that composes the non-video portion of any web site is insignificant in comparison.

    I just question the need for them to have high speed broadband which will eventually be paid for by the taxpayer. I seriously don't care what this article, the US gov't, or the corporations say, anytime that there is some sort of social program to provide the poor with anything, its going to be put on the taxpayers dime. Either through direct or indirect subsidies, or through tax breaks, which basically places a larger tax burden on you and me.
     
  25. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 566   +105

    So what you are basically saying then is that poor families (through fault or no fault of their own) should only be allowed things that people who can are not poor dictate on the assumption of past and/or present stereotypical information? Let's not forget the disabled who though no fault of their own that meet guidelines that categorize them as being poor also. They also have no need for broadband right? Who cares if maybe some of their equipment may need a fast internet connection to relay medical data to a doctor's office or a hospital. 56k should do just fine. They probably just watch Netflix and porn anyways on those machines.

    Then you have those people who worked 20 years, paid all their taxes and through no fault of their own are out of a job. Screw them right? They aren't paying now. They are poor. What use could they have for a broadband connection? This is America, land of opportunity....unless someone thinks you shouldn't get an opportunity because it might mean you make more money than them.

    Karma is a *****. Enjoy your weekend.
     


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