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[ARS] FCC Ajit Pai stuns consumer advocates with move that could hurt poor people  

post #1 of 147
Thread Starter 
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/advocates-for-poor-people-stunned-by-fcc-move-to-limit-low-cost-broadband/
Quote:
the FCC on Friday told nine companies that they can no longer provide subsidized broadband to customers who qualify for the Lifeline program. This 32-year-old program gives poor people $9.25 a month toward communications services, and it was changed last year to support broadband in addition to phone service.
    
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post #2 of 147
Two things that strike me here:
  1. "Combating fraud and waste" is a poor excuse to completely scrap a program when you have no alternative system in place.
  2. A $9.25/mo subsidy is not a lot, given the average cost of broadband in the USA.

This does strike me as a bit of low hanging fruit in terms of cost savings.
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post #3 of 147
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post #4 of 147
here's some fraud and waste for you.
Quote:
The FCC proceeds to remind ISPs that this money should not be used for booze, gifts for co-workers, entertainment, political donations or cafeteria art work. Amusingly, the FCC includes a few examples of ISPs that have decided to use the USF as their own personal little slush fund. One ISP, by the name of Sandwich Isles Communications, collected $242,489,940 from the USF over a decade, purportedly to provide telecom service to just 3,659 rural customers. Instead, company owner Albert Hee used taxpayer money for everything from massages to trips to Disney World:

"For example, the companies apparently paid $96,000 so that Hee could receive two-hour massages twice a week; $119,909 for personal expenses, including family trips to Disney World, Tahiti, France, and Switzerland and a four-day family vacation at the Mauna Lani resort; $736,900 for college tuition and housing expenses for Hee’s three children; $1,300,000 for a home in Santa Clara, California for his children’s use as college housing; and $1,676,685 in wages and fringe benefits for his wife and three children."

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20151022/09232532594/fcc-has-to-remind-isps-not-to-spend-taxpayer-subsidies-booze-trips-to-disney-world.shtml
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post #5 of 147
Aw, you shattered my illusions that the government can solve everything by recirculating hard working people's money wink.gif
post #6 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerJohn View Post

Two things that strike me here:
  1. "Combating fraud and waste" is a poor excuse to completely scrap a program when you have no alternative system in place.
  2. A $9.25/mo subsidy is not a lot, given the average cost of broadband in the USA.

This does strike me as a bit of low hanging fruit in terms of cost savings.

It's just because it's targeted at those least able to defend themselfs. It's to show that action is being taken at the expense of the same people that always pay the most with regime changes, those at the bottom.
post #7 of 147
Thread Starter 
The majority of the funds that actually make it through probably go to help the elderly on social security, which is sadly what a lot of people retire on soley for retirement (even though it was never meant for that). That being said, there is corruption in every form of government offering, that doesn't mean 80% of people it helps. I don't necessarily agree with this program anyway though, I simply was the messenger.
    
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post #8 of 147
So, where is the "Let's give him the benefit of the doubt!" legion now?
post #9 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerJohn View Post

Two things that strike me here:
  1. "Combating fraud and waste" is a poor excuse to completely scrap a program when you have no alternative system in place.
  2. A $9.25/mo subsidy is not a lot, given the average cost of broadband in the USA.

This does strike me as a bit of low hanging fruit in terms of cost savings.

http://ktla.com/2017/02/04/fcc-is-stopping-9-companies-from-providing-subsidized-internet-to-the-poor/

9.25 x 13'000'000 = 120'250'000 A MONTH That is quite a savings...
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post #10 of 147
/politics discussion cleaned

I'm hoping we can steer clear of the politics. Any questions please PM me directly regarding this.

Thanks guys. smile.gif
     
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