Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act of 2011'

June 15, 2011 -

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) introduced a bill yesterday called "The Broadband Affordability Act of 2011." The bill would deliver high speed Internet access to lower income households to close what she calls the "the digital divide." Matsui introduced an identical bill in 2009. She is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

Matsui said that low-income Americans need access to affordable high-speed internet as much as anyone else, to succeed in our modern and connected society:

"Income should not hinder the ability of hard-working American families to attain broadband services that have become a necessity, not a luxury in our technologically driven economy. If you don't have it, you are simply at a competitive disadvantage," Matsui said in a statement.

She argues that having an option to buy Internet access is not enough to close the "digital divide" if the options available aren't affordable.

The Broadband Affordability Act of 2011 would direct the Federal Communications Commission to establish a program to subsidize Internet services and would be similar to current subsidies for telephone service. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association called the bill "competitively neutral."

Source: National Journal by way of Free Press


Comments

Re: Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act ...

A good idea, but the entire infrastructure is in need of an overhawl. I suspect most of congress will dig their heels in at the prospect of paying for anything.

Re: Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act ...

They'll likely do whatever the lobbyists pay them to do.

Re: Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act ...

Good.

Low-income people need Internet access as much as anybody -- perhaps more.  I was unemployed for several months at the start of this year, and good luck finding work with no Internet connection, especially in a software-related field.

(Fortunately I'm close enough to the local library that if it came down to it I could have canceled my broadband and used the Internet there, but lots of people don't have that advantage.  And there is a comfort factor to using your own computer that's set up just the way you want it.)

Re: Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act ...

Agreed, plus with more and more companies putting their application processes online...

The internet is going the way of the cell phone, sure there are people who insist that it's only a luxury, but so were cell phones at one point, as were televisions and even regular land line phones.

Re: Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act ...

Exactly, considering she is my Congresswoman and we have roughly 3 high speed choices.

AT&T,Comcast, and someone else. All at the cost of $50 a month when no one has a special running.

Re: Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act ...

I support the idea behind this bill - however I also worry about the cost, unless the government is allowed to negotiate with the ISPs for a lowered price for the subsidy.

I would really rather that this sort of money were put into financing smaller ISPs to compete with the larger ISPs, and removing the roadblocking laws currently being passed which are favoring larger ISPs. Competition, combined with strong Net Neutrality rules, would bring down the prices of high-speed internet. Then, any of the poor who need additional assistance could get it - but at a smaller cost to the people.

But, since *that's* not going to happen...sure - let's do this instead!

Re: Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act ...

That might actually increase competition, and you know how much free market people hate competition.  Nope, these vouchers will fit in much better....

Re: Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act ...

It's  not that they hate competition, they just have a fale notio nthat the market will somehow "correct itself."

Yeah, corporations never do the right thing if the right things means fewer dollars.

Re: Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act ...

There is a huge difference between a free market and what is currently happening in the ISP market.

In a free market, any company would be able to start up a new ISP whether wired or wireless and not be blocked by pointlesss regulation.

In the current ISP market, regulations are passed to protect existing companies and block new companies or options from forming.

We do not have a free market when it comes to ISPs.

E. Zachary Knight
Divine Knight Gaming

Re: Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act ...

And I can already hear lobbyists starting their engines.

Re: Rep. Matsui Introduces 'The Broadband Affordability Act ...

I'm all up for this bill, this country needs more  access to brodband internet.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://i5.minus.com/iN5o9iu1ON2NG.jpg "It cursed my gear? WHY WOULD IT DO THAT?! THIS GAME IS BUGGED!"04/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Matthew Wilsonthe lose of nn would not be good for us, but it will not be good for verizion/comcast/att in the long run ether.04/24/2014 - 2:16pm
Matthew Wilsonsadly yes. it would take another sopa day to achieve it.04/24/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoI am also confused. Are you saying NN would only become law if Google/Netflix pushed the issue (against their own interests)?04/24/2014 - 2:10pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, you are saying a lot of things but I am still unclear on your point. Are you saying that the loss of Net Neutrality will be good in the long run?04/24/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonOfcourse it does I never said it did not.though over time the death of NN will make backbone providers like Google, level3 and others stronger becouse most isps including the big ones can not provid internet without them. they can peer with smaller isps04/24/2014 - 1:54pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, and that still plays in Google's favor over their smaller rivals who don't have the muscle to stand up to ISPs.04/24/2014 - 1:45pm
Matthew Wilsongoogle wont pay becouse they control a large part of the backbone that all isps depend on. if verizon blocks their data, google does the same. the effect is Verizon loses access to 40% of the internet, and can not serve some areas at all.04/24/2014 - 1:14pm
Neenekolack of NN is in google and netflix interest. It is another tool for squeezing out smaller companies since they can afford to 'play'04/24/2014 - 12:57pm
Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
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Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
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