The Obamphone program, and it is the Obamaphone program, though it was started in the 80s so that people could call the fire department if they needed it, has expanded exponentially during the current administration. Now pretty much anyone can get a free (I mean you and I pay for them via our taxes) phone just for the asking as this recent video illustrates.
And now we will be subsidizing broadband Internet too via Mr. Obama’s “ConnectHome” crony boondoggle. Congratulations America, more stuff which is way beyond what government should be doing that you have to pay for. Oh, and which will fatten the bottom lines of large corporations in the process.
Tracfone, owned by Carlos Slim, the Mexican magnate and the richest man in the world has done very well under the “Lifeline” program. ($451 million of your tax dollars in 2011 alone.) Now it looks like all sorts of other companies will be getting in on the act as Google Fiber, a connection which I can almost guarantee is way way beyond the connection you have, you know the connection you PAY for, is installed in housing projects across America. (You’ll be paying for this connection too of course.)
This is couched as a program for the poor, which will help people find jobs etc. I certainly hope this is true, but my bet is that it has as much to do with rewarding complicit corporations as anything else.
It’s a jack dressed up in “doing good.”
Also it should be noted that with such connections the propaganda message is made more easily. This is also a big part of the effort.
Connecting people to super duper high speed Internet is not what government is supposed to be doing. Because it is doing it on YOUR DIME.
This is directly from the White House website. Here are some of the big beneficiaries, I mean partners, involved in the ConnectHome program.
Helping deliver affordable connectivity: Eight nationwide Internet Service Providers have announced they are partnering with mayors, public housing authorities, non-profit groups, and for-profit entities to bridge the gap in digital access for students living in assisted housing units. For example:
- In Google Fiber markets (including the ConnectHome cities of Atlanta, Durham, Kansas City, and Nashville), Google Fiber will offer $0 monthly home Internet service to residents in select public housing authority properties and will partner with community organizations on computer labs and digital literacy programming to bridge the digital divide, especially for families with K-12 students.
- In select communities of Choctaw Tribal Nation, Cherokee Communications, Pine Telephone, Suddenlink Communications, and Vyve Broadband will work together to ensure that over 425 of Choctaw’s public housing residents have access to low-cost, high-speed internet.
- In Seattle, and across its coverage footprint, CenturyLink will make broadband service available to HUD households, via its Internet Basics program, for $9.95 per month for the first year and $14.95 per month for the next four years.
- In Macon, Meriden, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans, Cox Communications will offer home Internet service for $9.95 per month to eligible K-12 families residing in public housing authorities.As part of its existing ConnectED commitment, Sprint will work with HUD and the ConnectHome program to make its free wireless broadband Internet access service program available to eligible K-12 students living in public housing. This builds upon the free mobile broadband service previously committed to low-income students by AT&T and Verizon, for ConnectED.