AfterDawn: Tech news

Low Income families in US to get $10 Internet and $150 computers next year

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 09 Nov 2011 14:26 User comments (29)

Low Income families in US to get $10 Internet and $150 computers next year US cable broadand providers and a number of technology companies are working with the FCC on a joint effor to deliver computers with broadband connections to poor Americans.
The new initiative, called Connect to Compete, brings together members of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, software companies like Microsoft, retailers such as Best Buy, and online services which include job search sites CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com to offer a variety of services for low income families.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the initiative today in a speech delivered at a Washington DC public school. Among the highlights of the program is a plan for cable operators across the country to offer Internet service for $10 per month to low income households.

Families who have children enrolled in the government's free and reduced price lunch program who don't already have Internet acces will be eligible for the program.

In addition, Redmantech will be offering refurbished desktop and laptop computers to those same families for $150. The computers will have Intel Core2Duo processors, run Windows 7, and include Microsoft Office.

Microsoft is also joining in the effort more directly. Along with their hardware partners, they will be developing a new line of desktops and laptops designed for students which will be priced starting at $250. These computers will also come with Windows 7 and Office preinstalled.

For families who can't afford even $150 for a computer, Morgan Stanley will be developing a financing plan to bring this new opportunity within reach.

Other programs will include basic technology training classes provided by Best Buy and Microsoft and job seeking help from CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com.

Although they are working with the FCC, Connect to Compete's programs will all be privately funded by the companies involved, as well as a group of non-profit partners. The first programs are expected to be running by spring of 2012.

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29 user comments

19.11.2011 14:31

Well, isn't this nice? What's the catch? There is, after all, always a catch.

29.11.2011 16:27

Only those who are here illegally and are on welfare will quality. The rest of us will not be eligible!

39.11.2011 16:37

If your poor how can you afford $10 internet, and the computers will end up in pawn shops, no poor kids will benifit, it's like giving rice crispy treats to a person with no teeth, it would benifit them if they could eat it..

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Nov 2011 @ 16:37




"That which does not serve me shall become apart of me." - Unicron

49.11.2011 17:19

Quote:
If your poor how can you afford $10 internet, and the computers will end up in pawn shops, no poor kids will benifit, it's like giving rice crispy treats to a person with no teeth, it would benifit them if they could eat it..
Kind of agree with you here, I could see a lot of people taking advantage of it.

About the poor comment not being able to afford internet, that's so-so. What is poor? Anything considering below the lowest tax bracket threshold.

I dunno how it works in the US tho and I sure every state is different any how. In Canada tho, my household income is $10,000 a year for a family of 4. I am considered the lowest tax bracket and in the poor region as well.

Because of strict budgeting tho, I not only have the net, we have a car, and smart phone. We don't waist $ on booze, cigs are any other recreational drug. So... it all comes down to what you considered more valued. Lets face it, a lot more people could prioritize what little $ they have better.

Mind you by the time my wife and i retire, I sure we'll be ending up in a stank shelter for the lost elderly. As we have no $ left for setting aside retirement fund
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Nov 2011 @ 17:20

59.11.2011 17:23

Yeah 90% of the poor have a refrigerator, those bastards!!! <Sarcasm>

Really there are many people who truly are very sick, way too sick to do much on a daily basis. Some do abuse the system but it is wrong to generalize and group everybody under one umbrella.
$10.00 to you may mean a lot more to people who need it.

Jeff

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Nov 2011 @ 17:25

Cars, Guitars & Radiation.

69.11.2011 17:41

This is pretty great.

For the record, here in the US, the poverty line for 1 person household is just a tad under $11,000.

If you make $11,000 a year, there is no way you can afford rent + $45 Internet (in most metro cities). This initiative will help. Not sure what it is for larger families. My guess would be around $20,000 for a home with two parents and two kids.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Nov 2011 @ 18:32

79.11.2011 18:24

Quote:
If you make $11,000 a year, there is no way you can afford rent + $45 Internet. This initiative will help. Not sure what it is for larger families. My guess would be around $20,000 for a home with two parents and two kids.
Maybe in US, but in Canada we have what's called Geared to Income housing, where you pay a monthly rent calculated based on your family income. So if your income is $10k / year you pay a considerably amount lower per month than a family earning $20 / year.

So that's how my family gets by, and I not saying it's easy it's not. You really need a strict budget the key word being STRICT. Not everyone has the luxury of being in housing either. I just saying they are basing this plan off poor, but don't say what poor qualifies. Obviously you need to have your own residence (rent or otherwise). I highly doubt they gonna hand these units to people living in shelters or on the streets.

89.11.2011 18:42

I'm not trying to be mean or hate full. poor have more important things to spend their money on and it's sad but that sometimes means the kids these computers would be for, miss out which is bad cause every kid should have the same chances to learn and get a good paying job or own a bussiness. I live in KY and hear drugs are more important than kids or computers. I hate druggies....

Unicron
PS - I am the first Unicron on the internet, but everyone wants to steal your nick.





"That which does not serve me shall become apart of me." - Unicron

99.11.2011 19:57

In the digital age, people will have a larger risk of falling through the cracks and having drug problems and so on. Nobody can expect there will be a 100% success rate but at least kids will be given a chance to better their future.

If some of the parents of these kids are truly disabled having access to the internet is a big plus. Think about it, personal and medical business can be accomplished without using money for cabs, having to dig up family, friends (if there is family and friends available) shuttles, stamps which also costs $$. Sending faxes TCOB and just general things can be taken care of....

Drugs are everywhere just not KY.

Jeff


Cars, Guitars & Radiation.

109.11.2011 20:39

Quote:
PS - I am the first Unicron on the internet, but everyone wants to steal your nick.
It gets like that - about 20 years ago I created Mystt, now I can't even use it at most sites. If it's nice and unique, people will take it. Sadly an alias can't be patented, trademarked, or anything that I am aware of. If nothing else, think of it as a form of flattery.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Nov 2011 @ 20:39

119.11.2011 20:48

In other news, cable internet companies will raise broadband prices $10 for non poor customers.

129.11.2011 21:43

I wonder what kind of internet speeds they would be looking at. I used to get free lunch but we at least had a decent internet service.

139.11.2011 23:59
llongtheD
Inactive

Originally posted by jandnf:
In other news, cable internet companies will raise broadband prices $10 for non poor customers.
Exactly, someone's going to pay. The companies offering this will get a nice tax break, which will then fall back on people actually paying taxes. They are certainly not just going to cough this up for free... unless the computers are so encrusted with bloatware they can only visit sponsored sites.
I certainly don't mean to sound harsh, but this is another way for corporations to get a huge tax break in the guise of charity. I'd be interested to have a complete list of the companies involved.

Take a look at the last statement.
"Although they are working with the FCC, Connect to Compete's programs will all be privately funded by the companies involved, as well as a group of non-profit partners. The first programs are expected to be running by spring of 2012."

It's good to know that our government and corporations are watching out for the poor the way they are. Socialism, here we come.

Is it a good thing that government and corporations are coming up with these programs without THE people?
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Nov 2011 @ 0:20

If your fish seems sick, put it back in the water.

1410.11.2011 12:49

Originally posted by jandnf:
In other news, cable internet companies will raise broadband prices $10 for non poor customers.
For an already inflated service. When broadband came on the scene, it had benefits where the $45-50 price was justified versus that of an $25 AOL dial-up. The price has never moved and IMO gouging. Cell companies are no different, charging $40-50, where the "anywhere" benefit was compared to your $20 landline. Again, more gouging.

If they can offer this for $10 to the "needy" they could probably offer it to everyone. The only reason the prices don't fall is due to the monopoly these telcos have.

1510.11.2011 13:40

Originally posted by SProdigy:
Originally posted by jandnf:
In other news, cable internet companies will raise broadband prices $10 for non poor customers.
For an already inflated service. When broadband came on the scene, it had benefits where the $45-50 price was justified versus that of an $25 AOL dial-up. The price has never moved and IMO gouging. Cell companies are no different, charging $40-50, where the "anywhere" benefit was compared to your $20 landline. Again, more gouging.

If they can offer this for $10 to the "needy" they could probably offer it to everyone. The only reason the prices don't fall is due to the monopoly these telcos have.
Of course they can offer it at $10. The problem is this nation is not socialist and companies actually need to make money. Shame. $45 is perfectly reasonable for a service that everyone needs and uses and you cannot create yourself.

If you want to complain about monopolies, go ask some of our Canadian bretheren how they feel about Rogers or Bell :)

1610.11.2011 13:45

Originally posted by DVDBack23:
Originally posted by SProdigy:
Originally posted by jandnf:
In other news, cable internet companies will raise broadband prices $10 for non poor customers.
For an already inflated service. When broadband came on the scene, it had benefits where the $45-50 price was justified versus that of an $25 AOL dial-up. The price has never moved and IMO gouging. Cell companies are no different, charging $40-50, where the "anywhere" benefit was compared to your $20 landline. Again, more gouging.

If they can offer this for $10 to the "needy" they could probably offer it to everyone. The only reason the prices don't fall is due to the monopoly these telcos have.
Of course they can offer it at $10. The problem is this nation is not socialist and companies actually need to make money. Shame. $45 is perfectly reasonable for a service that everyone needs and uses and you cannot create yourself.

If you want to complain about monopolies, go ask some of our Canadian bretheren how they feel about Rogers or Bell :)
There's a difference between needing to make profit and bleeding a penny. Everything is designed to nowadays to fleece the general public. Gone are the days of fair prices and fair wages.

And my cable internet bill alone is near $60 for the "lowest" tier, after taxes (because of course there HAS to be tax on it.) My only alternatives are DSL (slower, and cheaper... for the first year that is) Dial-up (okay not an alternative) and satellite (even worse.)

1710.11.2011 14:00

I think a lot of them will use this. I am constantly suprised how many "poor" people are running around with smartphones I can't afford so they have the money evidently.


Just my $0.02,

dEwMe

1810.11.2011 14:15

Originally posted by dEwMe:
I think a lot of them will use this. I am constantly suprised how many "poor" people are running around with smartphones I can't afford so they have the money evidently.

And gold teeth... And Air Jordans... Yep, know what you mean.

1911.11.2011 6:23

NAGGERS!!!! ;)

2011.11.2011 9:16

i live in australia and im on welfare (sickness benefit) i get $17000 a year.i live in governemnt housing at 25%of my income for rent.i saved hard for a $1300 computer,i got myself a car with an advance payment of $1000 with $79 coming out per fortnight for 13payments.i pay $60 a month for naked adsl 2+ internet.I also spent $70 a week on cigarettes .australia doesnt even have a poverty rate.welfare seems low in america and canada.

as for computers its $150 for an out dated computer might be better off buying a computer for the same price of ebay.then you will have drug addicts getting the $150 computers to trade for drugs or sell for drugs.the $10 internet seems a good deal.with anything cheap or free there is always people out to exploit it.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

2111.11.2011 9:48

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
with anything cheap or free there is always people out to exploit it.
Of course, that's because I'm in the middle class that pays full price for my internet, yet someone that's "low income" is going to get a service for bottom dollar, the minimum price the telcos can get away with, but will probably increase my service's cost to offset the difference. I pay twice: for my service and taxes for the service of the "less fortunate".

I'm sorry, but the whole meaning of having it "tough" is making sacrifices. There are too many folks that are lazy and abusing the system. They won't get off their butt to get a job, yet we keep giving them more and more handouts at our expense. My heart does not go out to you if you cannot afford cable TV, internet or a cell phone. Those are luxuries not necessities. If I couldn't afford any of the above, I would have to sacrifice something and go without.

2211.11.2011 12:25

Ahhh more free handouts for votes from the Obama administration.

2311.11.2011 14:42

Lets not forget what this article is about, Its for helping those unfortunates that have NO internet access and NO computers and LOW income. The idea here is to get those persons up to speed to get them jobs. Now, this includes the kids in school to help them obtain skills necessary to get gainful employment. I'm sure there are those that will abuse this but hopefully there are those that will truly benefit from it. Maybe I'm naieve but hope is what its all about. Everyone out there doesn't have a computer let alone an internet connection. Doesn't look like this will be high speed, but even dial-up is an improvement over nothing. Lets see, is it easier on our pocketbook to pay increased taxes to give freebies to welfare or easier on us to train them to be self supporting taxpayers? Lets see what happens.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Nov 2011 @ 14:49

jimmurray1946

2411.11.2011 14:49

Originally posted by jimmurray:
Lets not forget what this article is about, Its for helping those unfortunates that have NO internet access and NO computers and LOW income. The idea here is to get those persons up to speed to get them jobs. Now, this includes the kids in school to help them obtain skills necessary to get gainful employment. I'm sure there are those that will abuse this but hopefully there are those that will truly benefit from it. Maybe I'm naieve but hope is what its all about. Everyone out there doesn't have a computer let alone an internet connection. Doesn't look like this will be high speed, but even dial-up is an improvement over nothing.
I know I'm a broken record, but there are things such as schools and libraries for those without computers or internet access. Those facilities are usually offered at NO CHARGE.

2511.11.2011 14:55

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
i live in australia and im on welfare (sickness benefit) i get $17000 a year.i live in governemnt housing at 25%of my income for rent.i saved hard for a $1300 computer,i got myself a car with an advance payment of $1000 with $79 coming out per fortnight for 13payments.i pay $60 a month for naked adsl 2+ internet.I also spent $70 a week on cigarettes .australia doesnt even have a poverty rate.welfare seems low in america and canada.

as for computers its $150 for an out dated computer might be better off buying a computer for the same price of ebay.then you will have drug addicts getting the $150 computers to trade for drugs or sell for drugs.the $10 internet seems a good deal.with anything cheap or free there is always people out to exploit it.
Thats not too bad, I get $400 per mo for my Air Force disability (lost my left knee in an aircraft incident, since replaced with titanium) and since Im over 63 I get $600 SS. Thats it. I pay for my everything on that $1,000 month. Any openings in Australia? LOL

jimmurray1946

2611.11.2011 23:16

Originally posted by jimmurray:
Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
i live in australia and im on welfare (sickness benefit) i get $17000 a year.i live in governemnt housing at 25%of my income for rent.i saved hard for a $1300 computer,i got myself a car with an advance payment of $1000 with $79 coming out per fortnight for 13payments.i pay $60 a month for naked adsl 2+ internet.I also spent $70 a week on cigarettes .australia doesnt even have a poverty rate.welfare seems low in america and canada.

as for computers its $150 for an out dated computer might be better off buying a computer for the same price of ebay.then you will have drug addicts getting the $150 computers to trade for drugs or sell for drugs.the $10 internet seems a good deal.with anything cheap or free there is always people out to exploit it.
Thats not too bad, I get $400 per mo for my Air Force disability (lost my left knee in an aircraft incident, since replaced with titanium) and since Im over 63 I get $600 SS. Thats it. I pay for my everything on that $1,000 month. Any openings in Australia? LOL
Originally posted by SProdigy:
Originally posted by jimmurray:
Lets not forget what this article is about, Its for helping those unfortunates that have NO internet access and NO computers and LOW income. The idea here is to get those persons up to speed to get them jobs. Now, this includes the kids in school to help them obtain skills necessary to get gainful employment. I'm sure there are those that will abuse this but hopefully there are those that will truly benefit from it. Maybe I'm naieve but hope is what its all about. Everyone out there doesn't have a computer let alone an internet connection. Doesn't look like this will be high speed, but even dial-up is an improvement over nothing.
I know I'm a broken record, but there are things such as schools and libraries for those without computers or internet access. Those facilities are usually offered at NO CHARGE.
now all they have to do is keep the libraries open... used to be the Carnegie foundation was able to do that but now that's not the case, Hell we will probably loose our mail delivery soon (at least on Saturdays). I do agree with you on the availability of access at libraries and schools but sometimes convenience can lead to opportunity. Don't get me wrong, I really get upset when I'm at Safeway and get behind the food stamp people and then I see them out front selling the goods to get access to drugs or God knows what. Truly those are abusers but I don't think every food stamp user sells the goods. My belief is that perhaps some of these people that get internet and computers may actually benefit from the experience and get to work, thereby relieving the burden on you and I. Just my thoughts.

jimmurray1946

2711.11.2011 23:19

Originally posted by SProdigy:
Originally posted by jimmurray:
Lets not forget what this article is about, Its for helping those unfortunates that have NO internet access and NO computers and LOW income. The idea here is to get those persons up to speed to get them jobs. Now, this includes the kids in school to help them obtain skills necessary to get gainful employment. I'm sure there are those that will abuse this but hopefully there are those that will truly benefit from it. Maybe I'm naieve but hope is what its all about. Everyone out there doesn't have a computer let alone an internet connection. Doesn't look like this will be high speed, but even dial-up is an improvement over nothing.
I know I'm a broken record, but there are things such as schools and libraries for those without computers or internet access. Those facilities are usually offered at NO CHARGE.
in australia centrelink (theres the people that provide welfare) have computers with access to job details and i think they have free internet, as well as free phone boxes to look ring up about jobs.also when i had trouble with non permanent housing i use to use the local libabrys internet for up to 2hours per day free of charge.dont know much about how usa is set up but in australia most suburbs have a libabry with computers and free internet access,theres also backpackers hostels that offer high speed internet from $1 for $15 minutes.

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

2812.11.2011 8:43

I worked very hard as a single mom of a child with Down Syndrome who had 3 heart repairs and his Veteran dad didnt pay a dime. In order to get insurance I had to get on the system. When my son was 12, my daughter was born, a traumatic childbirth which left me in diapers and with over half a dozen blown disks in my back. I was told before I had kids that I was barren, so I consider both a blessing. Her father also didnt pay support or help. I am unable to work, all the kids homework is sent and done via computer. Stuff happens in life, supervising both children at the library proves difficult. I worked before my injuries, I think Im paying my dues, why not utilise this program? Life is tough, try putting yourself in my shoes. My daughter shouldnt miss an opportunity because of the familial situation she was born into.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Nov 2011 @ 8:54

2914.11.2011 9:54

Originally posted by Downfornow:
Life is tough, try putting yourself in my shoes. My daughter shouldn't miss an opportunity because of the familial situation she was born into.
I too was raised in a similar situation. My parents divorced when I was 10 years old and we got on "the system". I'm an only child and my father didn't pay any support and avoided doing any real work through my teens. My mother went back to school, and was also FORCED to do community service in order to receive government assistance.

Yep, you heard that right, single mother, who had to leave me home alone (or at times luckily with grandma) to WORK to make less than the minimum wage to get by. Yet, thousands of others (many of which we knew) sat on their duff and reaped the rewards.

All the while, I didn't have a computer at home (or cable TV, a cell phone or even call waiting!) I walked to the library to use the internet and other services that were offered there. When you're handed nothing, you must go out and get it for yourself.

Not taking a shot at the previous poster, but my mother-in-law and my father are both disability cases as well. My dad has a bad back and mom has a bum shoulder. Mother was employed by the school system and milked them for the last year and a half via unpaid vacation hours and worker's comp (ie. taxpayer money, since the entity putting into worker's comp is a school system.)

In this day and age, we are no longer an industrial nation. There are many desk jobs that can be done, and some of that from home no less. I could see this internet and computer thing working as a benefit to our nation IF (and big "if") those receiving put in X hours a week, doing anything computer related, such as data entry.

There will likely be the plethora of excuses of why they "can't" work, but my mother is a shining example of someone who went back to school and earned a degree, while raising a child, supporting a household and working some of the most disgraceful community service hours that someone in her position could do. There's no reason why others can't be held to the same standard.

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