Comcast’s Questionable Low-Income Service

About a year ago with much fanfare, former California Public Utilities Commissioner Rachelle Chong, employed by Comcast, announced Comcast’s Internet access service for low income households in California. Recently, the Gold Country Broadband Consortium blog also touted this $9.95 per month service.

However, the devil is indeed in the details. posted today that Comcast actually delayed the roll out of this service in order to secure Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval of its acquisition of NBC. “As we pointed out when the program first surfaced, Comcast proposed this condition because once potential applicants jump through a number of hoops, Comcast knew that very few low income families would actually qualify.”

The post goes on to say, “On the plus side, some people got less expensive broadband, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. On the other hand, you’ve got a Comcast lobbyist who delays a program for the poor in order to profit handsomely by buying NBC, and an FCC claiming credit for a show pony program just to earn political points and to avoid imposing tougher conditions. As we’ve noted previously, hollow programs that do little but sound great has been a constant theme at an agency too timid to actually regulate.” Read the full post.

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