Monday, June 15, 2009

Cell phones for the poor: Telecommunications companies, with government help, look at their last untapped market

Matt Richtel has an interesting article in the New York Times Business Section, Monday June 15, “Providing Cell Phones for the Poor,” link URL here. Only about 32 million Americans don’t have at least one cell phone, so the poor are the telecommunications industry’s last untried market. A twist in a federal law that used to provide the poor landline phone service can now be used to provide the poor with cell phones. Once again, we begin to see wireless service as a basic utility, particularly beneficial to residents in lower cost, more rural areas. Here is a good example of “Cato” reasoning: the marketplace provides a natural incentive to help the poor.

The June 12 digital conversion day for TV seems to have passed without a "Nevil Shute" whimper.

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