Saturday, May 10, 2014

Comcast "Internet Essentials" criticized as ineffective; other companies have it, too

With all the “fuss” about network neutrality these days, it’s well to note that Comcast offers an “Internet Essentials” program (link here) for low income families, in some areas (like Philadelphia and Washington) when children can qualify for free lunches at school. (It’s not clear if it is available to the childless.)  

The service appears to offer barebones services at low speeds, but social media and email are included.

The Washington Post reports that the service is “under fire” in an article Saturday morning, story by Cecilia Kang, link here. Other companies, like Cox, have similar packages.  

Comcast Xfinity has been running television ads saying that it supports network neutrality.  It would appear that it believes that “fast access” lanes for large content providers (like Netflix) doesn’t violate the basic idea. But the basic problem, even with the most moderate proposals from the FCC, is that new content delivery companies will have trouble competing, and innovation will be stifled.  

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