Wednesday, July 08, 2015

AT&T teases a $5 Internet service to help seal the DirecTV deal - The Washington Post

AT&T teases a $5 Internet service to help seal the DirecTV deal - The Washington Post: AT&T will offer cheap Internet to food-stamp recipients if the Federal Communications Commission approves the telecom company's big acquisition of DirecTV.

In a regulatory filing, AT&T says it's prepared to make two plans available to low-income consumers. The first would provide speeds of up to 5 megabits per second (or roughly half as fast as the current national average) for $10 a month. After the first 12 months, that price would rise to $20 a month.

The other plan would be offered in places where AT&T lacks the infrastructure to provide faster speeds. In those areas, poorer Americans would be able to buy a 1.5 Mbps plan starting at $5 a month for the first 12 months. At that point, the price would increase to $10 a month.

It's hard to see how this will influence the FCC's review or what relevance it has given the FCC earlier this year set a minimum standard for Internet connectivity at 25/3Mbps. The proposal also is based on the inappropriate concept of Internet service as a consumptive utility like electric power, natural gas or water and that low income households thus should be offered a low cost consumption option to ensure they have service.

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