Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Digital Divide, redux & threedux

Ending basic "last resort" land-line phone service in rural areas would dismantle yet another safety net. If you don't think it applies, I suggest it looks like a test case for doing the same in unprofitable urban areas.

h/t Zandar for semi-channeling the late Jim Croce (and a JJP commenter for pointing this story out in the first place):

Monday, February 20, 2012
You Can Keep The Dime, OperatorPosted by Zandar 
When you privatize a utility and cry "Government has no business in business!" and leave everything up to the free market and profit motive, you invariably get people who are priced out of the market.

McClatchy stories tend to be around for 7 to 14 days before archiving, so take a look early at the details here:

Kentucky phone companies push to end basic service
By John Cheves | The Lexington Herald-Leader 
FRANKFORT — Kentucky's telephone industry wants the option to end basic phone service in less profitable parts of their territories if other communications options, such as cell phones or the Internet, are available in the area...
From our "That's a Big If" Dept., later in the story:

"For a lot of people in Eastern Kentucky, their land line is their life line," said Cathy Allgood Murphy, AARP Kentucky's associate state director. "They may not be able to afford an Internet connection, and they don't have cell phones because their communities, in the mountains, don't get cell phone reception." 
The industry is pushing Senate Bill 135, referred to as "the AT&T bill" by its sponsor and others because it originated with that company's lobbyists...
That's 31 lobbyists in Frankfort alone, by the way.

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