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FCC Chairman Plans to Expand Life Line Program to Internet

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New Member

Re: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand Life Line Program to Internet

As a tech, I think to wire an area NOT already wired would require a "franchise" similar to cable, which would answer the question of wiring, but then competition would be stymied. I think if OTA technology such as Wi-Max which my former provider, CLEAR used, was utilized, the available subscribers in that given area may not be enough to warrant coverage. Cellular technology is too expensive and again, you have data caps. So right now, the answers are limited, but there has got to be some way of answering this problem without major expense or investment.
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New Member

Re: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand Life Line Program to Internet

Just like when ATT bought out Cricket they ended the Life Line program for Cricket Customers.  They also are ending all CDMA services to Cricket Customers and forcing them to buy new LTE equipment if they want to port their numbers over, and giving them to the middle of this month to comply.  So like Lilly Tomlin said on SNL, " Care we don't have to, we're the phone company."
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New Member

Re: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand Life Line Program to Internet

Obviously, if AT&T uses a different network, they are going to require those customers to upgrade/buy phones that will work on their network, I'd prefer a GSM phone anyway instead of CDMA...and BTW Cricket is still around and offer very competitive smartphone plans.
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Associate Professor

Re: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand Life Line Program to Internet

Gary, that reminds me of the Bellsouth deal...  Bellsouth was running lines here for DSL the week that AT&T gobbled them up, could have sworn AT&T promised that they would finish DSL rollouts for Bellsouth customers, but instead, line was ran, DSLAM and other equipment was never installed, have an empty box up the road.
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Associate Professor

Re: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand Life Line Program to Internet

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New Member

Re: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand Life Line Program to Internet

That's true, but if the FCC proposed "broadband" definition is changed, I don't believe DSL would qualify as broadband since its top speed is well below 25Mbps. For DSL to "increase" its speed, a whole new set of wiring is required...or a new technology needs to be developed for providing DSL in order to keep up.
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New Member

Re: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand Life Line Program to Internet

Hey Thomas, I still use the Cricket Phone (I like no contract) but will have to travel 30 miles into Stillwater and get another phone but still get unlimited Talk and Text for 35 bucks a month.  I have no need or desire for a Smart Phone though just mentioned this as an example of how communication corporations don't always do as they say or follow the rules.
 
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New Member

Re: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand Life Line Program to Internet

Si Charles

That was the original reason for the USF was to supply individual phone service to rural communities.  It was to replace the party lines and other obstacles that prevented emergency phone access from outline areas.
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New Member

Re: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand Life Line Program to Internet

Well Gary, I'll expand on that and say they will follow the rules today...but tomorrow is another day. The problem is the financial ends and the technical/engineering ends are NEVER in sync with each other. While one end is trying to improve on existing infrastructure and technologies, the other side is buying up smaller companies and competitors in order to increase their market share without internal investment (buying and sun-setting an existing company is a HUGE tax write-off. It's similar to why Comcast tried to buy TWC, it instantaneously increases revenue while increasing their market share. Fortunately, the FCC/government regulated them to the point where the attempt to buy has been dropped, but AT&T is still trying to buy DirecTV...which should in a couple of years if its approved, would open the ability to bundle AT&T internet access with DirecTV packages. For some reason the government seems to think a wireless access world is less intrusive that a cable-wired world, which led to Bell Systems monopoly and I think the government fears the same with cable...its certainly going in that direction. My point is as technologies change, so do these companies priorities and their goals....and the blueprint to attain that goal changes depending on the day and the direction the sun rises in. 
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New Member

Re: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand Life Line Program to Internet

But that was before the internet and emerging wireless technologies Gary. There are people across the country getting rid of their land-based phone lines and going to a cellular delivery system, especially when the demand on the home system is basically voice only. The footprint of wireless is virtually even with wired technology, and with wireless, there is no initial expense on wiring. The cost is in the speed of and coverage of the transmission.