That American mix of idealism and greed

is alive and well in the current FCC policies. Ceclia Kang writes this piece in yesterday’s Washington Post tech blog that illuminates the hybrid capitalist + progressive agenda of the current administration. While acknowledging the necessity of ubiquitous connectivity to student success in schools (which might be called “progressive“), the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) is planning to charge poor people about $30 a month, half what they would normally pay for a cable broadband connection. So in “doing good,” they also “do well” for themselves.

Their rationale for the corporate largesse? The presumed need for US competitiveness as a global player. FCC chair Blair Levin praised the solution:

“We think you’ve targeted what we think of as most important segment: school age kids,” Levin said in a conference call about the announcement with the NCTA. “Our country can’t afford for our kids to fall further behind.”

So there’s your capitalist piece.

If this country were serious about the whole equality of opportunity thing, however (14th Amendment style), internet connectivity would be truly accesible to all, paid for with a generalized tax. If not as free as fresh air, it would be as available as water or electricity to most USA of the citizenry. That would be truly “progressive.”

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