Permanent Temporary Free Internet

From the New York Times, April 3, 2022, apparently not satisfied with A corrected history of mRNA vaccines, its January 15, 2022 effort to erase Robert Malone:

This post is not about the obviously false claim that someone whose name appears on a foundational paper regarding mRNA vaccines had something to do with the invention of mRNA vaccines. (See also Nature‘s history of mRNA vaccines, which devotes the first three paragraphs to the now-unpersoned Malone and mentions his name 27 times.) It is rather about the possibility that our family could get free Internet rather than handing over $780 per year to AT&T for gigabit fiber! Of course, I clicked on the ad (landing page):

If it’s “free” then I assume it is paid for by taxpayers. What does Comcast say about this taxpayer-funded program?

“a longer-term replacement for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.” So the temporary emergency government program (#BecauseCOVID) has morphed into a permanent entitlement. The FCC explains this:

It’s not the government taking $14 billion every year from one set of residents of the U.S. and using it to pay whatever Comcast and the, ahem, competitors are charging another set of residents. It is instead an “investment in broadband affordability,” implying that broadband prices for Americans who haven’t been organized enough to get into the welfare system might start coming down to European rates.

I will have to revise my standard description of what a low-skill or elderly/infirm immigrant to the U.S. can expect to receive from existing taxpayers. Before it was free housing, free health care (Medicaid), free food (SNAP/EBT), and free smartphone (Obamaphone). The FCC explains eligibility for this new permanent entitlement:

If you’re on SNAP or Medicaid, in other words, you’re seamlessly eligible for free home broadband connection. So now it is free housing, health care, food, smartphone, and broadband.

(Speaking of Medicaid, remember that April is Medicaid Awareness Month!)

Circling back to the Xfinity ad landing page, here’s the final picture of someone in a household that might benefit:

Taken together, these three pictures have me wondering if we should try to go on welfare so that we’d finally be living in a clean clutter-free house!


5 thoughts on “Permanent Temporary Free Internet

  1. In states that did not take advantage of the Federal government’s Medicaid expansion offer a couple of years ago (e.g., FL) eligibility is pretty strict.

    In FL, a low-income single male (or non-pregnant female) w/o a dependent (that is receiving Medicaid) is ineligible for Medicaid. That person would, of course, be eligible for a heavily-subsidized (perhaps $0 cost) ACA health insurance plan. But, if that person’s AGI is below something like $19K then they don’t qualify for a subsidized ACA plan (because, in theory, that person is supposed to be eligible for Medicaid). At least that’s how it stood the last time I looked at FL Medicaid eligibility and the last time I experimented w/ the ACA enrollment website.

  2. Given that Commy is down 12 weeks per year & still apparently has some customers, most of the remaneing customers must be getting a government subsidy & using their phones for those 12 weeks. If anything had to work, there would be a recession.

  3. As a welfare recipient, I am in favor of this program. I never knew about it until today, and I’m calling Verizon right now to get my $30/month back. Thanks for letting me know!

    • BTW, because of the circumstances under which I qualify for SNAP, it also means that anyone who can get a doctor’s certification for a medical disability (temporary in my case) in MA will qualify for SNAP and thus be eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program as well. According to the MA DTA, 1 out of 9 people in Massachusetts receive SNAP benefits.

    • BTW, BTW: If you only need a free smartphone, one of the many ways someone can discover if they are eligible is to visit a website like this one from Assurance Wireless:

      “Assurance Wireless is a federal Lifeline Assistance program. Lifeline is a government assistance program. The Assurance Wireless offer provides eligible low-income customers free monthly data, unlimited texting, and free monthly minutes. Plus a free phone.”


      And you can refer friends and earn a $10 Gift Card for each qualified enrollee! Can’t read English? No problem. The site is also available En Español:

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