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to not want to pay 50p a month on top of my phone bill to pay for other people's internet when there are OAP's who have to choose between food and heat in the winter?

(122 Posts)
FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 16-Jun-09 22:12:24

Isn't food/gas/electricity more important then internet access? I don't mind paying 50p but there are more important things that people need then high speed internet.

Thunderduck Tue 16-Jun-09 22:14:46

Could you explain?

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 16-Jun-09 22:16:21

Some bright spark is planning on charging people who have a land telephone line 50p a month so that it can subsidise internet access for those that are less well off.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 16-Jun-09 22:18:07

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8102756.stm

Penthesileia Tue 16-Jun-09 22:22:17

It's not so much that they are subsidising access to the internet for the less well off, but that it will help fund the rollout of high-speed broadband to rural areas, for instance, where commercial providers have so far failed to go.

YANBU to worry about OAPs not having enough fuel or food.

You are, however, BU to be against this, IMO. The internet is the major innovation of our era. High-speed access is increasingly important to the way internet media operate. People in rural areas and the less well-off deserve to access this as much as anyone else.

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 16-Jun-09 22:22:53

It is nothing to do with the less well off, it is just to get the rest of the country on broadband.

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Jun-09 22:24:22

cheap at the price, imo, to get broadband coverage wherever you wish to go.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 16-Jun-09 22:24:29

I'm not against it but I do think there are better things to be subsidising. I see keeping folk warm in the winter or subsidising some poor child's school uniform as more worthy. No one's going to go cold because they don't have broadband!

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Jun-09 22:25:19

it's an investment in the future of the country, fluff.

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 16-Jun-09 22:25:52

So why should other people (who will be paying for this aswell) not be allowed the same service as you?

Penthesileia Tue 16-Jun-09 22:27:14

I see where you're coming from, Fluffy. Truly I do. And I wish that if we could pay a direct tax of 50p a month towards OAP fuel and school uniform for needy kids, I would do it in a heartbeat.

But you have to see the bigger picture. High-speed broadband access will become as necessary to modern existence as the indoor toilet or telephone. It is a significant modern invention that all people deserve access to.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 16-Jun-09 22:27:20

It's not about the service but surly there are more important things the internet? Shouldn't people be supporting the OAP's first, surly internet is a luxury, not a necessity?

Am I being thick? Don't you need a landline for internet access?

So won't the "not well off people" who this 50p is for, they will also be gettign charged 50p a week. hmm

scaryteacher Tue 16-Jun-09 22:28:33

It's not for those who are less well off, but those who live in rural areas where the main providers don't want to invest. Places like Scotland and Cornwall for instance. This means they will get broadband access and not be penalised for where they live.

I objected to children in cities getting more funding from my tax for their education because they lived in a Labour heartland, than the kids I taught in Cornwall; still had to pay it though.

Investment in these areas IS a problem. We don't have mains gas because it would cost too much to bring it down to the village from the top road. They would only do it if each household paid £7k each, and this was back in the late 80s/early 90s. Same applies here, but this solution is more practical. If you moved to a rural area that benefits from this, then would you be happy about it?

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 16-Jun-09 22:29:27

But for some people who live in very isolated areas the broadband is necessary aswell and that includes, OAP's and the not so well off.

Penthesileia Tue 16-Jun-09 22:31:01

Thing is, Fluffy - the internet will very shortly become a necessity, and not merely a luxury, or modern British life. And we need to make sure that all people have good access to it.

Think about it: e.g. a small-business owner in rural Scotland (delicious Angus cattle to sell as steaks! grin) needs access to the internet to sell his produce. Doesn't his business deserve to thrive? Etc. etc.

Penthesileia Tue 16-Jun-09 22:31:54

of modern British life...

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 16-Jun-09 22:32:06

I can see the other side of my argument, however, I do see keeping the elderly warm etc as a more worthy cause. It's not my fault the services are shite. Shouldn't we get a choice where our money is spent?

Broadband doesn't use a landline Stripey (????), dial up does though.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 16-Jun-09 22:33:31

Sorry, I really do fail to see how broadband is as important as food/gas/electricity. No one died because they went without broadband!

Penthesileia Tue 16-Jun-09 22:34:56

The government does try to help the elderly in this regard, though, Fluffy - winter fuel allowance, etc.

There are just so many competing demands on the public purse: a good government has to address as many of these as possible, and keeping up with technological advances is one of these things. It's rather like those pesky Victorians investing lots of money in the railroads...

And you do sort of get a choice about where your money is spent: general and local elections.

Penthesileia Tue 16-Jun-09 22:36:50

Well, I'm sure that 130 years ago, people felt that electricity was an unnecessary modern invention, and weren't oil lamps good enough for everyone? wink

And gas? Well, candles and logs were good enough for my old great-great-great granny!

elvislives Tue 16-Jun-09 22:37:03

My ILs in their 80s do not have a computer because they don't want one. They do have a landline. Why should they pay this charge?

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 16-Jun-09 22:37:52

True. smile I'm not trying to be mean, it's just when you read on here about people not being able to buy school uniforms etc then broadband doesn't seem like a priority. There are so many that live on the breadline, it seems an odd priority.

Penthesileia Tue 16-Jun-09 22:38:48

The government spends billions every year - well over half I believe of its income - on the welfare state - supporting kids, and OAPs, and the rest of us.

50p a month - a lousy couple of billion to update our internet system. Sounds cheap to me.

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 16-Jun-09 22:39:13

Well for instance, having worked hard all day, I ma now having some well deserved MN time, but the phone has just rung for a booking for 2 nights for the week after next. Now I am in a rural area and we are lucky to have broadband, and have only ahd mobile phone signal in the last 6 months, so without broadband access I have to make a decision, have some time of my own on the internet, catching up with friends, news etc or waiting for the phone to ring, so I can take bookings, so I can pay my bills.

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