Cheaper TV cable rates for low-income...

Cheaper TV cable rates for low-income residents being revisited

There are 49 comments on the Marin Independent Journal story from Jun 21, 2009, titled Cheaper TV cable rates for low-income residents being revisited. In it, Marin Independent Journal reports that:

The Marin Telecommunications Agency is revisiting the idea of discounts for low-income Comcast cable customers.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Marin Independent Journal.

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Reader

Pleasanton, CA

#2 Jun 21, 2009
Cheap cable TV for residents should be a very low priority with the poor economy as all the other problems we have. Let's not subsidize such wasteful spending. If someone wants cable, they should pay like anyone else.
Pete Carrol

Los Gatos, CA

#3 Jun 21, 2009
Prhaps they can use the 'savings' from the well "thought out" low income housing bulk cable program that is being discontued? http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_10680854...
if not I am sure they can add a "access fee" to everyone else's comcast bill to insure the cable viewing rights of all citizens are protected. I hear they will address broadband 'rights' next year.
My Take

United States

#4 Jun 21, 2009
How about not letting Comcast get away with weasling out of their respoinsibility to provide a quality product at a reasonable price? We've gotten to the point where there is no competition. Comcast sticks it to customers and government agencies all the time!
Obama

San Jose, CA

#5 Jun 21, 2009
here we go, the Obama initiative, give the poor everything for free at the cost of people that work hard and know how to save money.

Incentivize poor people to do less, geez, that makes a whole lot of sense.

If they get free/cheap cable, I will cancel mine.

take that comcast and obama
unbelievable

Petaluma, CA

#6 Jun 21, 2009
Can't believe that this is even being discussed. My wife and I both have to work and pay for our cable service. No one is giving us a cut rate on cable, in fact the price has gone up with the reduction of service. Maybe if low income people had to move away from the t.v. they could spend more time being productive. What happened to putting rabbit ears on top of the t.v. set. Enough is enough, use the money for schools, not for cable t.v.

“Taste great in milk!”

Since: Aug 08

.

#7 Jun 21, 2009
unbelievable wrote:
Can't believe that this is even being discussed. My wife and I both have to work and pay for our cable service. No one is giving us a cut rate on cable, in fact the price has gone up with the reduction of service. Maybe if low income people had to move away from the t.v. they could spend more time being productive. What happened to putting rabbit ears on top of the t.v. set. Enough is enough, use the money for schools, not for cable t.v.
"Rabbit ears"..sorry, just had to laugh, We Bunnies call Them "Human ears"

But You're spot-on, as I posted earlier on a simular post, that sort of "disapeared" is that HDTV is totally free for anyone who has an antenna, it's no secret, even though Comcast would like to see it kept a secret, I imagine.

Rather than give a cheaper rate to low-income Folks, give Them a voucher for a simple antenna set-up. It would be a one-time deal, as One would never have to buy another antenna, unless it's outside/roof mounted, and there's a huge storm/lightening, or whatever.

The "New" HDTV is beinging broadcasted over the air, and Anyone can get it for FREE.

Although I detest TV, from what I know is the old analog TV if the signal is poor would give You a poor quality picture/audio, but HDTV, if the signal is poor, You get nothing, but if You can get the signal, usually it's pretty clear, and of good quality.
Just a Thought

San Rafael, CA

#8 Jun 21, 2009
I agree with "Unbelievable". I work hard - 240 hours a month. My wife and I own 1993 automobiles that are paid for. Our house is almost paid off - bought it in 1994 for $250,000 because that was what we could afford. We didn't mortgage it to the hilt. We made extra payments when we were able. We don't take expensive vacations and our biggest monthly expense is providing a decent education for my elementary school aged daughter. I don't own a flat screen plasma and don't do drugs. I live within my means. I pay my bills on time and the high gas prices at the pumps take a bite out of my wallet. I don't think TV, subsidized housing, "the man owes me" or monthly handouts that go on for years and years to people that are capable of working. I wasn't born into a wealthy family - my depression era parents taught me a strong work ethic, to not break the law and to treat people with decency and respect. I'm passing this on to my daughter. I am tired of paying for BS handouts! I can't afford it. I can see helping people out with basics such as food, childcare for working parents, "workfare" not welfare, etc... but paying out hard earned cash for people to have TV - NOT! You say the cable companies are paying for it? Not on your life. This cost will be passed on down to me. People take some responsibility and quit looking for some-one to blame all the time. I'm tired of paying so people can have free this & that while schools and the truly needy suffer. Politicians do your job. Set priorities. I know what I can afford and what I can't and giving some-one free TV service is one of the things I can not afford. I have to stop this rant now because I have to get up in the morning and go to work.
Just a Thought

San Rafael, CA

#9 Jun 21, 2009
Cable viewing rights? The right to have free cable TV? I think not.
Safe drinking water, decent public schools, proper healthcare, public safety, a fair court system, a warm shelter to protect you against the cold & the rain, Nourishing food... are all things I can support and contribute to as a humanitarian and a member of the society of human beings. I'm drawing the line at free TV and a lot of other things that are effecting my and my family's quality of life. "I'm tired and I'm not going to put up with this anymore".
Hopeful

Springfield, MO

#10 Jun 22, 2009
The discount proposed will benefit a very small percentage of low income subscribers: the elderly and disabled. This group would receive a small discount on their basic cable service only.

Marin's franchise has been providing this program for over twenty years until it was abolished under the most recent franchise agreement. The program will provide a small benefit at a very modest price to the franchise.
ENC

Antioch, CA

#11 Jun 22, 2009
Reader wrote:
Cheap cable TV for residents should be a very low priority with the poor economy as all the other problems we have. Let's not subsidize such wasteful spending. If someone wants cable, they should pay like anyone else.
Isn't that the truth?! How utterly ridiculous.
Jim

San Rafael, CA

#12 Jun 22, 2009
My Take wrote:
How about not letting Comcast get away with weasling out of their respoinsibility to provide a quality product at a reasonable price? We've gotten to the point where there is no competition. Comcast sticks it to customers and government agencies all the time!
ATT U-Verse, Dish TV ...plenty of competition.
Hopeful

Springfield, MO

#13 Jun 22, 2009
Please understand that the discount will only apply to a very small group of viewers: low income elderly and disabled viewers. This group has received a 20% discount off their basic cable only for the past twenty years. To date, it has only affected 289 viewers. The plan before the MTA would simply continue the practice for cable subscribers who become eligible after 2006. Please don't think we are "subsidizing" tv for all low income folks because it simply ain't so. Thanks.
Enuf_Is_Enuf

San Rafael, CA

#14 Jun 22, 2009
Hello, politicos???? Cable TV is LUXURY and should NOT be subsidized with public funds. This is outrageous! Believe it or not, there IS life without cable TV. These low income people should get off their buttz and start giving back to the community they are freeloading off of.
cable subscriber marin

United States

#15 Jun 22, 2009
Hopeful - not true. discount is to all low income residents in the jurisdiction of MTA and Bragman wants to up it to disabled as well. sure there are less than 300 right now but since cable company is abolishing the bulk discount to housing authorities the question becomes what happens to those residents - do they get a discount too? this proposal says yes. Go to a meeting and you will find out the real story.
In Marin

Newark, CA

#16 Jun 22, 2009
Just a Thought wrote:
I agree with "Unbelievable". I work hard - 240 hours a month. My wife and I own 1993 automobiles that are paid for. Our house is almost paid off - bought it in 1994 for $250,000 because that was what we could afford. We didn't mortgage it to the hilt. We made extra payments when we were able. We don't take expensive vacations and our biggest monthly expense is providing a decent education for my elementary school aged daughter. I don't own a flat screen plasma and don't do drugs. I live within my means. I pay my bills on time and the high gas prices at the pumps take a bite out of my wallet. I don't think TV, subsidized housing, "the man owes me" or monthly handouts that go on for years and years to people that are capable of working. I wasn't born into a wealthy family - my depression era parents taught me a strong work ethic, to not break the law and to treat people with decency and respect. I'm passing this on to my daughter. I am tired of paying for BS handouts! I can't afford it. I can see helping people out with basics such as food, childcare for working parents, "workfare" not welfare, etc... but paying out hard earned cash for people to have TV - NOT! You say the cable companies are paying for it? Not on your life. This cost will be passed on down to me. People take some responsibility and quit looking for some-one to blame all the time. I'm tired of paying so people can have free this & that while schools and the truly needy suffer. Politicians do your job. Set priorities. I know what I can afford and what I can't and giving some-one free TV service is one of the things I can not afford. I have to stop this rant now because I have to get up in the morning and go to work.
You know, I can understand 100% where you are coming from with the strong work ethic, living within your means, etc. I also understand the frustration you feel, but I must say that you, and many of the other posters have a stereo typed picture of many of the low and very low income residents, many who are seniors and disabled and unable to work. My work ethic matched your own and I was in the workforce for many, many years until I became disabled and ended up in subsidized housing due to tapping out my resources on medical bills, increasing health problems and lack of insurance. I would give anything to have my old life back. Unfortunately, after becoming a tenant of the housing authority, and one who hates and does not have a television, I was forced into paying for the service to subsidize the low cost of the others who enjoyed television and the low cost cable service. Living in this very high cost of living county under $900.00 per month is a very difficult challenge, especially when trying to pay off increasing medical bills. Many of the housing authority residents will become very upset when the low cost service expires with the contracts MHA has with Comcast. There are many other creative ways of providing the service for the residents without charging very low income disabled residents for a service that they don't want or use. A big bumbling mess was made of the whole issue, which is reflective of many of the housing authority's ways of doing things.

But, again, the portrayal of the very low income people as slackers, freeloaders, and lazy is something that I take issue with. I would give anything to not have to be in this situation and to have my old life back.
ENC

Antioch, CA

#17 Jun 22, 2009
You are one of the rare cases with a legitimate story. Unfortunaltey, there are MANY more that abuse the system and have for WAY too long.
I know some that live in subsidized housing, all the while with a huge flatscreen tv, driving nice cars.....
In Marin

Newark, CA

#18 Jun 22, 2009
ENC wrote:
You are one of the rare cases with a legitimate story. Unfortunaltey, there are MANY more that abuse the system and have for WAY too long.
I know some that live in subsidized housing, all the while with a huge flatscreen tv, driving nice cars.....
I wish that were true, however, there are many more like me in subsidized housing. Most of the properties of Marin Housing are senior and disabled residences. I also understand the need that they have for lower cost service as many are housebound and television is their only connection to the outside world, source of entertainment, and way to keep up with current events and news. Many, many do not have computers, another thing that most people take for granted. There is a definite need, but it should not be at the expense of those who do not have television or do not use the service. Many people are self-centered and cannot empathize with those who are given extra challenges in this life. Many are greedy, such as Comcast. There are companies that do provide lower cost service for low income people. AT&T and PG&E are two of them. But the real sadness in all of this is the prejudice and stereotype visions of the very low income people that is reflected in most of these posts.
Patricia P Foreman

Lansing, MI

#19 Jul 7, 2009
To just to be able to watch television; the news for example shouldn't cost anyone anthing. And for the person who said the poor shouldn't be watching television, duh...I don't know of any company that works you 24 hours a day and every poor person isn't unemployed...some poor people work more hours and harder than you, I'm sure.

“"In dog years, I'm dead."”

Since: Feb 08

Novato

#20 Jul 7, 2009
Jim wrote:
<quoted text>
ATT U-Verse, Dish TV ...plenty of competition.
None of those work were I live.
We tried 3 times to get dish. They refuse to install in many rentals because of liability, trees, ect.... We are stuck with comcast .

“a good community is OUR job”

Since: Mar 09

Pasadena

#21 Jul 7, 2009
You must remember our Constitution. It says that 200 channel cable is an inalienable right. So are cell phones, iPods, and plasmas.

Because these are inalienable rights, our society must ensure (read: pay for) that everyone is afforded these rights.

Also, as evidenced by low income housing being mandated in Old Town Pasadena, it is also an inalienable right that poor people live within walking distance of Tiffanys.

It is truly not fair that the poor not be able to watch "Extreme House Makeover" in High Def. Open your wallets, people

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