[PLUG-TALK] Cable modems: rent or buy?

Michael M. Moore moore.michael.m at gmail.com
Wed Mar 2 14:55:42 PST 2011

On 03/01/2011 07:16 PM, Larry Williams wrote:
> On 03/01/2011 02:18 PM, Michael M. Moore wrote:
>> A case manager I know called me about a client of hers who is currently
>> getting Internet access (and cable TV, I'm pretty sure) via Comcast.
>> The client is on fixed or limited income (probably disability) and
>> trying to pare down his or her expenses, and the case manager is trying
>> to help.
> If the user does not subscribe to cable TV then they are paying an extra
> $10.00 per month for Internet. The modem rental for me is only $3.00 per
> month I believe. I don't know the cost to buy one.
> Now, I'm neither seller, rep nor user, but Clear can provide respectable
> broadband for less than half what Comcast charges. I don't use it
> because I am out in rural WashCo, too far away from their towers.

Larry & Denis (other reply),

As I said, I'm "pretty sure" this person is also paying for cable TV, 
but not 100% positive, so I'll also mention Clear as an alternative if 
cable TV isn't important.

As to Denis's question ("...why spend $ one does not have on cable 
TV?"), my guess would be because her client watches cable TV.  It's not 
up to me, nor up to a case manager, to decide what a person chooses to 
spend money on.  It may be that, if push comes to shove, cable TV is 
more important to this person than home Internet access.  But, 
presumably, if enough expenses can be trimmed, he or she won't have to 

I know most of the major phone providers have discount programs for 
people on SSI or SSDI or even on food stamps, though all those programs 
vary from state to state.  (Verizon's Lifeline program, for example, 
isn't available in Oregon.)  But I don't know that similar programs 
exist for cable TV or Internet access.  Of course, that doesn't stop the 
City of Portland from continuing to spend taxpayer dollars on fancy 
smartphone apps that can only be enjoyed by those who can afford 
smartphones, or continuing to refer residents to websites to access 
information, submit applications, etc., etc., even though a significant 
portion of residents can't afford Internet access.

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