Google Fiber Gives Free Internet to the Poor

Posted by gaiagal 3 years, 10 months ago to Technology
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How generous. Sounds good but ...

...Nothing in life is free.
SOURCE URL: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-02-03/google-fiber-gives-free-internet-to-the-poor


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  • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 10 months ago
    TANSTAAFL...but.

    While our clothes are not free and our lighting is not free, they cost so little in comparison to what things 'used to cost' that this type of progression is worth musing over.

    In the Middle Ages, a typical (and generous) annual wage for a maid or servant was 'a suit of clothes'. Yeah. The value of a suit of clothes was, in terms of minimum wage worker, about $20K. In comparison to this, when I go to Walmart and pick up a pair of jogging pants for $10...my clothes are almost free.

    Another example is 'aluminum'. Ludwig the Mad's favorite dinner plate was made of aluminum...it was more valuable than if it had been made of solid gold. Now, while aluminum is not free, by comparison to Ludwig's plate, it is 'almost free'.

    The same is true of 'enough light for an hour of reading'. The cost of an hour's light goes from 'weeks worth of work' to 'fractions of a penny' from ancient times up to the present.

    This is the power of technology. I recall hearing (from Wm) that in the 1950's there was discussion of not charging for electricity that came from nuclear power plants, because the cost of billing for it would exceed the worth of the electricity used by the average household.

    So, while Google is welcome to give away its products out of its own pocket (but not out of my pocket) the idea that fiber communications will always have a meaningful charge is debatable.

    Jan
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 10 months ago
      I'm reading Peter Thiel's book on how he gave people money to join Paypal to get a "monopoly" on transfers. I'm also reminded of Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Giving stuff away, in a very careful and calculated way, can be smart business in the new economy.
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
      example 99 cent a gallon gas in 1999/2000 went to $4.00 and then back to $2.00 in fifteen years and eeryone thought it was SUCH a good deal. Why? i don't know. But as I said before the difference is found money and the government want's it's fair share so......$10 a barrel tax to start.

      I didn't live in the middle ages

      But i'm living in the dark ages.
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      • Posted by 3 years, 10 months ago
        As a teen, it use to cost me $3.50 to fill up my car's 10 gal tank!
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        • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
          that's funny you don't sound of that age. 20 gal for $7.00 I needed the extra I had a bored out 283 with dual 4 bbls in a 57 Chev. Wonder what it would be worth now. Except the engine blew up so I switched to a 327....the innocence of youth.... My second car. The first was 33 Ford with a 51 Merc flathead. Who stole my life? Damn them.
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    • Posted by blackswan 3 years, 10 months ago
      I'm sure I've mentioned that economies of scale are dramatically shrinking, meaning that new business models will be necessary. What you've written is directly related to this problem. How do you create an economic model for something that's nearly free on the margins?
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      • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 10 months ago
        Yes. You understand what I was getting at. We already live in a world where unimaginable luxuries can be purchased for 'an hours wage' at Walmart. I can get access to information and entertainment 'for free'...if I am willing to watch some advertising.

        Our models are changing. Google may have the right of it.

        Jan
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        • Posted by 3 years, 10 months ago
          I understand completely what you are getting at...when I say nothing is free, I'm not speaking in terms of just money. Money is just one medium of exchange.

          There now exists mediums of exchange of which only one side of the equation is aware. Information, for example. A person may be aware that he or she is providing some identifying information in exchange for, say, a free eBook, but may not be aware they are also imparting other information - such as patterns of behavior.

          Economic models are always changing, as you point out. It's interesting to observe.
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    • Posted by johnpe1 3 years, 10 months ago
      when TVA was established, using hydropower was
      the rage, but when nuclear plants were being built,
      there was indeed talk of not metering it. . . but there
      was fer-sher a charge for it! -- j
      .
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      • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 10 months ago
        So, was the charge going to be a one time hookup fee for electricity? I could see that working for a low-price utility: It would be worth the cost of billing, even if the electricity itself was not. I could also see an unmetered charge annually for repairs - this would mean that you would not have to staff for measuring individual use.

        Jan
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        • Posted by johnpe1 3 years, 10 months ago
          let me research ... have sources. -- j
          .
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          • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 10 months ago
            Thanks. I appreciate that you actually know how this was supposed to work!

            Jan
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            • Posted by johnpe1 3 years, 10 months ago
              AEC chairman in 1954 -- but he had a secret project
              in mind which was trying to develop fusion power ...

              wiki has some info here:::

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Too_che...

              keeping on -- j
              .
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              • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 10 months ago
                THIS is what I miss - this speech from the head of the AEC in 1954:
                "Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter... It is not too much to expect that our children will know of great periodic regional famines in the world only as matters of history, will travel effortlessly over the seas and under them and through the air with a minimum of danger and at great speeds, and will experience a lifespan far longer than ours, as disease yields and man comes to understand what causes him to age."
                Where has our techno-optimism gone?

                Jan
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  • Posted by Mamaemma 3 years, 10 months ago
    I only found out a few years ago that "free" phones were being given to people, paid for by an extra tax on my cell phone bill. Sure this is more of the same
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    • Posted by 3 years, 10 months ago
      Yes, Obamaphones. I remember when they came out - the "free" phones paid for by...the rest of us.
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 years, 10 months ago
        Actually, the original cheap phones for the low income households was a Reagan idea. At the time, a land line with local access was already low cost, so providing subsidized phone service to low income families was just a few cents fee on wealthier customers. Each President since has upped the ante, reaching full service cell phones with data plans under Obama. Needless to say, the fee is more than a few cents now. "Free" internet will undoubtedly be provided the same way.
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  • Posted by  $  richrobinson 3 years, 10 months ago
    Exactly. Nothing in life is free. This is being paid for by current subscribers. It would possibly be acceptable if the access was very limited. Education, jobs things like that. My guess is we are just giving free porn to people.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 10 months ago
      LOL .:)

      I only hope that at least a few of the kids...and parents realize the Internet is a vast store of knowledge and opportunity. Both of which can be productively used to work around the increasingly stifling parts of globalization.
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  • Posted by  $  sjatkins 3 years, 10 months ago
    They sell many many services directly and indirectly (ad revenue is huge for Google) over the internet. So giving away internet access is a loss leader strategy for them. It makes
    sound sense.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 years, 10 months ago
    Well, that's interesting. Still, I have been using
    the Internet for a few years in the Richmond public
    library without charge, except for the fact of being
    a taxpayer.--As to phones, I got one as a result of
    being in a medical experiment.
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  • Posted by wiggys 3 years, 10 months ago
    let us just have a poor population. seems the government doesn't have a lock on keeping people poor they have a world of assistance from all of these companies who have made lots of money. they believe they are doing good. give a man a fish and he has a meal give him a fishing rod and he will feed himself for ever.
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  • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
    Exactly question is since they get a whopping tax deduction who gets to pick up the tab? How about
    Obama's new $10 a barrel tax on oil????

    uh huh uh huh
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