Unnamed Canadian telco sabotages' library's low-income internet service


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The sooner internet access becomes a public utility the better.


The article confuses wired and wireless internet. The dongle the library lends uses cell phone networks, not a wired DSL or cable network.


If The Undeserving Poor want slow, crappy wireless internet they should overpay for it themselves like the rest of us!


Well, yes, it compares the data cap on the stick to the data cap a wired internet provider would put on their wired internet services…

10GB is still not a lot of data to use in a single month, especially if the stick is your primary/only means of accessing the Internet.




As an employee of a public library, I find this line of thinking particularly galling. Sadly, the belief that poor people do not deserve entertainment is very common.


It’s more than just an argument about whether poor people should have entertainment. YouTube is a source of a lot of educational material. People teach themselves how to do all sorts of things on YouTube videos. Khan Academy uses YouTube videos. You can learn how to fix your car with YouTube videos.

And, yes, it’s also perfectly reasonable for people to get entertainment from their loaned Internet connection, too!


Will they die without entertainment? I think not. Soon you bleeding-hearts will insist they be allowed to play stickball in the vacant lot!


I don’t have enough context to comment on why this is the case, but I can assert with confidence that mobile data in canada is terrible - expensive as heck no matter who your provider is.

There are no unlimitted mobile data plans here, at least not that I’ve ever found. I don’t know if it’s infrastructure problems or what.


Its not infrastructure. Its profit. They make money this way. Why change what ain’t broke?


That doesn’t really explain why mobile is so much worse than home data. Presumably there’s some reason why one approaches American prices, while the other charges for data as if the last 20 years never happened


Gentrification and real estate prices have ensured that vacant lots are rarer in Toronto than reasonable Internet pricing.


It isn’t used just for entertainment. Some schools in Toronto are experimenting with flipped classrooms where kids watch the lessons at home on the internet and use class time to do what used to be homework. These kids would be severely disadvantaged if they don’t have home internet.

I know the middle class resents having to pay for programs like this. It is almost as if they think by helping the disadvantaged that they might lose some of the advantages they have.


That’s all well and good, but check this out:

Some people in our library literally only use the Internet to watch YouTube and surf Facebook. That’s it. It’s a very common line of critique; why bother giving cheap Internet to people if they are just going to squander it on trivial crap?

My point is that this line of thinking starts with the assumption that some uses are “better” than others, and playing up the alternative scenarios (like flipped classrooms) doesn’t do anything to challenge that notion.

Advocating for all the legitimate and awesome uses of the Internet also means advocating for all the people who want to blow all their bandwidth and attention on candy crush and cat videos.

People living in poverty deserve entertainment as much as the 1%ers.


Too much of the conversation about poverty centres around how miserable poor people ought to be. Answers seem to range from “as miserable as possible without dying, maybe” to “well, more miserable than me, anyway”.

That’s how we end up with “but they might use it to relieve some of the tedium of life!” as an argument against providing services to the poor. Like, somehow, if someone society has fucked over becomes happier, it makes my life worse?


I hear that. You can find damned near anything on YouTube for fixing damned near anything!


Ugh, and also a grocer’s apostrophe.



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