Today, President Obama announced a “new” plan to connect 275,000 low-income households to the Internet. You can read about it in The New York Times article, U.S. Program Will Connect Public Housing Residents to Web.

Here’s an excerpt:


I’m all for low-income families getting Internet access and, as regular readers know, have worked on this issue for years (see The Best Resources For Learning About Schools Providing Home Computers & Internet Access To Students).

However, in reviewing what this “new” program does, I don’t see anything new in it apart from Google providing connections free in the three cities where they have Google Fiber, and one Native American-owned utility providing it free to their local public housing residents.

Everything else, except for a bunch of “training” with very questionable value, is already available under Comcast’s free program and the expansion the FCC ordered all cable companies to do.

Perhaps I’m missing something – let me know if I am. I just get concerned that pseudo big new programs provide the illusion that something is being done when it isn’t, and then reduces the likelihood of real solutions actually occurring….