Jul
17
2011

AT&T takes Billions from US Tax Payers while Imposing Download Caps

For AT&T it’s another day, another dollar…  or rather billions of dollars. Your’s, collected from taxes and deficit spending.  I read a article on cnet about AT&T’s justification of ‘download usage caps’.  AT&T General Counsel Wayne Watts reasoned the need for caps like this,

 “It is hardly surprising that the general counsel of Netflix, a company that accounts for a whopping 30% of peak-hour Internet traffic in North America, would oppose Internet service providers charging customers based on how much Internet data (movies) they download,” Watts said in a letter posted on WSJ.com today.

What this genius(sarcasm) doesn’t get is that Netflix is the ONLY affordable and legal way to access lots of movies from the internet.  That’s all there is to it.  Do you think if a brand new movie at the super market check-out line was merely $1.99 people would bother to steal or stream?  My first point is that there are many ways to distribute content; Netflix happens to be popular now, but the buz was against hulu and youtube previously. My second point is that AT&T should be the last company in America to complain about it, much less feel entitled to gouge their customers.

The American government has given Billions in AT&T precisely because Americans were expected to use more and more bandwidth.  If AT&T takes this money, why are ordinary Americans paying more for bandwidth?  At least people are paying for content now, where’s the beef?

Here is a rundown of what you have(or shortly will) given to the all powerful AT&T:

  • $140 million toward elderly retirees’ health-care costs, Bloomburg
  • A still undetermined portion of a $8 billion Universal Service Fund (USF) via T-Mobile merger, TheHill.com

What really bothers me is that the United States Government(via the American Tax Payer) is spending billions in tax breaks, infrastructure development, Health Care and direct subsidies to Telecom’s, but the cost/bandwidth and provider options are available to the consumer is still limited as compared to Korea or Japan.  America falls behind and the rich get richer on the backs of the ATP(American Tax Payer).

Oh yeah, and of AT&T’s collage educated work force, how many went to public universities; with student loans in hand?

This particular greed and shortsightedness is not entirely AT&T’s fault.  This paradigm was created by the MPAA(Motion Picture Association of America).  It’s all about keeping artificially high prices of media(movies, books, music, video games, etc…).  Since pop media can now be replicated at the click of a button why is music so expensive?  CD’s cost a fraction of the price of cassete tapes to produce.  A cassette tape when I was a kid in the 80’s was $6-$8, yet music CD’s for new artist retail $12-$18.  That’s over 100% inflation in 15 years.  Production and marketing cost have fallen as computer technology has advanced.  So why is the music and movie industry suing children?  Because kids don’t earn money and aren’t used to paying taxes, so they know a scam when they see one.

if Hollywood and the MPAA sold their movies at reasonable prices with alternate ways to get it, consumers would download less and share more.  For instance if I could download my Netflix movies to my hard drive and share them with valid account holders via USB thumb drive that would be most convenient.  But the idiots running the MPAA have onerous fee’s & terms to keep prices artificially high.

It angers me that large powerful corporations take billions from workers and small businessmen like myself, even though we provide the majority of jobs in this country.  At 9.0% unemployment can we really afford to give more money to mega-corporations?





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