COAT Makes Recommendations to FCC on National Broadband Plan

On June 8, 2009 COAT sent Comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the national broadband plan they must submit to the US Congress by February 17, 2010.  COAT asked the FCC to ensure that the plan fosters access for people with disabilities to help eliminate the broadband divide facing our community. We asked the FCC to define broadband so that technologies used by people with disabilities are supported and we recommended data collection methods to capture the reasons for low broadband subscribership. COAT reiterated the request to modify the federal Lifeline and Linkup programs to allow low income people with disabilities to use these subsidies to reduce the cost of broadband service and equipment. We also asked the FCC to adopt rules and policies promoting universally designed broadband products. For a copy of COAT's comments, please send an email request. Affiliates are encouraged to submit comments to the FCC in support of the COAT recommendations, by the Reply Comment deadline of July 7, 2008 at the FCC (click on "National Broadband Plan Notice of Inquiry Docket GN 09-51"). If you haven't yet made a donation to COAT, donate today!

1 Comment

As of this afternoon,

As of this afternoon, Verizon has refused to grant me deaf/data rates for my new Sony P notebook because while it is an accepted product for their business group, residences aren't to be granted those lower rates because in my case, I wanted something better than the tiny screened phones they are pushing on the deaf who tend by the way not to thumb type and need bigger screens. I am more than concerned. First the relay is pulled because an unknown woman says it is being used by "crooks" and now when finally netbooks are coming out every day with newer and newer things, only a single, pre-selected Samsung netbook will be permitted to have those deaf/data rates. Where is is written that a carrier is permitted to pre-select hardware for the disabled? Based on their current choices, it's a sorry picture. Each disabled (your word) person ought to be allowed to work at finding the best possible fit. But now broadband is the excuse of the week and why should a person who types and cannot hear have to pay those much much higher broadband rates? The irony is that broadband is costing the telcos less and less money every day even though they keep raising the prices. Something serious has to be done and soon because we the already isolated Americans have been turned into a profit center of all things for companies that are doing just fine. You folks in Washington are not keeping up with the world of ever changing technology and you shouldn't have to. Those of us who use it or buy it or sell it will test those waters for you. But the telcos should not be allowed to build higher than ever walls to keep the deaf away from normal society. That's where you folks are letting us down. They control too much and as David Pogue pointed out recently in the NYTimes, they are so sneaky now that they charge hearing customers for the time Verizon expends having a machine voice deliver an unnecessary message with every call placed so that they can charge customers for the time spent listening to an unwanted and stupid service that only they profit from. Again, I think some rules need looking at. And the business of their surcharging to death on the bottom of bills and never showing in their ads the true cost of things ought to be stopped now. But you might have to read a few pages and that's what's so distressing about health care as you folks envision it. We out here can't trust the very people who are supposed to represent us. It's all about money and PAC's and taxing the blood you think is hiding in rocks. It just isn't about We the People and we are not angry right wing nuts. We are plain old Americans who do not want to live on a tiny allowance doled out to us by the government which plans to take every cent we have one way or another. And try it being deaf. It's got to be good for the folks at Prozac and soon you may have to put it in the drinking water so that the pain becomes bearable. We just don't need nor can we afford the representation you are offering. And the deaf are being pushed over the edge because no one is paying attention. You are on one of your many vacations and are cooking up medical plans that you will of course exempt yourselves from.