I sent the following e-mail to Philip Swartzsager, staff member in Rep. Spencer Bachus' office:
We spoke last week regarding attempting to get support for broadband access for low income students in Hoover (and the rest of Alabama, for that matter).
At the time, you indicated that you would be doing some more research on the matter and get back to me.
Here are a couple of items to be aware of:
1) In order to get their merger with NBC/Universal approved by the FCC, one of the conditions that Comcast Cable placed upon themselves was the creation of the Internet Essentials program that provides $10.00 per month broadband access to low income families (criteria for low income is that there have to be school age children in the household who are on free or reduced lunches). AT&T is in the process of having their application for merger with T-Mobile approved by the FCC. The clock had stopped on the process but it started again today. I would like Rep. Bachus' suggest to the FCC that one of the conditions of the approval of the merger be that AT&T provide a program like Comcast's Internet Essentials to the customers in their entire service area.
2) I spoke to Sen. Sessions' staff member Graham Hixon last week. Graham was to meet with the FCC this week regarding the merger and will look into the above condition.
3) Please have Rep. Bachus support H.R. 2163, The Broadband Affordability Act of 2011, introduced by Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), that basically seeks the same thing as what we're looking for by using the Federal UCC tax.
Please let me know where your office stands on the above.