Cross-posted from Huffington Post
If the ethos of America is about removing unfair barriers to individual opportunity and success, then it is un-American to give low-income communities substandard Internet service that creates barriers to economic opportunity and democratic engagement. Still, Metro PCS is doing just that — offering a cell phone package to poor people that is only affordable because it contains significant roadblocks to full Internet access.
Despite outrage from both the civil rights and public interest communities over the gross inequity of a tiered Internet — one for the wealthy and a different one for the poor — the Minority Media and Telecommunication Council's David Honig insisted in Politico this week that the company's pricing plan is standard industry practice and beneficial to low-income families that want affordable service. "They have offered higher-priced data plans, they are not blocking service," Honig said. "Not everything you call network neutrality leads to network equality for minorities." Great soundbite — too bad the facts disprove the fiction.