Digital Divide by Design – PART I

Public Speaker, Writer, Community Empowerment Agent.

Digital Divide by Design – PART I

By L.A. Ortega

Two small children sitting outside the Taco Bell in Salinas CA (Comcast territory) to get their distance learning on.  

Photo by KTVU Fox 2

Comcast made a promise to connect millions of families in California as part of their merger agreement during the NBC/Universal merger negotiations. These were firm promises – that community and other stakeholders were counting on being executed as a condition of approving the merger. The enforcement arm of the states watchdog, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). were suppose to ensure Comcast made good on its promises – NEVER HAPPENED. According to one Greenlining Institute Report, almost a decade after the Comcast – NBC/Universal merger, Comcast had made a mere 1% penetration into the target market they promised to connect with high speed Internet. Meanwhile these little girls and millions more like them throughout the country remain without. like those from Salinas are forced to sit outside fast food restaurants to get access.

Comcast made a promise to connect millions of families in California as part of their merger agreement during the NBC/Universal merger negotiations. These were firm promises – that community and other stakeholders were counting on being executed as a condition of approving the merger. The enforcement arm of the states watchdog, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). were suppose to ensure Comcast made good on its promises – NEVER HAPPENED. According to one Greenlining Institute Report, almost a decade after the Comcast – NBC/Universal merger, Comcast had made a mere 1% penetration into the target market they promised to connect with high speed Internet. Meanwhile these little girls and millions more like them throughout the country remain without. like those from Salinas are forced to sit outside fast food restaurants to get access.

Larry Ortega, One Million NIU
“Comcast providing crumbs”
https://youtu.be/0ebTSLIw7N8

Rick Cimerman, National Cable and Telecommunications Association
“They are not crumbs” regarding their promise to connect millions of low income households with high speed Internet
https://youtu.be/-jt8p_CBF_8

Then Community Union brings 30 million viewers to see the impact broadband training can have.

The complexity of the issue

Dr. Galperin’s Report and the Greenlining Study forwarded by Bruce Kushnick.

Why would the CPUC come after a small nonprofit from East L.A.?

Bitch lies about attending more than one class

Auditor lied about 20 hour class accusation

Auditor could not articulate who they spoke and if they were all from the same class and why such a small sample set

Devla Singh was like okay because of the Quarterly Report here is what is gonoing on there. hey may be working undrcover

It was interesting to find that the Auditor’s entire basis for their claim that the NIU Coalition only provided 50% of the service stated on their reimbursement requests… was a sample set equal to .006%. Of all graduates the Auditors spoke to 1% but .006% of all graduates is who they talked to to make the determination.

It was even more interesting to hear CPUC contradict themselves regarding the NIU Coalition’s Performance against the CPUC contract. In one instance Ms. Singh testifies (place quote from transcript here) reading the Quarterly Performance Report drove her to become concerned. Than on the very next question Ms. Singh says “the Quarterly Reports are unverified” and that simply because the NIU Coalition was saying they had met and/or exceeded goals did not make it necessarily verified point. When pressed further Ms. Singh said she attempted to visit the 1 (one) NIU site. And from this failed attempted visit Ms. Singh was able to conclude the NIU Coalition was seriously under-performing. Ms. Singh conspicuously leaves-out the part where she spoke to actual students during her visit – which she did not.

The further we dug the more bizarre the CPUC allegations became. One of the more interesting discoveries was that CPUC spent $85,000 on a Audit whose key finding in the Audit was based on a sample size of .006%.

Another interesting discovery was that the CPUC has its own personal shill. After reading the emaill that was obtained during our discovery Steve from Tellus was writing, essentially parroting the CPUC narrative without doing any due diligence on his part. Of course this is not surprising, but a little research Tellus performed to confirm the veracity. They were quick to condemn a fellow Grantee using very sketchy evidence to contradict the enormous impact NIU was making.