What do seniors want? Affordable broadband

Post Bulletin posts a letter to the editor from a senior on the frontlines…

Again this year, Minnesota Republicans want to end the state tax on Social Security benefits. They say it will help seniors. As one such senior, I am all in favor of our Legislature helping seniors. But I find this effort curious.

Most seniors in my circle live on low to moderate income. They live both in town and further out. Some live only on their social security benefits. Yes, a fortunate few are quite well off. An unscientific poll of those seniors asked what the Legislature could do to help them.

Responses included such things as: affordable broadband, affordable insulin, capping Medicare out-of-pocket costs, expanding affordable senior transportation and housing options. Basically, leverage the power of government to improve many aspects of their lives. Not one mentioned ending this particular tax. So, who will this change actually help?

For as long as I’ve been attending broadband policy meetings, affordability has been a topic that gets some lip service but not much else. So it was interesting to see the keyword here. There have been subsidies – most recently with the Emergency Broadband Benefit (Affordable Connectivity Program) – but just as important I think is finding a way to lower over all costs.

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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