Federconsumatori and ADOC ask for measures for those who are excluded from the voucher for the lack of coverage of the fiber connection
Two associations for the protection of consumer rights, Federconsumatori and ADOC, write to the Ministry of Economic Development, Infratel Spa and the Antitrust Authority to request profound changes to the Bonus PC and Internet. According to the associations, in fact, the technical approach of the "Voucher plan for ultra broadband connectivity for families and businesses" would not be sufficient to reduce the digital divide.
The problem, according to Federconsumatori and ADOC, lies in the technical requirement of speed of the new connection required to obtain the bonus: 30 Mbps download (15 Mbps guaranteed) and 15 Mbps upload (7.5 Mbps guaranteed). Speeds of this kind greatly restrict the map of areas of the country where you can take advantage of the bonus, because the fast connection has not yet arrived everywhere in Italy. Mountain municipalities, small villages or areas difficult to reach with fiber are in fact excluded and this, paradoxically, according to the two consumer associations increases even more the digital divide instead of reducing it. For this reason, Federconsumatori and ADOC ask the Ministry of Economic Development to evaluate two alternatives, if it is impossible for the network operator to offer a connection that meets the minimum technical parameters.
If there is no fiber, incentivize the Giga in 4G
The first alternative, if it is not possible to provide the Internet bonus for lack of an adequate connection, according to Federconsumatori and ADOC is to use at least part of the 500 euros of the bonus PC and Internet to pay additional traffic Giga in 4G. This hypothesis would be useful in case of total absence of fixed connection, when it is necessary to connect the smartphone to the laptop to connect to the Internet.
We read in the note that the two associations have sent to the Ministry: "part of it [of the bonus] be used for the purchase of congruous gigs of navigation for mobile network contracts, when you have at least 4G terminals. It is necessary, in fact, to consider that, where technically possible, many users who reside in areas affected by the above-mentioned digital divide, use a mobile network access to surf the Internet in a fixed location, configuring their mobile device in tethering mode, but going, so, meet much higher costs".
Considering the fact that the 200 euro bonus is spread over a year, the monthly amount of the incentive is equal to 16.66 euros. With this money you could pay dozens of additional Giga if the phone companies agreed to offer them at the standard cost of their offers and not at the price of extra Giga.
If there is no connection, all the bonus to buy the PC
The second hypothesis of Federconsumatori and ADOC, provides instead the possibility to allocate the entire amount of the voucher to the purchase of hardware (PC or tablet) in case there is no fixed connection available. Regarding the hardware, finally, the two associations ask that the user is not bound to buy it from the operator but can use the 300 euros of the bonus (or 500, in the case of the second proposal) to buy a laptop or tablet from the dealer he prefers.