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Idiots for Life

Phil Harvey
3/27/2008

4:15 PM -- My hat is off to the Lawrenceville, Ga., resident who cast the winning bid in Charter's Broadband for Life competition.

The $71,540 bid ensures that the bidder will get the fastest Internet service offered by Charter in his or her area for as long as they live.

Unless, of course, Charter goes insolvent, which is very likely, or sells its cable system in the region after 3 years. In that case, the winner gets squat. Same deal if the winner moves out of Charter's service area, but why would anyone want to leave Lawrenceville, Ga.?

At an average of $900 a year ($75 a month), for 50 years, you'd only run up a $45,000 total bill. Assuming bandwidth services will continue to plummet as speeds rise, I think can think of $71,540 reasons why the person bidding for the bandwidth is a bit of a fool.

Oh, yeah, Charter now says the money will go to a charity, but as of this writing, the company had no such language in its contest rules, sweepstakes FAQ, or promotional Website, which had been up and unchanged for months.

Apparently the charity gimmick was a last ditch PR move, which makes Charter look less desperate and the bidder a little less stupid.

Well, congratulations again.

– Phil Harvey, The Editor, Light Reading



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