CWA supports Wheeler?s transition proposals

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) issued a response to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Wheeler’s two Technology Transition proposals. The proposals, which outline the Technology Transition Order currently circulating among FCC Commissioners, are intended to ensure that phone and Internet companies upgrade their networks in a way that protects consumers and public safety, and encourages competition. The Technology Transition Order will be up for a vote on August 6.

Among the proposals is the suggestion to define wire retirement “in such a way to prevent retirement of networks by neglect” – an issue advocated by CWA and other organizations in response to Verizon’s neglect of its copper lines.

 

CWA’s statement in support of Chairman Wheeler’s proposals:

 

It appears that F.C.C. Chairman Tom Wheeler’s technology transitions proposals will serve two critical goals: protecting consumers and at the same time encouraging investment in next-generation high-speed networks. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is pleased to see that the Chairman’s proposed rules require advance notification prior to retirement of copper networks, and define “retirement” in such a way to prevent retirement of networks by neglect and improper maintenance.

 

Verizon Communications is the poster child of such “de facto” network retirement. Verizon is systematically neglecting proper maintenance of its copper network, leaving many customers with poor or no service. Strong rules that prevent neglect of traditional copper networks will protect consumers who continue to rely on those networks, and at the same time encourage investment in next-generation technologies. Strong rules will block a repeat of the Fire Island situation, in which Verizon attempted to replace storm-damaged landlines with an inferior fixed wireless Voice Link service.

 

Fact Sheet: Chairman Wheeler’s Proposals to Protect Consumers & Promote Competition and Public Safety in the Technology Transitions (FCC, July 10, 2015)

Advancing Technology Transitions by Protecting Consumers, Competition and Public Safety in an IP-World (FCC, July 10, 2015)

CWA urges FCC to address Verizon abuses (Speed Matters, June 28, 2015)

Consumer, civil rights, labor organizations urge FCC to protect customers in IP Transition (Speed Matters, June 28, 2015)

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