"Road kill on the information superhighway"

Opposition continues to build to the proposed Verizon-FairPoint deal in Northern New England. Last weekend, about 1,000 consumers, workers, and community activists gathered at a rally in Portsmouth, N.H., to protest the deal.

Glenn Brackett, of Electrical Workers Local 12320, had this to say about it:

If this sale goes through, New Hampshire citizens will be “road kill” on the information super highway.

FairPoint Communications, a small North Carolina-based company, lacks the resources to build out high speed internet infrastructure, especially to rural parts of Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. At the rally, attendees called for regulatory boards in those states to make sure Verizon doesn’t leave rural residents behind.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who is running for president, told rally-goers that he would ask the FCC and the SEC to closely examine the deal. He added,

Rural communities would be left on the other side of the digital divide. Verizon doesn’t want to serve rural communities in the tri-state and, based on its finances, FairPoint can’t. This sounds like a deal for Verizon to shed their responsibilities to rural areas and break the unions by spinning off to a company that has had serious financial troubles and a poor track record for protecting jobs and benefits.

This rally was just the tip of the iceberg. New Englanders won't stop until they make sure they're not left on the wrong side of the digital divide. Their next protest is planned for June 2nd in Burlington, Vermont. And you can bet there will be plenty more to follow that one.

It's clear that residents of rural New England are united in their opposition to the Verizon-FairPoint deal, and are eager to get fully plugged into the digital age.

Workers Rally to Stop Verizon from Abandoning Rural New England (Stop-the-Sale)

The point? It's not fair. (Speed Matters)

Shedding more light on Verizon's unfair FairPoint deal (Speed Matters)

Fairpoint - Don’t turn a Superhighway into a Dirt Road! (The Prog Blog)