CWA Broadband Brigade members release a new video calling for equitable broadband access and good jobs
State and local governments have begun allocating funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to broadband projects and planning for an additional $65 billion in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The CWA Broadband Brigade and local activists have been mobilizing to ensure states use these funds to Build Broadband Better by creating good union jobs and prioritizing closing the digital divide.
Brigade members released a video urging members to get involved in the effort. “Anytime an elected official thinks broadband, we want them thinking CWA,” says CWA Local 1104 member Nick Hoh in the video. In an early sign of success, CWA members in Indiana will have more work deploying high-quality fiber networks because AT&T will receive $10 million to work on an ARPA project to build broadband to over 20,000 households in Vanderburgh County.
In the last few months, Brigade members have also given presentations about the Build Broadband Better campaign to key national groups including AFL-CIO State Federation and Central Labor Council Leaders, Democratic Governors Association, Democratic Attorney Generals, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, and at an event hosted by Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI). The Buffalo News recently published an op-ed by Thomas Roulley, a telecommunications worker who serves as the Chairman of the Political and Legislative Committee for CWA Local 1122 in New York and is a member of CWA's Build Broadband Better team.
“In order for broadband funds to reach New Yorkers in need and build out access successfully, they must be spent correctly. Empowering the Public Service Commission with the oversight to regulate these investments will ensure broadband infrastructure is built where it is most needed. With the needed resources on its way, New York must not fall short of this opportunity,” Roulley wrote.
CWA urges the FTC and the DOJ to take into account in merger review guidelines the role of collective bargaining in counterbalancing employer market power