CWA to FCC: Broadband is not being deployed in a timely fashion

Broadband is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion, CWA said in recent comments in the FCC’s 706 proceeding. The 706 proceeding is the FCC’s annual inquiry into the state of broadband deployment. 

According to the most recent Census Bureau data, only two-thirds (68.8 percent) of people in the US have a wired broadband subscription (cable, fiber optic, or DSL). For households earning $20,000 a year or less, 41 percent do not have a broadband Internet subscription and for households earning between $20,000 and $75,000, 18 percent do not have a broadband Internet subscription. There are still far too many school children who must sit on the library steps or go to McDonald’s for wifi access to do their homework.

Ubiquitous fiber deployment is necessary to close the digital divide, create a competitive broadband marketplace, and prepare for next-generation wireless networks, according to CWA’s comments. As of December 31, 2017, only 13 million of the 99 million wired Internet connections to residential customer locations were fiber. Robust fiber backhaul provides essential infrastructure to power next-generation networks – wired and wireless – which in turn support economically feasible ways to provide residential high-speed Internet, 5G, and the Internet of Things (IoT), including “Smart City” technologies. Fiber deployment is not only important to communities, it is essential to the United States’ competitiveness in the global, digital age.

CWA noted that the FCC should raise it broadband benchmark to 100/10 Mbps, and that the United States is falling behind other nations in terms of broadband speed, that, CWA also explained that mobile service is not a functional substitute for fixed broadband today, and that the FCC's Form 477 is flawed and overestimates coverage. 

Read CWA’s FCC Reply Comments here.

Links:

Reply Comments of Communications Workers of America (FCC, Dec. 9, 2019)