Stuck in the Slow Lane without FiOS
CWA has produced and distributed a hard-hitting a 30-second video spot for display on local TV on Long Island, NY and online. The ad, Stuck in the Slow Lane without FiOS, asks viewers to contact NY state officials demanding that Verizon bring FiOS to the area – providing competition, development and jobs.
The release of the spot follows almost two years of citizen and union action to make Verizon responsive to community needs.
In 2013, Verizon announced its intention to replace hardwired landlines with wireless-based Voice Link in several areas around New York – especially Fire Island, which had been damaged by Superstorm Sandy. A widespread protest against Verizon’s plan erupted and included residents, state and local politicians, community groups and CWA. As a result, Verizon backed away from the plan, and was forced to build FiOS to Fire Island.
Following that victory, CWA Local 1108 began taking action against Verizon in other parts of Long Island.
According to the local’s executive vice president, Michael Gendron, all of Brookhaven – which includes about 500,000 residents in central and eastern Suffolk County – is suffering deteriorating Verizon phone service. “The company was simply letting the whole copper-based system fall into disrepair,” he told Speed Matters. And, Verizon was failing to build out its fiber-based FiOS service in the affected areas.
Local 1108 helped circulate a petition – both paper and online – to be presented to the New York State Public Service Commission following a town meeting in February, 2014. “We want the PSC to review what constitutes basic service,” Gendron said. Eventually, some 10,000 people registered their protest to the commission.
To educate the public, CWA decided to take to the public media, and the result was Stuck in the Slow Lane without FiOS. The campaign continues because FiOS means both top-notch connectivity and good-paying jobs for communications workers.
Stuck in the Slow Lane without FiOS (CWA TV spot, Sep. 2014)
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