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“[W]e have to understand where communications fell short, where recovery took too long, and what changes can be made to make our networks more resilient before the next unthinkable event occurs,” said FCC Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel.
“As the state moves forward with its aggressive and laudable plans to ensure all Californians have access and the means to use broadband and wireless services, we must also collaboratively discuss the quality of those services,” said Amy Yip-Kikugawa, Acting Director of the Public Advocates Office.
“The company would prefer to work with all contractors,” said Frontier technician Tom Gardella to the LA Times. “[But] the contractors aren’t as invested as the employees. We’re in it for the quality because we’re in this for the long term. They’re in it for the piece-work.”
"We love our jobs, we love working at Glitch, which is why we wanted to ensure we have a lasting voice at this company and lasting protections. This contract does that, and I hope tech workers across the industry can see that unions and start-ups are not incompatible," said Katie Lundsgaard, a software engineer at Glitch.
"Ensuring that all Americans have access to utility services during this pandemic is too important to be left to the discretion of individual utility companies," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "Essential workers have been on the job throughout the COVID-19 crisis making sure that households and businesses stay connected to energy, water, and communications services. We need a national moratorium on utility shutoffs so that service providers hold up their end of the bargain."
AT&T and Frontier fought for nearly two years to prevent the public release of the report finding that they allowed their copper networks to deteriorate over the last decade.
The Connect America Fund Phase II auction awarded $505.7 million to CenturyLink to deploy broadband to 1.17 million homes and $283.4 million to Frontier to deploy broadband to 659,587 homes by December 31, 2020.
The fees cover Frontier’s general network expenses but are not included in advertised rates when a customer signs up for service.
CWA and the Minnesota Attorney General had urged the Minnesota PUC to impose deployment and investment conditions on Frontier.
In a letter to the FCC, the attorneys general detailed how Verizon's acquisition of TracFone could negatively impact the Lifeline program, which provides a subsidy for communications services to millions of low-income consumers.
"One call center closing can devastate an entire community," CWA Local 1298's Jim Case testified. "The core of this bill is simple: no state taxpayer money should be used for companies that ship our jobs out of the state."