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The lawsuit alleges that Frontier Communications failed to deliver on advertised DSL Internet speeds and for engaging in unfair billing practices by charging for more expensive Internet service than provided.
Over 900 providers are participating in the program and enrollments include households in all 50 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
Just a few days after Verizon and TracFone submitted more than 21,000 pages of documents in response to concerns raised about the transaction, the companies asked the FCC to "move expeditiously to approve" the merger.
“The question of protecting Lifeline subscribers from possible harms, and securing for them the benefits promised by Verizon in the Application, should be central concerns to the Commission in considering whether the Application serves the public interest, convenience, and necessity,” wrote Public Knowledge, Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, and the Open Technology Institute at New America.
Labor and community leaders call for policies that push private companies to bring next-generation broadband to all communities, and protect workers’ rights to join unions.
"The digital divide isn’t new, but the pandemic makes it an emergency. People's livelihoods and their children’s education should not be held hostage by a broadband provider. Congress must act to transform our nation by ensuring affordable, high-speed broadband access for all, regardless of race, income, or geography," wrote Chris Shelton and Angela Siefer.
CWA filed comments with the CPUC rebutting T-Mobile's claim that the CPUC does not have jurisdiction to review wireless transactions and to impose job conditions.
This haphazard retirement of DSL without alternatives available is the outcome of the FCC’s 2018 Order relaxing consumer protection standards around the IP transition.
“There is a huge swath of communities along the westside of Fresno County that lack basic infrastructure for broadband,” said Stan Santos, a splicing technician for AT&T and a member of CWA Local 9408. “As the incumbent local exchange carrier, my employer, AT&T, is directly responsible for this failure to connect our communities to broadband.”
“CenturyLink continues to try to shirk its responsibility to over 100,000 New Mexicans who rely on the company for residential phone service, particularly in rural areas” said Brenda Roberts, CWA District 7 Vice President. “Fortunately, New Mexico has not adopted the deregulation agenda being pushed by corporations who are more interested in serving their big stockholders than their customers.”
CWA urged the FCC to raise its broadband download speed benchmark to 100 Mbps, continue to find that mobile services are no substitute for fixed broadband, and do more to close the digital divide in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.