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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.”
The Governor’s executive order requires state agencies to pursue a goal of 100 Mbps broadband download speed, mapping and data collection, funding, and deployment.
There are many outstanding questions about the effect of the bankruptcy plan on frontline employees and whether Frontier will follow through on badly needed investments in broadband deployment and service quality.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that broadband is more necessary than ever, and a Cars.com survey suggests it will stay that way as a third of Americans plan to telework permanently.
CWA and TURN are also asking the Commission to require Frontier to commit to investing in its network to support all Frontier customers and to no job reductions post-restructuring so that it has the sufficient resources and trained workforce needed to improve Frontier’s struggling infrastructure.
The organizations urged the FCC to extend the COVID-19 Lifeline waivers, restore Lifeline voice support, and freeze Lifeline minimum standards until a study is conducted.
Frontier commits to investing $75 million in the next three years, reduce 911 outages, and credit customers for outages lasting more than 72 hours.
As a merger commitment, the FCC has banned Charter from placing data caps on customers or charging streaming video providers interconnection fees until 2023.