Consumer Protections and Good Jobs

This is just a taste of the great work being in Vermont, as far as making sure people are aware of just what they'd be losing in Verizon's ill-conceived plan to sell to FairPoint.
As the new chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) is among the most important political leaders in Washington when it comes to improving our nation's Internet policies. A recent article in The Hill shows he's out front on these issues, pointing out the need for "a comprehensive national strategy" of high-speed Internet access.
If Verizon has its way, Vermont's telephone and internet provider will soon become FairPoint Communications, a company that won't be able to provide high-speed services to rural New England.
It snows a lot in Western Massachusetts, and although the residents can deal with foul weather, their satellite dishes--the only option for internet access faster than dial-up--cannot. According to Florida Town Administrator Susan Brown, "If it snows, I have to have my road foreman de-ice it. The other day, he was throwing salt up at the dish so I could use the Internet to check the upcoming weather forecast."
California, arguably the technology capital of the world, has taken another step forward by eliminating fees for the installation of high speed fiber optic lines along state rights of way.
Verizon is launching a sneak attack on consumers' rights by pushing for Senate Bill 1143 in Virginia.
Local unions in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are attempting to block Verizon's abandonment of "low-value" land line customers in New England.
Technology has been a driving force behind the United States' ascension to the top of the global economy. But as the 21st Century unfolds, we are seriously lagging when it comes to high speed internet access. Americans pay far more for much slower speeds than most other developed countries. Last week, we released a new whitepaper, "Speed Matters: Affordable High Speed Internet for All", to explain the problem and explore solutions.
High speed Internet is rolling out eight times faster in Texas than the in the rest of the country, thanks, in part, to increased competition among broadband providers.
The decision by the majority of the Federal Communications Commission to endorse Verizon's proposed New England sale to FairPoint Communications is ill-advised and premature, coming even before final determinations have been made by regulators in both Vermont and New Hampshire.