West Virginia

West Virginia's plan to build a statewide fiber broadband network with funds from the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) promises to create thousands of jobs and help lay the foundation for future economic growth.
An ambitious project to create a statewide fiber optic broadband network in West Virginia is underway. The statewide fiber broadband network will connect critical anchor institutions, including hospitals, public schools, libraries and fire and police departments across the state.
At an April 15 Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller urged the FCC to take steps to provide incentives for broadband expansion. The Commission is currently reviewing the proposed sale of Verizon lines to Frontier in West Virginia and 13 other states. The Communications Workers of America and others have joined in calling the sale a bad deal that will make it difficult for the nation to meet the National Broadband Plan deployment goals.
With over 150 supporters chanting, "No more corporate greed?We need high speed!" nearly 50 Communications Workers of America members who work for Verizon in West Virginia marched into the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington on April 1 to voice their concerns about the potential sale of their state's telephone lines to much smaller Frontier Communications.

Verizon Communications is selling its landlines in West Virginia and 13 other states using a tax free loophole. Similar deals by Verizon in other states have resulted in bankruptcy, lost jobs, unmet broadband promises and poor service.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke recently announced the latest round of economic stimulus awards totaling $357 million for expanded high-speed Internet access. Nine states received record funding for broadband expansion. Nine states - California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin - received funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
A new piece of legislation has the potential to shut down a $600 million corporate tax windfall in the Verizon-Frontier deal, and protect consumers, workers, and communities.
Last month, Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Ed Hill sent a letter to Congress to raise awareness of a tax loophole being used in the Verizon-Frontier Deal. The obscure corporate loophole - known as the "Reverse Morris Trust" was used in a similar deal that Verizon made with FairPoint Communications in 2007. The New England based company recently filed for bankruptcy after months of legal problems and complaints of poor customer service.
FairPoint, the company that acquired Verizon's land lines in New England in 2008, filed for bankruptcy on October 26. This news comes as Verizon is seeking approval to sell 4.8 million landlines to Frontier Communications in 14 states.
The opposition to the proposed sale of 4.8 million Verizon landlines to Frontier Communications is growing. State utility advocates, consumer groups, state officials, and unions have all raised serious concerns about the deal.
Verizon Communications is proposing to sell landlines in 14 states to Frontier Communications Corp. - a move that has raised concerns from the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The sale could be a setback to the push for expanded broadband access to underserved and unserved areas. Without expanded broadband access, stories like that of Gabrielle Ramirez, whose long-undiagnosed disease was identified using telemedicine, would not be possible.