Thanks to legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Biden, broadband buildout is on the way!
State and local governments have begun allocating funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to broadband projects and planning for an additional $65 billion in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The CWA Broadband Brigade and local activists have been mobilizing to ensure states use these funds to Build Broadband Better by creating good union jobs and prioritizing closing the digital divide. One early success: CWA members in Indiana will have more work deploying high-quality fiber networks because AT&T will receive $10 million to work on an ARPA project to build broadband to over 20,000 households in Vanderburgh County.
Brigade members released a new video this week urging members to get involved in the effort. “Anytime an elected official thinks broadband, we want them thinking CWA,” says CWA Local 1104 member Nick Hoh in the video. Show your support by liking, sharing and commenting on their video here.
CWA Local 4108 Executive Vice President and Broadband Brigade member Martin Szeliga spoke at an event hosted by Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Mich.).
Last week, CWA Local 4108 Executive Vice President and Broadband Brigade member Martin Szeliga spoke to the press and elected officials about the need for broadband expansion and the importance of using skilled union technicians to do the work, at an event hosted by Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Mich.).
In the last few months, Brigade members have also given presentations about our Build Broadband Better campaign to key national groups including AFL-CIO State Federation and Central Labor Council Leaders, Democratic Governors Association, Democratic Attorney Generals, and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.
Additionally, the Buffalo News recently published an op-ed by Thomas Roulley, a telecommunications worker who serves as the Chairman of the Political and Legislative Committee for CWA Local 1122 in New York and is a member of CWA's Build Broadband Better team. “In order for broadband funds to reach New Yorkers in need and build out access successfully, they must be spent correctly. Empowering the Public Service Commission with the oversight to regulate these investments will ensure broadband infrastructure is built where it is most needed. With the needed resources on its way, New York must not fall short of this opportunity,” he wrote.