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CWA Statement Supporting FCC Chair Consumer Protection Proposal

July 16, 2015

CWA released a statement in support of U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposals to Protect Consumers & Promote Competition and Public Safety in the Technology Transitions:

It appears that F.C.C. Chairman Tom Wheeler's technology transitions proposals will serve two critical goals: protecting consumers and at the same time encouraging investment in next-generation high-speed networks. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is pleased to see that the Chairman's proposed rules require advance notification prior to retirement of copper networks, and define "retirement" in such a way to prevent retirement of networks by neglect and improper maintenance.

Verizon Communications is the poster child of such "de facto" network retirement. Verizon is systematically neglecting proper maintenance of its copper network, leaving many customers with poor or no service. Strong rules that prevent neglect of traditional copper networks will protect consumers who continue to rely on those networks, and at the same time encourage investment in next-generation technologies. Strong rules will block a repeat of the Fire Island situation, in which Verizon attempted to replace storm-damaged landlines with an inferior fixed wireless VoiceLink service.