Washington, D.C. -- Following is a statement by President Chris Shelton, Communications Workers of America, on the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed order on the regulation of Business Data Services.
“The proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to radically cut rates for some elements of business data services will lead to reduced investment in broadband networks and downward pressure on jobs and living standards.
The Chairman’s proposal ignores the reality of competition and the market, and will have a devastating effect on the investment necessary for broadband expansion, especially in rural areas.
The drastic rate cuts – as much as 20 percent over three years -- will create pressure on companies to cut existing jobs and reduce capital outlays in fiber networks, subverting the very goals the FCC aims to achieve in this proceeding. Because the proposal will lead to less investment in broadband networks, overall job growth in this critical industry will be stagnant.
In essence, the Chairman's proposal requires unionized incumbent carriers to subsidize the input costs of low-wage, non-union competitive providers and wireless carriers.
We urge the Commissioners to give this proposal the scrutiny it needs and to modify it to ensure that the Commission’s goal of increased investment in high-speed broadband and quality jobs can be achieved.”