Blocking competition & choice is bad for consumers & workers

The 1996 Telecommunications Act promised consumers competition between telephone and cable companies in exchange for deregulation. But in December 2011, Verizon Wireless, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, inked an alliance with the nation’s largest cable companies—Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, and Bright House Networks—to sell each others’ product and services. The Verizon Wireless/Big Cable alliance will lead to reduced investment in infrastructure, job losses, fewer choices, and higher prices for consumers.

The Verizon-Cable Monopoly: Blocking competition and choice is bad for consumers and workers

The Verizon Wireless/Big Cable partnership will end historic competition between formerly energetic rivals. The result will be market domination by an unregulated telecom behemoth with the ability to raise prices and reduce service, unconstrained by competitive pressures.

Until now, Verizon Communications has systematically built out its all-fiber FiOS network, competing directly with cable’s broadband and video services. FiOS is a financial powerhouse for Verizon, representing 63 percent of consumer revenues, with an annual growth rate of 18 percent. More than 5 million customer subscribe to FiOS Internet (36 percent penetration) and 4.4 million purchase FiOS TV (32 percent penetration).

But with commercial agreements with Big Cable that eliminate this competition, Verizon now has little incentive to continue investing in FiOS. This will leave about one-third of Verizon’s in-region customers without FiOS, and result in thousands of job lost.

Verizon is standing in the way of the open internet

In December 2010, after a long and contentious fight, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued comprehensive rules to protect an open Internet. The FCC’s rules prohibit discrimination and blocking on the Internet, require full transparency and free speech, and cover wireless networks while acknowledging technological differences. These carefully crafted rules were endorsed by a broad range of public interest and consumer groups, labor organizations including CWA, civil rights groups, environmental organizations, broadband providers, software developers, and Internet applications companies.

But not by Verizon. Instead, Verizon took the FCC to court to overturn the rules. Verizon almost alone among telecom companies has come out against regulatory oversight to protect an open Internet. The case will be heard in the fall of 2012.

One would think that Verizon would be ashamed to demand the right to discriminate among customers on its network. Not Verizon.

Massive Profits

Verizon and its executives rake in money 
while workers endure cuts

The top five Verizon executive made almost $350 million over five years

The top five Verizon executives made almost $350 million over five years while proposing deep cuts for frontline workers. Leadership for America means creating an economy that works for all of us — not just the top 1%.

Profitable companies that cut wages and jobs for the 99% don’t create sustainable communities. America needs broadly shared prosperity and a strong middle class.

“A few people want all the money, when thousands of us support families...Everyone can see how much the company wants to take from us — even though they’re making more, they want to give us less.”

— Matt Rivera
14 years with Verizon

Our children and grandchildren deserve better than a growing divide between the super-rich and everyone else.

Join the campaign today by spreading the word about exorbitant executive compensation at #VeriGreedy Verizon.

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What could you buy with a Verizon executive's salary?

Here are some things $349.2 million could buy


Citations

1 Chevrolet.com;
2 U.S. Census Department;
3 US News and World Report;
4 Verizon 1Q 2012 Earnings Release.