2022 Legislative Priority - Broadband

Background

From telecom workers to City workers to healthcare, CWA members have known for a long time that access to quality, high-speed, affordable internet is not just a right, but a vital necessity. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this more clear than ever.

In 2022, we're fighting to ensure that all public dollars for broadband deployment support high-quality networks, speedy deployment, good jobs with high-road employers, and sustainable delivery of high-speed broadband to all New Yorkers who lack adequate service today.

All public funding for broadband deployment must support:

  • High-quality networks
  • Fast deployment
  • Good jobs with high-road employers
  • Reliable delivery of high-speed broadband to all New Yorkers.

What We're Fighting For

  1. Strong labor standards that protect workers and promote good jobs with high-road employers. In order to cut costs, providers increasingly rely on a multilayered structure of subcontractors that lack accountability to the public and to their employees. These contractors often are non-union, lack adequate safety training, have very high turnover, and undermine the wages and standards established by union-represented telecom employees through collective bargaining agreements. The result is a disturbing record of accidents that cause damage to utilities, public property, and homes while presenting serious risks to worker and public safety. The State must require strong labor standards to protect workers and customers. 

  2. Prequalification provisions. To mitigate risk of failed projects, the State should require that companies who receive public dollars for broadband demonstrate, in advance of receiving an award, their capacity to deliver the promised deployment and service. This should be done through submission of information on the company's existing subscriber revenues, its financial statements, and other evidence of its ability to successfully build, operate, and maintain a viable broadband network. 

  3. Fiber preference to ensure that public dollars for broadband go to fiber-to-the-premise projects whenever and wherever possible. Fiber is “future proof” because it can scale to meet increased network demands and it requires much less maintenance and fewer upgrades. By comparison, cable service and wireless service do not deliver the same symmetrical speeds or dedicated bandwidth to each household or business. Nothing matches fiber for overall capability.

Materials

Memo of Support

Fact Sheet for Legislators

Workplace Flyer

Take Action

Send an email to your New York State Legislators to tell them to fight for good jobs and abopt strong labor standards for broadband deployment!

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