The pandemic has widened long-existing inequities like the digital divide — the term used to refer to the fact that many people across the country lack access to affordable broadband due to a cycle of profit-driven discrimination. Congress cannot stand idly by while millions of people across the country are unable to connect with loved ones, work from home, engage in distance learning, take advantage of telehealth or otherwise fully participate in society because they lack affordable broadband access.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made something clear that the members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have known for a long time: millions of families in the United States do not have access to affordable, reliable broadband internet connections. Technicians can’t install high-speed internet service for households without fiber optic cable in their neighborhoods. Teachers can’t keep children who cannot access online materials engaged and learning.
FCC's Broadband Advisory Committee’s One Touch Make Ready Recommendation Threatens Public Safety and Good Jobs
The Federal Communications Commission's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) adopted a recommendation that would mandate the use of contractors to move telephone company equipment to make room for new attachers' equipment. This is work that is currently performed by trained, skilled, career employees at AT&T, Verizon, Frontier, and other employers. The BDAC recommendation threatens public safety.