FCC Decision on Big Cable Deal Will Kill Jobs, Harm Consumers

For release August 23, 2012
Contact: Candice Johnson or Chuck Porcari, CWA Communications, 202-434-1168, cjohnson@cwa-union.org and CPorcari@cwa-union.org
CWA: FCC Decision on Big Cable Deal Will Kill Jobs, Harm Consumers
FCC follows Department of Justice’s path of destruction of jobs and competition
Washington, DC—Following the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) unanimous vote approving terms of a deal between Verizon and the nation’s largest cable companies, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) issued the following statement:
“The FCC’s decision allowing Big Cable to virtually monopolize wireline and video connections to millions of homes will lead to job loss and hit consumers with higher prices. It will slam the door on our country’s high speed future because it has destroyed any incentive for Verizon to continue the build out of its high speed FiOS network.
It is clearly an example of the FCC, just as the Department of Justice did last week, acting on behalf of corporate interests, not the public interest and clearly not jobs.
Both DOJ and the FCC now have shown that they are content with an anti-competitive deal that will result in job cuts, higher prices, and fewer choices for consumers. Regulators have demonstrated a striking disconnect between their support for this deal and the Obama administration’s goals of affordable high speed Internet access for all and particularly, the creation of good jobs that are necessary to push our sluggish economy forward.  The U.S. is near the bottom among global democracies in both price and access to high speed Internet.
The weak conditions on cross-marketing that both the FCC and the DOJ have put in place will result in fewer choices for consumers who already have limited options. Nor have regulators outlined how these limitations can be enforced.
For communities like Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, cities across upstate New York and most of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Virginia, there will be extremely limited, if any, options for high-speed broadband service. That is unacceptable.
Some elected officials got it right. More than 49 members of Congress, elected officials from every level across New York State, mayors from Boston and nine upstate New York communities, and many more weighed in on the harm that workers, consumers and communities will suffer. Sadly, federal regulators weren’t listening to their voices.
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