CWA members, joined by Baltimore residents, rallied outside city hall urging the city's mayor and council to oppose the Verizon/cable deal. The Baltimore Sun said that protestors claimed the deal "will hurt the city's chances of ever receiving the telecommunication company's next-generation Internet broadband network, known as FiOS."
Verizon has failed to extend FiOS to cities such as Boston and Buffalo, as well as Baltimore, while providing fiber connections in the wealthier suburbs. But with the cable deal, Verizon is unlikely to ever reach residents of Baltimore City.
Ron Collins, CWA Chief of Staff, told the rally:
"We are calling on Mayor Rawlings-Blake and other city leaders to take a stand for jobs and economic development in Baltimore City. It's time for Baltimore City leaders to support a deal that would bring Verizon's FiOS service to Baltimore City, bringing much-needed jobs and higher-quality broadband service to the city."
Baltimore City Council President Jack Young, who spoke at the rally, wrote a letter this week to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressing his opposition to the current deal, and outlining the harmful impact it would have on Baltimore City.
The same day, Maryland Senators Benjamin Cardin and Barbara Mikulski followed suit with their own letter to Genachowski and Holder. They wrote:
"We have heard from a number of constituents, Maryland elections officials, labor unions, consumer advocates and civil rights groups who are deeply concerned about the proposed joint marketing agreements." And, they added that they were also concerned about the "impact of the proposed transaction on middle class jobs."
Union protests Verizon deal, fears Baltimore will never get FiOS (Baltimore Sun, Jul. 26, 2012)
CWA, Baltimore Community Members Rally Against Job-Killing Verizon-Big Cable Deal (CWA news release, Jul. 26, 2012)