Communications Workers of America: “Digital Equity is Within Reach” with Nationwide Participation in Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative
With all states and territories having confirmed their participation, CWA applauds the Biden administration for leaving no county behind, and ensuring that federal dollars support quality broadband buildout and union jobs
NATIONWIDE — Following the announcement from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that every state and territory in the U.S. will be participating in the Internet for All initiative, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) applauds President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and the entire NTIA for their comprehensive outreach campaign to ensure no state or territory was left behind.
Internet for All, a key piece of President Biden’s Infrastructure and Jobs Act, is a $65 billion federal program to ensure all Americans have access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet.
“With every corner of the country committed to bringing reliable high-speed internet to every household and business, digital equity in America is within reach,” said Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton.“CWA has been a leading advocate for this program from the start, and as states begin to develop their plans to utilize this funding, our members and leaders stand ready to be a resource. Our motto has been ‘build broadband better’ and CWA members know how to do just that. We look forward to being a part of the solution to bridging the digital divide and delivering reliable broadband everywhere.”
In addition to providing the funding states and territories need to expand internet access, the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program lays out requirements that effectively address many of CWA’s concerns about the failure of past programs to bring reliable, high speed broadband and good, union jobs to rural and underserved communities.
BEAD funding requirements recognize the importance of ensuring that broadband providers and their contractors have proactive plans in place to ensure labor compliance and high quality training, and address the problem of low-road subcontractors in the telecommunications industry, making it clear that federal dollars will not fund sub-par installations by fly-by-night companies.
In addition, BEAD requirements seek to ensure public funds are used to deploy future-proof fiber technology. CWA has long advocated for fiber-to-the-premise architecture, as it remains the best broadband option when it comes to speed, latency, reliability, and consistency in quality of service. Fiber technology will also ensure that the deployed network can easily scale speeds over time and meet the evolving connectivity needs of households and businesses.
CWA Local 4818 Smithville Telephone Workers vote to ratify the contract