Verizon’s FiOS: Make It Count for DC

Good news! After a year-long campaign spearheaded by Connect-DC, Verizon has finally agreed to bring high-speed Fiber Optic Service (FiOS) to the Nations’ Capital. BUT don’t pop the cork just yet! Many of the city’s neighborhoods have been left out of the plan entirely. Click here to see whether your neighborhood has been included. Moreover, unlike in Maryland and Virginia, Verizon has yet to make firm job commitments for DC.rnrnEarlier this month the DC City Council introduced legislation that will grant Verizon the right to provide cable TV in exchange for building a fiber network throughout the District. Never before has Verizon made such a massive investment in DC’s infrastructure. rnrnFor years, DC residents watched as Verizon abandoned the Nation’s capital, moving money, good jobs and service centers out of city to build FiOS, a Fiber Optic Service network, in the suburbs. Now,FiOS has the potential to bring hundreds of good telecom jobs back to the city, and to link all DC residents to the newest technology. Nationally, FiOS has contributed radically to job growth and according to Verizon, it’s not just the FiOS technicians who benefit, but “every fiber related job we create leads to another four jobs created elsewhere in the community.” rnrnHowever, many of the city’s neighborhoods have been left out of the plan entirely and Verizon has yet to make firm job commitments for DC. To ensure that all DC residents benefit the agreement needs to include the following provisions:rnrn* GOOD JOBS. Over the last 3 years Verizon has moved a third of its workforce and several service centers out of the District to build FiOS in the suburbs. In order to ensure quality FiOS service, Verizon needs to establish a FiOS facility in DC, staffed by Verizon maintenance administrators and clerks. rnrn* VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM. By law Verizon is required to make a good faith effort to hire 51% of its workforce from DC. But in reality such a law has little impact when there are no job training programs available to prepare DC residents for these cutting edge jobs. Verizon must partner with CWA and existing career academies in the District to develop a career training program that can put youth and unemployed persons in the District on the path for good Verizon jobs. Not all DC residents will have access to Verizon’s FiOS Package but the City has the responsibility to ensure that as DC’s economy develops, working families benefit too.rnrn* 100% FiOS BUILDOUT BY 2015. In our nation’s capital, we need the best technology, not just for lawmakers and government officials, but also for the DC community. DC residents need FiOS in their homes, enabling residents to stay connected to our fast-paced global economy. Like much of the country today, DC is a victim of the “Digital Divide.” While Ward 3 will get FiOS immediately, plans to install FiOS in Ward 5 and large swaths of Ward 8 are not even on the drawing board.rnrnMake sure FiOS doesn’t leave anyone out. Join labor and community activists on October 31st at 9:00am outside the Wilson Building to demand that Councilmembers require Verizon to commit to good jobs for DC residents, expand FiOS throughout the city by 2015, and partner with CWA and the District on a job training program. Following the rally, activists will testify at a DC City Council hearing on the legislation. You can make a difference. Click http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=nTuCdnNQmkZGLGkAr5KN0w_3d_3d to find out how to get involved.rn

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