September 3, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Verizon has refused $3.4 million in federal funds to expand high-speed Internet service in the Buffalo area—and a Communications Workers of America spokesperson says it’s because the company “clearly just decided they don’t want to invest in their landline infrastructure.” Verizon was one of 10 telecommunications companies that is receiving money from the Federal Communications Commission under a program to expand broadband service to rural and underserved communities.
It agreed to accept about $50 million a year to expand systems it plans to sell in California and Texas, but turned down the funds offered for New York, about $2.8 million over six years for Erie County and another $600,000 for Niagara County. The CWA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represent 39,000 Verizon wireline employees working under expired contracts, are battling the company’s demands for major concessions. Read more