February 3, 2022 – Powerful new track for Your Union Strong’s playlist and other news

Thanks to legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Biden, broadband development is underway!

State and local governments have begun allocating funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for broadband projects and planning an additional $65 billion in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA ). The CWA Broadband Brigade and local activists have mobilized to ensure states use these funds to Build Broadband Better by creating good union jobs and prioritizing closing the digital divide. First success: CWA members in Indiana will have more work to deploy high-quality fiber optic networks, as AT&T will receive $10 million to work on an ARPA project to establish broadband for more than 20 000 homes in Vanderburgh County.

Brigade members released a new video this week urging members to get involved in the effort. “Whenever an elected official thinks of broadband, we want them to think of CWA,” CWA Local 1104 member Nick Hoh says in the video. Show your support by liking, sharing and commenting on their video here.

Martin Szeliga, executive vice president of CWA Local 4108 and a member of the Broadband Brigade, spoke at an event hosted by Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Mich.).

Last week, CWA Local 4108 Executive Vice President and Broadband Squad member Martin Szeliga spoke to the press and elected officials about the need for broadband expansion and the importance to use union-qualified technicians to do the job, at an event hosted by Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Mich.).

Over the past few months, Brigade members have also made presentations about our Build Broadband Better campaign to key national groups, including the AFL-CIO State Federation and Central Labor Council leaders, the Association of Democratic Governors, Democratic Attorneys General and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

In addition, the Buffalo News recently published an editorial by Thomas Roulley, a telecommunications worker who is chair of the Policy and Legislative Committee of CWA Local 1122 in New York and a member of CWA’s Build Broadband Better team. “For broadband funds to reach New Yorkers in need and build access successfully, they must be spent properly. Giving the Public Service Commission the power to regulate these investments will ensure that broadband infrastructure is built where it is needed most. With the necessary resources on the way, New York must not miss this opportunity,” he wrote.

Michael A. Bynum