Frontier may be making progress in gaining necessary state regulatory approvals for its purchase of Verizon's rural lines, but members of the West Virginia Communications Workers of America (CWA) union aren't backing down in their protest of the deal. Late last week 50 CWA members converged up on the FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. to express their concerns that the deal could face the same fate as FairPoint's acquisition of Verizon's New England lines.
While protests have occurred in other states at both the union and regulatory level, West Virginia has been the loudest opponent to the deal, arguing that Verizon is selling off its landline assets in West Virginia and 13 other states through a tax free loophole.
Of particular concern to the CWA is whether Frontier has the financial wherewithal to take over and operate Verizon's rural lines. "Our opposition to the proposed sale is based on one over-arching concern: Frontier is not financially fit to own and operate Verizon's landline operations, including Verizon West Virginia," said CWA president Larry Cohen.
Also at issue is Frontier's proposed broadband speed commitment. CWA argues that not only does Frontier's broadband speed commitment of 1-3 Mbps fall below the FCC's proposed 4 Mbps goal, but also the 50 Mbps access bar set for 2015. What's more, the CWA says that Verizon will not expand their Fiber to the Premises services in parts of four states Frontier is going to acquire in the deal (Indiana, Oregon, South Carolina and Washington State).
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