FTTH Council Members Urge Congress to Include Next-Generation Broadband Expansion in Economic Recovery Package

Proposals from the Communications Workers of America Should be Used as Baseline for Legislation

(WASHINGTON) — Member companies of the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council have urged key leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to ensure that proposals for expanding broadband coverage are included in the economic recovery package that is expected to be introduced when the new Congress is seated in January.

In a letter sent to Capitol Hill today, the Council members called on Congress to use as a baseline for the economic recovery package a set of broadband tax and other incentives put forth by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) earlier this month. To this baseline measure, the Council members believe the Congress should include additional incentives that the enable the deployment of advanced infrastructure to all Americans. The union has noted that every $5 billion invested in broadband infrastructure will create 97,500 direct jobs in deployment activities, while indirectly resulting in another 2.5 million throughout the economy.

The Council’s letter noted that “a consensus has developed that accelerating broadband deployment will greatly enhance critical infrastructure and produce very rapidly a substantial number of jobs.”

The text of the letter follows:

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker                The Honorable Harry Reid, Majority Leader
The Honorable Steny Hoyer, Majority Leader       The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader
The Honorable John Boehner, Minority Leader     United States Senate
United States House of Representatives             Washington, DC  20510           
Washington, DC  20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, Majority Leader Hoyer, Minority Leader Boehner, Minority Leader McConnell:

The undersigned members of the Fiber-to-the-Home Council, a not for profit trade association dedicated to accelerating the deployment of advanced fiber broadband infrastructure to all Americans, write to you today regarding the much needed economic recovery legislation. A consensus has developed that accelerating broadband deployment will greatly enhance critical infrastructure and produce very rapidly a substantial number of jobs. There also is a growing consensus among private sector entities on the legislative provisions that should be adopted to accelerate broadband deployment. To that end, we are writing to urge you to consider using as a baseline for economic recovery legislation the broadband proposals recently put forward by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). CWA’s proposals, which include both supply-side and demand-side incentives, will do much to encourage broadband deployment and usage, both of which are crucial components to ensuring that Americans can take full advantage of digital technology. They will be an important component of the nation’s economic recovery efforts and will help create significant investment and employment.

We also believe that CWA’s proposals should be enhanced with additional broadband proposals, including, but not limited to, tax incentives, loan and grant programs, public-private partnerships, and consumer incentives, particularly for low income households. Other good ideas will come from a variety of sources, and we hope you will consider each based on its merit.

Sincerely,

Joseph P. Savage, President, FTTH Council

ADC Telecommunications
Atlantic Engineering Group, Inc.
Broadband Associates
Calient Networks
Calix
Charles Machine Works/Ditch Witch
Clearfield
Connexion Technologies
Corning
DSM Desotech
Enablence Technologies, Inc.
ETI Software Solutions
Hitachi Telecom (USA), Inc.
Jackson Energy Authority
JDSU
NeoPhotonics
OFS
On Trac Inc.
Paxio Inc.
Sumitomo Electric Lightwave
Tellabs
Twin Valley Telephone
Tyco Electronics