Happy Women’s History Month! Congress declared March as Women’s History Month for the first time in 1987. While we should always honor and respect women’s role in every aspect of our history, this month, we vow to amplify those voices and highlight those contributions even more.
Think about it – without women, we wouldn’t have the hand sanitizer gel (Lupe Hernandez), laser cataract surgery (Dr. Patricia Era Bath), fire escapes (Anna Connelly), medical syringes (Letitia Geer), and so many other things that make our lives healthier, safer and just better all around.
Throughout history, society hasn’t allowed women to sit at the table with their male counterparts. They had to work so much harder to be heard and respected, persevering and developing grit and determination along the way.
While we continue to strive for more progress, women’s history is still being made each day. Kamala Harris has shattered the glass ceiling as our first female vice president.
To these brave women, to our mothers and daughters, our aunts and grandmothers, we celebrate you and honor you. At SER National, we hope to support and elevate your work both this month and in the future. Thank you for your grace, passion, and courage. We salute you.
CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS LAUNCHES NEW MULTIYEAR, MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR INITIATIVE TO EXPAND BROADBAND AVAILABILITY TO OVER 1 MILLION NEW CUSTOMER LOCATIONS
$5 Billion Investment to Include $1.2 Billion in Rural Digital Opportunity Funding to Expand Broadband Network to Unserved Communities
Charter to Hire More than 2,000 Employees and Contractors to Support 24-State RDOF Broadband Deployment
STAMFORD, Conn. – Feb. 1, 2021 – Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) today announced the launch of a multiyear, multibillion-dollar broadband buildout initiative to deliver gigabit high-speed broadband access to more than 1 million unserved customer locations as estimated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and awarded to Charter in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction. Charter expects to invest approximately $5 billion to support its buildout initiative – offset by $1.2 billion in support won from the RDOF auction – expanding Charter’s network to lower-density, mostly rural communities that do not have access to broadband service of at least 25/3 Mbps.
The new initiative is in addition to Charter’s existing network expansion plans, including numerous state broadband grant projects, as well as the Company’s previously planned privately funded expansions. The network Charter will build in these rural areas will offer 1 Gbps high–speed broadband access to all newly served customer locations with starting speeds of 200 Mbps, enabling consumers to engage in remote learning, work, telemedicine and other applications that require high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity. These new customer locations also will benefit from Charter’s high-value Spectrum pricing and packaging structure, including its Spectrum Mobile™, Spectrum TV and Spectrum Voice offerings. The Company will continue to apply its customer-friendly policies in newly served regions, including no data caps, modem fees or annual contracts, combined with high-quality service provided by U.S.-based, insourced employees.
Today’s announced initiative offers Charter an attractive long-term investment opportunity, as it will drive additional customer growth via an expanded footprint in unserved areas. Additionally, the presence of Charter’s modern communications network in these rural areas may result in economic development and more homes and businesses for Charter to serve in these communities and additional buildout to adjacent communities, producing greater investment returns over time. Charter looks forward to participating in additional public-private partnerships to expand broadband access.
“The pandemic has further highlighted the need for broadband availability and adoption and Charter is committed to furthering its efforts as part of the comprehensive solution needed to address these challenges,” said Tom Rutledge, Chairman and CEO of Charter Communications. “As Americans across the country increasingly rely on broadband to work, learn, access healthcare and stay in touch with family and loved ones, bringing broadband access to more unserved areas should be a priority for all stakeholders. Charter’s new multibillion-dollar buildout initiative further highlights the importance of the sophisticated broadband networks that the U.S. cable industry has built over several decades, and the industry’s commitment to the local communities it serves. As we continue to help provide more Americans with reliable access to the internet ecosystem, our hope is that federal, state and local authorities, other private companies, pole owners and broadband providers will work together and play a pivotal role in expanding networks to unserved areas.”
Preparation for the RDOF Phase I broadband buildout has already begun and will include Charter expanding its existing construction organization in order to focus on deployment of this new fiber optic network. Charter expects to hire more than 2,000 employees and contractors to support the RDOF and future rural buildout initiatives. In addition to Charter’s ongoing network expansion, the RDOF program alone will drive a 15% increase in the Company’s network mileage coverage while expanding service to more than 1 million previously unserved homes and businesses across 24 states as estimated by the FCC. The states are: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The successful and timely execution of today’s announced initiative is dependent on a variety of external factors, including the utility pole permitting and “make-ready” processes. With fewer homes and businesses in these areas, broadband providers need to access multiple poles for every new home served, as opposed to multiple homes per pole in higher-density settings. As a result, pole applications, pole replacement rules and their affiliated issue resolution processes are all factors that can have a significant impact on the length of time it takes to build into these rural areas.
Rutledge added, “The more cooperation we have with the pole owners and utility companies, the faster we can connect these communities with high-speed internet services. We look forward to working with local municipalities, electric cooperatives, and investor-owned utilities to ensure that permits are obtained in a timely, fair and cost-effective fashion.”
Charter’s operating strategy has succeeded in producing industry leading broadband growth and the associated construction experience that will facilitate the Company’s continued expansion of rural connectivity services and ongoing success for all stakeholders. In the last three years alone, Charter has invested more than $20 billion in American infrastructure and technology, continually investing in its existing network to provide new services and accommodate higher traffic, and has at the same time extended its network to reach nearly 2.5 million new homes and businesses, about one-third of which are in rural areas.
Charter Press Statement Link
WHERE: Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan St, Fall River, MA
WHEN: March 23rd, 1-3 PM, 2019
On March 23rd, a collaborative photography exhibit, “Through Our Eyes, will open at the Narrows Center for the Arts. The over thirty contributing photographers are all adult English-language learners at SER-Jobs for Progress, Inc. who have made their home in Fall River. Over the past year, the students have been exploring the world around them through the lens of a camera and taking photographs of whatever struck them as important, interesting, or beautiful. Every week in their beginning and intermediate ESOL classes, they shared their photographs with one another and in what often became quite animated discussions, explained the meanings, cultural traditions, and artistic visions behind their depictions. They each created work-in-progress journals that included all the photographs they had taken over the course of the semester, selected a set of favorite images, and then worked hard to create accompanying captions that expressed their thoughts and feelings. This exhibit is the culmination of the students’ efforts to use photography to tell stories about themselves and their communities and to share those stories with wider audiences.
The exhibit opening is also the kick-off to the 40th Anniversary celebrations of Southeastern Massachusetts SER-Jobs for Progress, Inc. This non-profit organization has been a leader in adult education, training, and employment since 1979. Originally founded to improve the educational and employment outcomes of Portuguese immigrant families in Fall River, SER-Jobs currently serves residents of the greater Fall River area and other communities in Southeastern Massachusetts who come from diverse cultural backgrounds by offering a wide range of programs and services. The programs they offer include classes for English to Students of Other Languages, high school equivalency preparation classes for adults and out of school youth, and career exploration activities, training in computer literacy and technology, and job and career planning, counseling, and placement.
The themes of the Through Our Eyes exhibit reflect the students’ diverse interests and points of view. Some of the photographs focus primarily on connections with family and friends. Others depict traditions such as the making and sharing of food and celebration of special events. Still others depict the beauty of nature, neighborhoods throughout the city, or new ways to see details of daily life. A goal shared by all of the contributing photographers was to convey the important role the supportive educational space at SER-Jobs plays in their lives. Their captions and autobiographical accounts reveal hopes and dreams and what it has been like to leave a homeland in order to make a new life for themselves and their children in the U.S
This project was made possible by a generous grant from MassHumanities, as well as contributions from SER-Jobs for Progress, Inc., and the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. The second phase of this project, which will entail public art installations of photographs throughout Fall River, from the Through Our Eyes collection, is supported by a Creative Commonwealth Grant from the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts. All the photographs are also accessible to the public via the Fall River Portraits website (fallriverportraits.org) which was made possible by a Creative Economies Grant from the University of Massachusetts President’s Office.
The exhibit opening and kick-off anniversary celebration will be held at the Narrows Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 23rd, 1-3 PM and is open and free to the public. Families are especially welcome! The exhibit will be up through Saturday, April 27th. Gallery hours are Wednesday thru Saturday, 12-5 PM. For more information contact the Narrows at 508-324-1926, Andrea Klimt at firstname.lastname@example.org, or SER-Jobs for Progress at 508-676-1916.