by Rommel Brown
Under a new proposal, AT&T and T-Mobile USA – two of the largest wireless providers in the country – would merge, combining their infrastructure and services for customers of both companies.
The plan cannot move forward without the consent of the FCC, however, and we feel that based on the benefits to consumers – particularly in Milwaukee — federal regulators should approve the merger.
It is no secret that wireless technology plays a huge role in the lives of most Americans today, and that is especially true in urban areas, where more and more residents are forgoing landlines in favor of mobile devices.
That is why it is more important than ever for consumers to have access to quality wireless services, and particularly wireless broadband Internet access.
By combining their wireless infrastructure, the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile would improve services for customers of both companies.
In cities like Milwaukee, the strain placed on wireless networks due to the volume of calls and data usage is significant, and lowers the quality of service for everyone on the network.
But added infrastructure means better network density and thus more stable, reliable coverage.
In addition, the merger would eventually lead to expansion of 4G broadband – the next generation of wireless Internet service – to over 97 percent of the country, including right here in Milwaukee.
Without the merger, tens of thousands of consumers across Wisconsin would likely be unable to obtain these services.
High-speed mobile broadband is a crucial tool in expanding educational opportunities for students and – in particular – creating new jobs.
Access to a reliable wireless network and broadband Internet is a critical component for most companies today, and improving those services in Milwaukee will help make our city a more desirable location for businesses to relocate or expand.
With a struggling economy and many Milwaukee residents still out of work, we should embrace any opportunity to create new jobs in the city.
Ultimately, the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile would be beneficial for African Americans in Milwaukee through the improvement of current services and addition of new services, while simultaneously making our city more connected and more attractive to prospective businesses.
We encourage regulators in Washington to approve this merger.