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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guest Blog: CWA to PRC Jason Marks--Support AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

This is a guest blog by Glenda Winternheimer, Vice President of Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 7011. It's written in response to the position taken by Public Regulation Commissioner Jason Marks on the issue of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

Commissioner Jason Marks is off base regarding his comments concerning the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger. Anytime there is a merger or acquisition of two companies, there is a fear that prices will increase and consumers will suffer. Research of the wireless industry as it pertains to M&A activity over the last decade show that when wireless companies combine, such as Sprint and Nextel, Cingular and AT&T Wireless, and Verizon and Alltel, the sky did not fall. Wireless prices actually declined fifty percent during that period of time. T-Mobile wants to get out of the US Market and if the sale does not go through to AT&T then the next bidder is Sprint.

While Commissioner Marks claims that rural states such as ours may be negatively impacted by this merger, the fact is that AT&T has committed to expand 4G LTE wireless broadband coverage to over 97% of the U.S. population. That means that rural New Mexico residents will now have access to high-speed internet. Access to broadband is becoming a necessity in this day and age, especially in rural areas.

Communications Workers of America-New Mexico agrees, pointing out that AT&T has also committed to investing an additional $8 billion in their network, and, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, this will create as many as 96,000 NEW, quality jobs. To address the obvious question, YES, the labor movement has a horse in this race. Should the merger go through, tens of thousands of T-mobile employees could be able to negotiate for a union contract and advocate collectively for their wages and working conditions.

Adding up the results of the merger: more residents in metro and rural areas with access to 4G wireless coverage, additional investment in our state, additional jobs, and additional wireless high-speed internet access. Sounds like something our PRC should get behind, including Commissioner Marks.

This is a guest blog by Glenda Winternheimer. If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link at the upper left-hand corner of the page.

June 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM in Guest Blogger, Labor, NM Public Regulation Commission, Telecommunications | Permalink

Comments

Oh good now I'm totally confused!

Posted by: Rudy | Jun 22, 2011 12:40:41 PM

I agree with Jason Marks. This merger would hurt consumers and its bad for Hispanics: http://hispanicohio.northcoastnow.com/2011/06/22/the-attt-mobile-merger-bad-news-for-latinos-and-america/

Posted by: Protect Consumers! | Jun 22, 2011 12:46:35 PM

Monopoly will lead inevitably to less choice, poorer service, price raises, and lack of bargaining power for workers. The providers will eventually be able to dictate bandwidth to the people's interests.
Eventually, they will be able to dictate content, leading to the Foxification of the internet.

Posted by: Paul Eichhorn | Jun 22, 2011 2:15:05 PM

Something for the CWA to share, then consider.

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5623/p/salsa/web/blog/public/entries?blog_entry_KEY=1679

Posted by: Hakim Bellamy | Jun 29, 2011 2:09:50 PM