AT&T, T-Mobile Merger a Must

For some time, the country has been stuck in the economic doldrums. Call it a recession, stagnation, an uneven recovery, or whatever you wish, but nationally, our economy has not been growing as it needs to.
Things in Oklahoma are a bit better, due in large part to the work of our governor, legislators, and economic development organizations to create a pro-business environment that encourages investment and economic growth. But as we move forward, there are a number of steps that can be taken in Oklahoma City and Washington D.C. that will bring about meaningful economic growth and investment for the future.
First, our legislature and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission can and should take steps to ease regulations that inhibit investment. We live in an era of communication and information, an era that is mobile and moves at light speed. We need to modernize regulations that still treat communications as if it were the 1970s. To paraphrase Governor Mary Fallin, we need to update our regulatory framework so that we are not trying to operate an 8-track in an iPod world.

She’s absolutely right, and we hope that the will review its telecommunications regulations and modernize or even eliminate those that require telecommunications companies to continue investing in technology that no one uses so that they can increase their investment into technology consumers are demanding.

More pressing is the need for the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C., to take action in support of efforts that will bring high-speed mobile broadband service to nearly everyone in the country, something that would be truly transformative for our economy.

Currently, the is reviewing the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile . The main questions the Commissioners must answer are: is this merger good for the country? Will this merger maintain competition? And will this merger help consumers and keep prices reasonable for the services they demand?

In our opinion, the answer to each of these questions is “yes,” and we believe they should approve this merger as soon as possible.

This merger will be good for our country, as it will bring access to high-speed mobile broadband service to over 97 percent of America. Instead of the federal government spending precious resources to connect the country, this merger will use private investment, which will not only benefit people lacking broadband access, but will create private sector jobs and lead to a dramatic increase in activity in other sectors of the economy.

Competition will continue with this merger. As part of its review, the noted that over 90 percent of Americans can choose between at least five different wireless providers in their community. This merger will do nothing to affect that.

Updated 07-18-2011

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