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Monday, March 21, 2011

AT&T's Acquisition of T-Mobile USA an Important and Positive Development for Consumers and U.S. Economy

Connecting all Americans to reliable, high-quality broadband remains an important national initiative – particularly for U.S. entrepreneurship and small business owners. That is why SBE Council continues to support policies that encourage investment in our nation’s broadband infrastructure and the expansion of a robust network.

As I have noted in many policy pieces and communications with President Obama and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), private sector investment is the surest way to bring the power of broadband to every American. That investment is critical to U.S. competitiveness, where businesses and entrepreneurs are utilizing and tapping into the broadband network as it is serving as a critical platform for innovation and growth opportunities. So, efforts by our nation’s telecommunications sector that stand to improve the network and connect more Americans to broadband should be applauded by consumers, government officials and policy leaders. This weekend’s announcement that AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA is one such development.

The acquisition means that network quality will improve for existing customers of both companies as the integration of their assets will strengthen their delivery of service. Significantly, according to a media release, “AT&T commits to a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) deployment to 95 percent of the U.S. population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans – including rural communities and small towns.”

Of course, this means more Americans and small business owners will have access to high-quality broadband, which is a top priority for President Obama and the FCC as outlined in their National Broadband Plan. According to AT&T, the acquisition will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people. This is fantastic news, and of course being done without government money.

In his State of the Union speech, and in many public appearances that have followed, President Obama said he wants to make America "the best place on earth" for business. If he and his Administration are serious about this stand, they will cheer this critically important acquisition and allow it to move quickly to a close.

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO

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