Puget Sound Is Home To Over 3,300 T-Mobile At-Risk Jobs
The Rural Telecommunications Group (RTG) applauds Rep. Jay Inslee’s (Washington’s 1st District) announcement earlier today that the Federal Communications Commission should conduct a public “field hearing” in the Seattle area as part of its overall review of AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile, based in Bellevue, WA. In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Rep. Inslee urged the Commission to conduct a field hearing in Seattle, with public participation, “to further explore the effects this merger would have in the state.”
On July 14, 2011, Rep. Inslee sent letters to both AT&T and T-Mobile asking each company to answer questions concerning the proposed merger’s impact on a variety of matters including consumer choice and marketplace competition, retail pricing, and jobs. After receiving written replies from both carriers, Rep. Inslee has concluded that AT&T’s answers “did little to convince [him] that the merger of these two companies will benefit local jobs or provide customers with better service at affordable prices.” RTG agrees with Rep. Inslee that the public interest benefits of the merger touted by AT&T are wholly suspect, that it “appears likely that T-Mobile customers will experience price increases following the merger,” and that the “federal agencies involved should view any further consolidation in the wireless industry with considerable skepticism.” Holding a hearing in Seattle where the job market will suffer a down turn as a result of the merger is appropriate so that those in the workforce most impacted by the potential merger can voice their concerns.
About RTG – Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG) is a trade association representing rural wireless carriers who each serve less than 100,000 subscribers. RTG’s members have joined together to speed delivery of new, efficient and innovative telecommunications technologies to remote and underserved communities. ruraltelecomgroup.org @RTGwireless
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