The proposed AT&T takeover—A real jobs and democracy killer!

Sign our petition telling the FCC and DOJ to block this takeover

If AT&T takes over T-Mobile, it will be a disaster for all mobile phone users — especially people of color and low-income communities in rural and urban areas. The takeover will stifle information, choice and innovation, and lead to higher prices and fewer jobs nationwide.  Our communities cannot afford higher prices and fewer choices. We need the FCC and DOJ to block this takeover!  The loss of a low cost wireless carrier like T-Mobile will limit affordable mobile broadband access, threaten the openness of the mobile Internet and stifle competition in the broadband market. Our communities cannot afford these outcomes!

We, the undersigned individuals, demand a complete a thorough review of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. We believe that such a review will reveal the disproportionate negative impact that this merger will have on our communities. We need the FCC and DOJ to block this takeover! 

The Facts:

A threat to low-income and communities of color 

Broadband is a basic service, and communities of color and low-income consumers are more likely to rely exclusively on mobile connections for access to the Internet. Price is often cited as one of the most important factors that limit broadband adoption, and T-Mobile offers service plans that have lower price points than AT&T. The elimination of T-Mobile as a service option could mean that many of our friends and family are faced with the choice of paying more for mobile broadband service or giving up the service completely. This change could undo the limited progress that we have made in bridging the digital divide. 

A threat to artists 

AT&T opposed any mobile Network Neutrality requirements, and it has a history of denying its customers access to the applications that they want. For example, AT&T has blocked both Google Voice and Slingbox applications in the past. Yet, the free flow of ideas, creativity, information, and entrepreneurship is essential to our democracy and economy—especially for artists. With increased consolidation, AT&T will have fewer incentives to maintain mobile broadband as an open platform and will be able to further restrict the choice of devices and applications that individuals can use with their mobile connections. 

A threat to underserved rural and urban communities 

The FCC’s competition strategy for broadband relies on mobile connections as the “third pipe” that will provide much needed competition in the broadband market. If the merger goes through, just two companies— AT&T and Verizon—would control 70 to 80 percent of the wireless market. A consolidated mobile market will not provide the competition we need to bring U.S. prices in line with those in other countries, where people pay less for more. AT&T should take the $39 billion it wants to spend on T-Mobile and instead improve its own service and networks, not eliminate a competitor that offers lower-priced service plans.

Sign the petition NOW!

A Public Interest Internet Agenda

Download a full copy of A Public Interest Internet Agenda here

See a list of all endorsing organizations and sign on as an endorser here

Executive Summary

Connecting our entire nation via high-speed broadband will bring remarkable economic, social, cultural, personal, and other benefits. Robust economic development, job creation, improved health care at lower costs, enhanced educational opportunities, increased homeland security and public safety, reduced energy consumption and pollution, a reinvigorated democracy and more open government – these are just a few of the benefits that will flow from our nation linking its entire population to the Internet at broadband speed. Recognizing these benefits, many of America’s global competitors have already embarked on aggressive national broadband strategies to deploy fast, high-quality broadband. But the quality of U.S. broadband access is lagging. According to the most recent statistics (December 2008) available from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United States ranks just 15th among developed nations in broadband penetration. 

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