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A letter to my Senator

Monday, March 21, 2011
In response to the proposed AT&T/T-mobile merger, I fired off a quick letter to both my senator and my congressman encouraging them to do what they could to discourage it.

Will this have an effect? Probably not when only one person sends it. Perhaps, however, others will do the same, and we can change what's going on.
Dear Senator Wyden,

I just wanted to write a quick letter encouraging you to do what you can to have the FCC block the proposed AT&T/T-mobile merger that's made the news in the past couple of days.

I believe that the proposed merger would be bad for competition, bad for the communications industry, and bad for the US economy in whole, and the FCC should, as part of their mandate, not allow this merger to continue.

1) Bad for competition
a) AT&T and T-mobile are the two major carriers in the United States that use the GSM standard for cell phone communications (Verizon and Sprint use CDMA). So, essentially, AT&T and T-mobile are the only two companies competing with each other in their narrowest category.
b) Allowing mergers to create even bigger mega-carriers puts the squeeze even more on what few remaining local carriers there are.

2) Bad for the communications industry
a) Are Verizon & Sprint next? If this merger goes through, what's to stop Verizon & Sprint merging? This would leave only two national carriers, which will be terrible for the industry and terrible for the consumer.
b) Have we not learned from history? The government broke up AT&T once before, and now it's maneuvering into that same position again. AT&T has shown that, as a company, it will either grow until it controls the market or collapses.
c) As the only GSM carrier, the proposed AT&T&T-mobile would be the only carrier to server international travelers as the GSM standard is what's widely used outside of the US.

3) Bad for the US economy
a) AT&T isn't trying to merge with T-mobile to give T-mobile's 42,000 employees better jobs or better benefits; it's looking for T-mobile's customers and infrastructure. So a majority of those 42,000 employees will be finding themselves out of work in an industry increasingly dominated by fewer carriers.
b) The economy and taxes are fueled by transactions. The more transactions there are, the more tax revenue is collected and the more economic growth we experience. Removing major companies from the playing field is going to have a negative ripple effect on the economy, especially since AT&T will no longer be trying to put in the infrastructure to support and expand its own network, it will just be absorbing T-mobile's.

In summary this merger is a bad idea and nobody by AT&T will win by doing it. As an AT&T customer, I'm looking forward to leaving when my contract is up; I'm tired of dropped calls and spotty service. If mergers like are allowed to continue, I'll have no place to go.

Thank you for your time.

Respectfully submitted,

Burton Simmons

Gosh, I hope I got all my facts right. Maybe I should write to them more often; it felt somewhat liberating to do so.


Blogger Beltonius said...

Bravo. More people need to send letters like this to their representatives and senators and to the FCC itself.

9:29 AM, March 26, 2011  

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