Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen today told a Congressional panel that the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile will accelerate broadband deployment, benefit consumers, and positively impact employees.
“At the end of these inquiries, we believe three points will become apparent,” Cohen said. “First, the AT&T/T-Mobile merger will accelerate high-speed broadband development. Second, the transaction will positively impact consumers and finally, the merger will benefit workers. Therefore, we believe the merger should be approved.”
Cohen, speaking before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, noted how four years ago CWA had launched its nationwide Speed Matters campaign to highlight the importance of high speed broadband for America’s economic future. Telemedicine, distance learning and smart grids are among the evolving technologies with enormous potential, but today they remain unavailable to many Americans, particularly in rural and urban settings.
“They will remain beyond the grasp of tens of millions of Americans unless we are able to accelerate the development of truly high-speed wired and wireless broadband networks. It is the job of the regulators to ensure this merger clears the path for that development,” Cohen said.
Cohen also noted that the record clearly indicates that an AT&T/T-Mobile merger will be better for consumers and competition than a T-Mobile/Sprint combination.
“AT&T is the only union wireless company. Past experience in major wireless mergers indicates that employee issues can be managed through careful planning and by returning overseas work to this country. This integration will benefit both AT&T and T-Mobile workers,” Cohen said.