California Public Utilities Commission Votes to Launch Investigation of AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) recently considered whether it would be necessary to launch a fact-finding investigation into the proposed merger between AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile. The Commission voted three to two in favor of launching an investigation, and will submit its findings to the FCC as part of that agency's review of the merger.

Liz Sorenson, a staff representative of CWA-District 9, testified before the California PUC urging the Commission to complete any fact-finding investigation expeditiously and offered general support for the merger. Her statement underscored the need for high-speed broadband build out in California, which would be accelerated under a more capable AT&T:

"The AT&T/T-Mobile merger will help expand wireless broadband deployment and help close the digital divide in this state. As a result of the transaction, AT&T promises to deploy next-generation wireless service to over 97 percent of our nation's population within six years.

This is noteworthy because today only 25 percent of U.S. broadband subscribers connect to the Internet at such speeds. The effects of this merger will be especially significant for rural Californians, many of whom are on the wrong side of the digital divide."

As a part of the PUC's investigation, it will hold public workshops in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Central Valley and Orange County this July.

Californians and Americans everywhere deserve a better broadband network and reliable, robust connections to the Internet. The merger would provide a clear path towards greater connectivity, and help expand online entrepreneurship in California and beyond.

"The AT&T/T-Mobile Merger" Before The California Public Service Commission - Testimony Of Liz Sorenson Communications Workers Of America, District 9