Detroit, like other communities, needs fast, reliable broadband service

Too many Americans still don't have fast, reliable broadband service, wrote Jamal Simmons of the Internet Innovation Alliance, and part of the solution is to fast-track the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.

In an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press (Sept. 22, 2011), Simmons, co-chair of the DC-based nonprofit, wrote:

"According to the Commerce Department, only 68% of U.S. households have broadband access, and as many as 1 in 10 Americans lack Internet access altogether. In urban areas like Detroit, where there is a higher volume of Internet traffic, the reliability of wireless connections can make Internet use via a laptop or handheld device a frustrating challenge."

Simmons, a graduate of Detroit's Cass Technical High School, wants to assure the low-income residents of Detroit and other underserved urban and rural areas of adequate service.

"The proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, which is struggling to get approval from Washington, would do just that. This combination would extend next-generation mobile broadband coverage to more than 97% of Americans and add investment that will result in as many as 96,000 additional jobs.

"Combining the resources of AT&T and T-Mobile will also enable more efficient use of available spectrum - space in the electromagnetic field that's usable for wireless information transactions - allowing for faster, heftier data downloads and uploads. Additionally, quality of service would improve. This is good news for consumers who favor a wireless device for accessing the Web."

Speed Matters wants to see every American with the opportunity for high-speed Internet - whether wireline or wireless. And we agree with Jamal Simmons that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger will move us toward that goal.

 

Too many still unconnected to Internet; AT&T and T-Mobile merger can help (Detroit Free Press, Sept. 22, 2011)