I read with interest the letter to the editor in the June 17 edition of the paper titled “PSC should stop T-Mobile takeover.”
As a small technology business in rural areas of our state, I take offense to someone from Washington, D.C., telling me that my customers do not deserve access to urban comparable broadband services.
The AT&T/T-Mobile merger will mean that more than 97 percent of the country’s population will have access to 4G LTE mobile broadband, including some of the most rural parts of Louisiana.
It will mean a large percentage of that 97 percent will have access to the fiber infrastructure that supports mobile operations.
Our small towns and communities deserve this type of technology so that we can compete with the larger cities and bring economic development to our area. We need to create jobs here at home so that our children and grandchildren do not have to leave the state to find opportunities.
If we have any hope of retaining our children — and providing real opportunities for the unemployed residents we have — we must have access to mobile broadband and industrial-strength bandwidth for commercial, government and educational facilities that are the backbone of economic development.
Prior to the merger announcement, AT&T is working with rural community leaders and small businesses, such as RBS (Rural Broadcasting Service), to provide leadership initiatives that immediately will benefit all rural communities.
Without the merger, it will be business as usual for rural America, which means, “We will get there when we get there!”
The D.C. letter writer and I do agree on one thing: The Public Service Commission has a responsibility to do the right thing for Louisiana. In my opinion, that means listening to the needs of the PSC’s constituents.
The people of rural Louisiana deserve the same access to technology as big cities have, and we are prepared to appear before or submit in writing to the PSC, our views regarding the benefits of the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile.
We will openly support this merger because it provides better opportunities for rural Louisiana residents.
Bill Depew, president
Rural Broadcasting Service