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EDITORIAL: AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile makes sense
[July 09, 2011]

EDITORIAL: AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile makes sense

Jun 15, 2011 (Messenger-Inquirer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- When AT&T's 3G wireless broadband service finally arrived in Owensboro on Dec. 6, 2010, Christmas came early for business owners and smart phone users who were struggling to share data remotely in a fast and efficient manner.

For years, Owensboro was teased by its neighboring smaller cities that were seemingly passing it up because of their access to 3G.

And during that time, Owensboro was at an economic disadvantage with the smaller or larger cities that received the technology sooner.

So for good reason, AT&T was under extreme pressure to meet the growing demands from its mobile customers -- not to mention industries, hospitals and banks that depend on the rapid transfer of information.

But with AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile, it plans is to get ahead this time, making the jump to 4G long term evolution (LTE) quicker, and expand its ability to provide the next level of high-speed wireless broadband to almost anyone who wants it.

AT&T and T-Mobile, a Germany-based company, have already agreed to the terms of the sale. The deal makes sense because both use similar networks and technology, which will allow AT&T to move forward.

It's now in the hands of the FCC, with a final approval that will come from the U.S. Department of Justice hopefully before the year is up.

If approved, AT&T will go from being able to provide 4G to 80 percent of the United States to 97 percent by gaining the finite resource of airwave frequencies or spectrum it needs to make the upgrade at a faster pace.

There's very little chance Owensboro would fall into 3 percent of areas without 4G. But its probability increases with the 20 percent lack of coverage and even a delay would once again put Owensboro behind the 8-ball.

Much like when electricity was invented, wireless broadband has changed our lives.

And if Owensboro wants to compete on an equal playing field with larger communities, it must have access to the 4G technology as soon as it's available, not waiting two or more years like it did with 3G.

Along with water, sewer and electrical services, high-speed broadband has become an essential infrastructure to any new business or the average home buyer looking to move into a community.

For Owensboro's future, we strongly support AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile because we simply can't afford to get left behind again.

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