Tuesday, August 30, 2011
AT&T/T-Mobile Merger and Access to Opportunity
No Back to School Worries?: AT&T Just Handed Students a BIG One! (The Center for Media Justice, 8/30/2011)
Excerpt: In a world where access to the Internet increasingly means access to opportunity, nothing could be more important than ensuring that young people can get online cheaply and stay connected. The need for wireless access is especially clear for young people of color and people from low-income communities, who are more likely to rely on their cell phones as their only means of accessing the Internet.
Given that, the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile should raise significant concerns for young people and those who are interested in protecting access to information for all. Currently T-Mobile plans cost $15 to $50 less per month than comparable plans from AT&T. If this merger is approved, new subscribers will no longer have access to this lower cost option and 80 percent of the wireless market will be controlled by just two corporations: AT&T and Verizon. The reduced competition is likely to result in higher prices for consumers. This is particularly bad news for students who are struggling to get by in an economy with high unemployment, tight family budgets and rising tuition costs.