The National Council on Negro Women expressed their support for AT&T’s bid to purchase T-Mobile USA. The civil rights group expressed that it was important that underserved minority communities get online access to healthcare, education, and career resources. Should we be denied access to these services because of capacity issues? Opponents of the transaction seem to think so.
Were it not for groups like the National Council on Negro Women, there would be no one to vigorously address the issue of the digital divide. The only thing I hear from Sprint, Free Press, and Public Knowledge is the usual paranoid ranting of why AT&T being big is supposed to be bad for everyone.
Opponents never make a case for why allowing T-Mobile USA to eventually go out of business would be good for solving the digital divide issue. They never argue why denying the purchase will help make spectrum available in rural or underserved urban areas.
Groups like the National Council on Negro Women are properly tying the social justice arguments with the economic arguments that support the acquisition. Public Knowledge, on the other hand, would rather scare people into believing that there is going to be some horrific change from the current market structure to something so utterly gruesome that it will be Armageddon for consumers.
What are we going to see after the sale is closed? The very same market structure that exists today; an oligopoly.
So kudos to the National Council on Negro Women for seeing past the smoke and mirrors of the opponents’ arguments.