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SB 313 may only impact cities at this time

Posted January 24th, 2012 in Broadband and tagged , , by Alton Drew

It’s too early to tell what the full impact may be cities and counties from Georgia’s SB 313, the Broadband Investment Equity Act. Staff at the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia relayed their initial assessment that the bill appears to impact just one county, but a more complete review may be needed. I haven’t heard from the Georgia Municipal Association yet, so we’ll have to stay tuned.

About five years ago, states were drafting legislation to basically keep municipalities out of the delivery of cable services. Now it seems like it may be to keep municipalities from providing broadband. I can’t say whether it’s a trend with broadband, but it will be interesting to see what develops on the state and local level given the increased attention to the lack of broadband service to approximately one-third of American households.

You tell me. Do you think broadband provided by a public entity is the way to go?

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AT&T/T-Mobile good for rural Georgia consumers

Posted September 23rd, 2011 in AT&T, Georgia, T-Mobile USA and tagged , , by Alton Drew

Sylvia Russell, president of AT&T Georgia, lays out the case for AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile. In a column posted in The Atlanta Voice, Ms. Russell emphasizes the impact the transaction may have on small town and rural residents in the Peach State.

Georgia in particular can do with as much economic development as possible. Our unemployment rate is 10.2%, according to latest figures from the Georgia Department of Labor. The city of Atlanta itself is suffering from an unemployment rate exceeding 11%. Both rural and urban area are hurting here.

The ability for Georgia’s farmers to compete on a real time basis is imperative, as it faces global competition from other producers. A reliable source for the receipt and delivery of accurate price information is a must.

Atlanta is an entrepreneurial city. More African Americans start businesses here than in in any other city in the U.S. Starting up on your own is the only option for more and more individuals. To be successful, business costs have to be kept low, and technology, especially broadband is one way to accomplish that.

Atlanta is a transportation hub, and Georgia is a large state. Dropped calls or the inability to move large amounts of data without interruption cannot be an additional cost that entrepreneurs and the agricultural industry should have to face.

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The residual effects of AT&T/T-Mobile

Former Georgia congressman Buddy Darden and former Georgia state senator Chuck Clay co-authored an article for The Cherokee Tribune that makes an important point about the stimulative effect of the acquisition: job growth.

While opponents have been focusing on possible layoffs, they have completely ignored the ripple effects that the acquisition will have in the human resources market. Opponents forget that job growth doesn’t begin and end with the two immediate parties to an acquisition.

Given the increasing demand for mobile broadband access services, there will be the residual effect of entrepreneurship, an important basis for job creation.

App developers and other contractors, as well as supply chain startups will benefit from the deployment of mobile facilities, given them a larger platform upon which to introduce new products and services.

How about them Dawgs

Paul Chamber, AT&T’s director of external affairs for Northeast Georgia, wrote a piece for OnlineAthens.com, laying out an elegant and straightforward argument for AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile USA. Mr. Chambers, a native of Athens, Georgia, described how the acquisition will benefit citizens in Bulldog Country.

In short, by purchasing T-Mobile, AT&T can increase its economies of scale which makes expanding into rural areas a lot less expensive. This is the gist behind Mr. Chambers’ argument and why, in my opinion, this acquisition will pay off for the underserved consumer.