There's a lot at stake, particularly for the 18% of blacks and 16% of English-speaking Latinos who access the Internet only from their cell phones. Let the FCC know, a lack of choice means higher prices, poor service and less innovation. Sign the statement!
AT&T + T-Mobile = Train Wreck
AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile is a disaster for all mobile phone users. It stifles choice and innovation in the market, and will lead to higher prices and fewer jobs nationwide.
AT&T, the nation’s second-largest mobile phone company, has announced its plan to buy T-Mobile, the fourth-largest carrier.
This deal would form a communications colossus not seen since the monopoly days of Ma Bell. Two companies, AT&T and Verizon, would control nearly 80 percent of the mobile market in America.
AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile would take away choice for users. And a lack of choice means higher prices, poor service and less innovation for everyone.
Free Press and our allies are determined to protect the public from this train wreck of a deal. We need to act before Washington can cave in again to industry -- and raise thousands of voices in protest.
(Want to learn more about the effects of this potential merger? Learn to separate fact from fiction below.)
Fact v. Fiction
AT&T says the T-Mobile takeover "strengthens and expands U.S. mobile broadband infrastructure," and that it helps us "achieve policymaker goals of deploying broadband to 95 percent of the country, including smaller, rural communities."
Reality:According to recent Commerce Department data, wireless services are already available to 95 percent of Americans. If this merger goes through, analysts speculate that AT&T will decommission upwards of 50,000 wireless towers, reducing the quality of coverage for hundreds of thousands of Americans.
AT&T says the overall average price-per-minute for wireless services has declined 50 percent since 1999, "during a period which saw five major wireless mergers."
Reality:That figure is highly misleading. While the cost to consumers for voice services has dropped, the sum total of charges on mobile phone bills has dramatically increased. Added costs include spiraling rates for texting and data services as well as hidden handset subsidies. With less competition among carriers, we can expect AT&T to charge you even more.
AT&T says the merger "enables the next era of American innovation and continued growth of U.S. high tech industry."
Reality:The merger would allow AT&T to exert even greater gatekeeper control over what happens on the wireless Web. The company has a long history of blocking competing services -- like Skype, GoogleVoice and Slingbox. And AT&T’s expanded control over the handset market will stifle innovation in devices. In the past, AT&T has crippled handheld phones that can do more than what the company wants.
AT&T says the merger will expand the American workforce by moving thousands of new jobs to the United States.
Reality:When was the last time a merger actually created jobs for Americans and not more pink slips? This merger puts the jobs of nearly 40,000 U.S. T-Mobile employees at risk. Many of the jobs at retail stores and call centers will be eliminated, and there will be more jobs lost as the effects of this merger ripple through the broader economy.
Sign the petition to demand that major phone service providers stop delaying much needed donations from reaching organizations doing relief work in Japan.
As Japan struggles to overcome a disastrous string of events -- including a possible nuclear catastrophe -- millions of us have sought to help, often by donating money to urgent relief efforts.
But if you donate via text message, your donations may take up to 90 days to reach aid organizations that need the money as soon as possible.
Even though they're getting large amounts of free media attention for their text-to-donate programs, companies like AT&T and Verizon have chosen not to release the donation money right away. Many customers assume that they're sending funds straight to disaster zones in the crucial days after the earthquake, but donations are transferred after the end of your next billing cycle, a process that can take up to three months.
Masaya Uchino, a law student in San Francisco with family in Japan, started a petition on Change.org to demand that AT&T, Verizon, and other major phone service providers stop delaying much needed donations from reaching organizations doing relief work in Japan. Please add your name to the petition now!
The House is pushing a “Resolution of Disapproval” that would strip the FCC of its authority to protect our Internet Freedom. We can't let this happen.Tell your senators to stand against the resolution. Send a letter now!
On Wednesday, March 9th, members of the key House technology subcommittee voted to give phone and cable companies absolute, unrestricted power over the Internet.
They passed a "resolution of disapproval" that would strip the FCC of its ability to protect Internet users — letting companies block our right to speak freely and share information on the Internet.
This resolution opens the door even wider to corporate abuse. The House seems determined to pass this bill – so our best chance is to stop it in the Senate:
Send a letter now demanding that your senators stand against the resolution. If we can get 51 senators on our side, we win, and the resolution dies.
But if we don’t get the Senate to stop this resolution, the FCC could be barred from preventing these companies from blocking any website, banning any speech, and charging you anything they can get away with.