WASHINGTON, DC—Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Carri Bennet spoke to NPR about the potential downside of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger on rural broadband access.
Bennet, the General Counsel of the Rural Wireless Association, has said the merger would lead to higher prices for rural broadband customers, eliminate jobs and reduce the service choices for rural consumers. She tells NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday that while Sprint traditionally has had a good working relationship with small, rural broadband carriers, T-Mobile has not. The small carriers rely on larger telecom companies for both broadband spectrum as well as out-of-service-area coverage. Bennet said rural carriers worry that the merger could weaken their ability to tap into those services
“If they don't have access to that spectrum, they don't have access to those roaming agreements, folks that live in rural America will not have affordable service,” she said.
In February, Bennet testified before the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology about the negative impact that the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger could have on rural communities.
Also, click here to read “How the Sprint/T-Mobile Merger Would Harm Consumers, Competition and Jobs” , an op-ed written by Bennet and Public Knowledge Senior Policy Counsel Phillip Berenbroick.