(Good for whole state of Louisiana)
We strongly support the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile because it will bring mobile broadband technology to the areas of our state that need it most. We encourage the Louisiana Public Service Commission, the FCC, and Department of Justice as well as all agencies reviewing this merger to support it. This is the best way to confirm support for the businesses and residents of rural Louisiana.
Advances in technology have changed the way that Americans and Louisianans do business. Thanks to laptops, smart phones, tablets and other wireless devices, Louisianans can conduct business virtually anywhere at any time.
Small business owners have been quick to recognize the economic potential of new, high-tech communications technologies. Fifty percent of small business owners have smart phones, and that percentage will go much, much higher. This is not surprising, given that high-speed wireless networks give business owners the ability to keep close tabs on their business, and provide them with access to applications that will help them to better manage their business and take advantage of opportunities for growth.
Access to high-speed broadband can be transformative for rural, coastal and farming communities.
One of the biggest challenges we face in our state is creating economic development here at home so that our children and grandchildren do not have to move out of Louisiana to find opportunities; adding mobile broadband capacity will help create more opportunities for Louisianans.
Wireless broadband will transform rural health care, one of the most important issues in Louisiana. Telemedicine solutions provide medical personnel with enhanced access to medical information, promotes inter-hospital collaborations and specialist consultations that improve the quality and effectiveness of care while helping keep medical costs under control.
Wireless broadband where used, has transformed farming, with state-of-the-art smart phone applications using GPS to help farmers efficiently and effectively plant, fertilize and harvest crops at much lower costs than previous farming techniques.
One of the key economic challenges facing Louisiana is that high-speed wireless networks are not ubiquitous. Rural communities may lag behind when it comes to broadband technology, but those with higher speed broadband access have stronger records of economic growth than where businesses and consumers have to rely on dial-up or similarly slow-speed internet connections.
The proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile will dramatically expand access to high-speed broadband service. The merger will result in $8 billion in infrastructure improvements and will make AT&T’s 4G LTE technology available to more than 97 percent of the U.S. population.
The biggest beneficiaries of this investment will be the rural communities that gain access to the high-speed wireless services that can help them compete for new businesses and jobs.
In a state like Louisiana, these possibilities are necessary for the technological advancement that we need.
Louisiana State Newspapers