The National Grange, the nation’s oldest national agricultural organization, today issued its support for the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA. In a letter filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on behalf of its more than 200,000 members, the Grange argued that the merger between the two companies will make additional investment in wireless broadband for rural areas a certainty, providing rural communities with adequate and reliable access to modern wireless communications technology.
“Expanding the latest advancements in wireless broadband offerings to rural America is a key goal for the National Grange, plain and simple,” said Ed Luttrell, the President of the National Grange. “The merger between AT&T and T-Mobile will allow for the deployment of a more robust national network, which will serve more communities, and thus more individuals and businesses in hard-to-reach areas.”
The letter explains that access to dependable mobile telecommunications technologies such as telephone, cellular, wireless, digital broadcast television, radio, Internet, satellite, and competitive video services must be made available to residents in rural communities at affordable costs in order to keep these areas competitive.
“If rural citizens, organizations, businesses, farmers and ranchers have access to better communications technology, the community will naturally thrive,” added Luttrell. “In many rural communities this merger will be the enabler to bring new innovations and opportunities to underserved areas and help bridge the rural-urban and digital divide. This merger will bring advanced 4G LTE wireless networks to many places that don’t have any broadband offerings at all, aside from dial-up or more expensive satellite options.”
A key component of the National Grange’s “Blueprint for Rural America“, a compilation of priority issues of concern to rural Americans, farmer and ranchers, is expanding telecommunications services into rural areas. As demonstrated previously with the FCC, the organization remains committed to policies that encourage expanded deployment of next-generation broadband services to all communities.
To view National Grange’s filing, please visit this link.