Pennsylvania, more importantly Somerset County, has an opportunity for better cell phone and broadband service through a merger of two companies.
J. Michael Schweder, president of mid-Atlantic states for AT&T, told the Daily American in the next four to six years, if the acquisition of T-Mobile is approved, AT&T should be able to expand its network to reach 97 percent of the population.
In March AT&T announced its plans to acquire T-Mobile, which is owned by Deutsche Telekom, a German company, for $39 billion. Schweder explained that T-Mobile decided to no longer invest in the American market.
“This is an American company buying the resources of a foreign company,” he said. “The deal is not driven by government. This will all be privately funded.”
If the merger is approved, AT&T would acquire T-Mobile’s licenses to use spectrum, or wireless capacity. AT&T could use the combined spectrum to improve its own service, reducing the number of dead spots.
The merger is not complete. Both the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department have to approve the acquisition.
Somerset County is lacking in having broadband and cell phone services to meet the needs of rural students and home-based businesses.
It’s good news that private businesses realize the market potential in rural areas without requiring government stimulus funds. The only bad news is that it will take at least four years to implement.