T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Will Help Those Who've Been Left Behind in the Digital Age

In a recent roundtable discussion at New York Law School about “5G,” the next generation of wireless technology, I spoke about how both government and industry need to keenly focus on ensuring that underserved communities receive the anticipated benefits of 5G sooner rather than later.

The merger with Sprint will enable a massive new investment by T-Mobile—nearly $40 billion, to be exact—to create an inclusive, nationwide 5G network and services that will greatly improve access to broadband for all New Yorkers, not just the wealthy.

In my time at the FCC, I worked on expanding wireless service in underserved neighborhoods because I recognized early on that broadband connectivity offers an ever-present stepping stone for upward mobility.

Research, including the work of Brookings Institution expert Nicol Turner Lee , shows that lower-income Americans are the most likely to rely on wireless as their primary or sole means of connecting to the internet.

The New York Public Service Commission has already approved the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, and I hope that those who are still reviewing the transaction at the federal and state levels will not stand in the way.

What is needed is for a proven wireless industry disruptor to expand on a larger scale, bringing wider and better connectivity opportunities to New Yorkers as we move into the 5G era.

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