AT&T and T-Mobile are taking their merger campaign on the road, heading to Silicon Valley next week to try to convince Internet firms that supporting their $39 billion deal would be good for the Web.
AT&T’s top government influencer, James Cicconi, plans to meet with members of Silicon Valley trade association TechNet as part of the company’s campaign. Cicconi’s line, according to a source familiar with the planned meeting: Without the merger, these firms will have to grapple with congested wireless networks, and it would be harder for consumers to get speedy access to apps and other Web service
AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson told Senate lawmakers this week that by combining AT&T and T-Mobile’s spectrum, consumers will deal with fewer dropped calls and have faster access to the Internet.
That assertion was challenged, however, by some lawmakers and consumer advocate Gigi Sohn of Public Knowledge. They said AT&T has a lot of spectrum that it hasn’t developed for wireless use. They said the company should use what it has before trying to acquire more spectrum through a merger.