The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, Director of MediaFreedom.org:
Alexandria, VA, March 21, 2011 – Let’s take a deep breath before we rush to judgment on the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T. We have trod over this territory before with the ‘96 Telecom Act. The market consolidation which ensued there, and the inter-modal competition that resulted, drove the explosive Internet we now know – the same thriving medium that the FCC wants to protect through its new Net Neutrality regulations.
While MediaFreedom does not agree with those new regulations (on many different levels), one can hardly be surprised by the unintended consequence of the agency’s strong-arm tactics to cobble together its Net Neutrality “agreement.” The agency’s rules, with its seeming emphasis on wireless broadband, all but augured such a result to occur.
Though the public interest lobbyists have been quick to condemn the move, there is likely a happy ending to this story. The resulting company – even after the contemptible consent decree process to follow – will be better positioned to globally compete, grow and serve consumers with the broadband options and other communications services they want and desire. Further, competitors in the specific and adjacent marketplaces will compete even more vigorously to keep and grow their customer base, too.
When this happens, consumers generally win.
This is not to say that “Net Neutrality” has scored its first success, accidental as it is. Rather, it is the first real-world indication that the FCC’s regulations aren’t as prescient as billed by the Commission and its cheerleaders. We trust Congress will see this, and will work to properly address the FCC’s bad Internet policy in the coming months ahead.
In the meantime, we hope the review process moves ahead expeditiously and narrowly so that U.S. consumers may more quickly experience the benefits of the new company.