AT&T/T-Mobile merger: will it expand rural broadband?

How exactly will it expand broadband access?

Now Kerfoot is just the kind of person AT&T Inc. has in mind as the telecom giant pushes expanding rural broadband as a major benefit of its proposed $ 39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. AT&T officials say the merger will allow the company to vastly stretch out its broadband network into rural areas, offering new customers access to high-speed mobile Internet for the first time. This kind of expand is a part of a push to cover 97 percent of the U.S population.

Unless they’re planning on giving up on wireline for rural users and expecting that they use LTE…wait, that’s exactly that they’re going to do. And since there’s not enough RF spectrum in the world for everyone, there’ll inevitably be caps (much lower than what AT&T’s currently doing for U-Verse/DSL, even). How is being able to use up your LTE cap in even less time than it takes to use your U-Verse cap any better?

(Not to mention that their 3G coverage map still doesn’t cover their entire wireless footprint as of this writing, so there’s not much expectation that their LTE coverage will be any better at some future time.)

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