By B.N. Frank
These states are not messing around and their lawsuits are getting a lot of media coverage. There is also increasing U.S. opposition to widespread 5G installation which now includes the U.S. Navy, NASA, meteorologists and utility companies. Even more disturbing – the telecom industry has still provided no evidence that 5G is safe and plenty of researchers say it isn’t.
The state attorneys general said the promised benefits, such as better networks in rural areas and faster service overall, cannot be verified, while eliminating a major wireless company will immediately harm consumers by reducing competition and driving up prices for cellphone service.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement that combining the two companies would reduce access to affordable, reliable wireless service nationwide and would particularly affect lower-income and minority communities in New York and other urban areas.
Other attorneys general joining Tuesday’s lawsuit are from Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Virginia and Wisconsin. All 10 attorneys general are Democrats. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in New York.
The lawsuit is an unusual step by state officials ahead of a decision by federal antitrust authorities. The Justice Department’s decision is pending. The Republican majority of the Federal Communications Commission supports the deal, though the agency has yet to vote.
T-Mobile and Sprint have argued that they need to bulk up to upgrade to a fast, powerful “5G” mobile network that competes with Verizon and AT&T. The companies are appealing to President Donald Trump’s desire for the U.S. to “win” a global 5G race.
Consumer advocates, labor unions and many Democratic lawmakers worry that the deal could mean job cuts, higher wireless prices and a hit to the rural cellphone market.
Amanda Wait, an antitrust lawyer and former Federal Trade Commission lawyer, said states are acting because they disagree with what they have seen the federal government doing.
“They see the FCC accepting certain remedies and concessions that don’t, in their minds, solve the problem,” she said.
For more information, visit the following websites:
- Wireless Information Network
- Americans for Responsible Technology
- 5G Information
- Environmental Health Trust
- Last Tree Laws
- My Street, My Choice
- Our Town Our Choice
- Parents for Safe Technology
- Physicians for Safe Technology
- Scientists for Wired Tech
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