The FCC Tuesday released documents concerning why it earlier approved the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, with conditions. The 3-2 vote passed along party lines on October 16, Inside Towers reported. A multi-state lawsuit to block the deal remains pending in federal court.
The majority said the transaction will help close the digital divide and advance U.S. leadership in 5G. They called 5G deployment a critical national priority that will bring meaningful benefits to American consumers by delivering faster speeds and lower latency and by supporting the development of advanced applications and services.
The Commission conditioned its approval of the transaction on the parties fulfilling its coverage and speed commitments. Compliance with these promises will be verified by drive-testing, overseen by an independent third party and subject to FCC oversight. The telecoms will be required to make payments that could reach over two billion dollars if they do not meet their commitments within six years.
Tuesday, in connection with the merger, the agency also proposed—subject to conditions—modifications to construction deadlines related to DISH licenses. The proposed DISH construction deadline changes would facilitate the implementation of certain measures in the Department of Justice’s July consent decree. That’s when DISH pledged to become a new entrant into the wireless industry, offering 5G service to over two-thirds of Americans within four years.
November 6, 2019