Yesterday, Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) and fourteen other House Democrats sent a letter to President Obama “urging him to swiftly resolve concerns with the proposed transaction between AT&T and T-Mobile USA.” From the official press release:
“The road to economic recovery is long, but there is an opportunity before us to immediately create jobs and spur infrastructure investments and technological innovations that will create jobs for years to come,” said Rep. Shuler. “By settling the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA we can put thousands of Americans back to work and promote economic development across the country. I urge the President to strongly consider the vast benefits this merger will have on job creation and the economy and quickly resolve any concerns the Administration may have with the proposal.”
The full list of co-signers:
Rep. John Barrow
Rep. Mike Ross
Rep. Dan Boren
Rep. Dennis Cardoza
Rep. Joe Baca
Rep. Leonard Boswell
Rep. Ben Chandler
Rep. Jim Costa
Rep. Henry Cuellar
Rep. Mike McIntyre
Rep. Mike Michaud
Rep. Collin Peterson
Rep. Loretta Sanchez
Rep. David Scott
That’s the percentage of adult Internet users now connected to others via social networking sites, according to a study by Pew Research Center released late last month. And surprisingly, it’s not those just past the threshold into adulthood who are jumping in the online social world the most, but rather the Boomers, whose usage on a typical day jumped a whopping 60% in the last year.
What does this tell us? For one, social networks are now a major means of communication in today’s business and social economies. And secondly, the expansion of broadband technology has made the social web faster, increasingly interconnected, and more valuable to its users. Gone are the days when online interaction seemed like a trek into the wild and unruly frontier. The rise of the social web also points to our increasing reliance on digital communication in the economy and thus to job creation and economic growth and opportunity.
Services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn not only make it easy for us to stay connected to people important to us, they’re also playing an important role in business. More and more companies are leveraging the power of social interaction to sell products and services; for example, the emergence of local and family owned food trucks can be attributed to their use of Twitter for real time menu, location, and deal updates.
In addition to changing the conversation between businesses and consumers, the social web, networking through networks, has also enhanced the job seeker’s ability to find (and be found by) potential employers, careers, and startup business opportunities.
That’s what makes the rise of the social web so exciting to watch. When social sites first started hitting the mainstream, social networking may have seemed like little more than a fad. But from the Pony Express to email, we have always looked for new — and more immediate — ways to communicate, and social networking has taken its place as the latest leap forward.
Today, we check in to locations to find nearby deals. We check in with friends for reviews of products and services. We check in with companies to find a job. The rise of social networking has been enhanced by the rise of mobile broadband, and together they are changing our ways of communicating and the face of our economy.
All business, whether it’s conducted between co-workers or in the global marketplace, depends on interaction. You want to put America back to work? Give every American the ability to interact. Put the power of broadband — wired or wireless — in their hands.
They’ll do more than announce the score of the ball game.
In today’s edition of the Chicago Tribune, the paper’s editorial board comes out strongly in favor of approval of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger. After highlighting the negative effect the Justice Department’s actions could have on job creation, the editorial board writes:
Access to advanced wireless Internet is the key. A merger of AT&T and T-Mobile would bring an under-served swath of America into the 21st century of high-speed mobile data communication. Much like the rural electrification movement of the 1930s, this deal offers a chance for many Americans to leap ahead technologically.
If Justice gets its way, progress will slow to a crawl. We think the FCC should approve the merger after obtaining appropriate concessions — and Justice should settle its case sooner, not later. Dragging out this proceeding stands to hurt a nation that can ill afford more damage from a government too often hostile to business interests.
At The Hill, Gautham Nagesh reports that in the wake of the Justice Department’s lawsuit to stop the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee want to have a discussion:
Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), telecom subpanel chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) point to the nation’s unemployment rate and ask Attorney General Eric Holder and FCC chairman Julius Genachowski to what extent job creation and economic growth factor into their reviews of the merger.
“We have also seen press reports that DOJ’s ‘door is open’ if AT&T and T-Mobile USA want to address the DOJ’s ‘concerns’,” the lawmakers wrote. “We want to know what the DOJ’s specific concerns are and how these concerns relate to the impact on jobs and economic growth.”
Earlier this week, a federal judge asked both the DoJ and AT&T to mark September 21 on their calendars in order to talk through a possible settlement.
Alliance disappointed with Department of Justice move to block merger; lawsuit detrimental to economy and U.S. growth
WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 31, 2011 – The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), a broad-based coalition supporting broadband access and adoption for all Americans, today issued the following statement in response to reports that:
1. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the AT&T and T-Mobile merger; and
2. AT&T would create 5,000 new jobs at U.S.-based call centers – jobs that are currently outsourced:
“The Department of Justice decision today is contrary to this Administration’s commitments to grow the economy, create jobs and expand broadband deployment,” said IIA Senior Advisor Broderick Johnson. “Next week, President Obama is expected to unveil a wide ranging pro-jobs plan. Approval of this merger is consistent with that critical message.”
“The IIA is supportive of the merger because it will be helpful to our economy and U.S. job creation,” said IIA Honorary Chairman Rick Boucher. “Bringing jobs back to America and investing in broadband technology which will foster innovation are a win-win for the U.S. economy.”
AT&T, an IIA member, also committed that the merger will not result in job losses for U.S.-based wireless call center employees of T-Mobile or AT&T, when the merger closes. Analysis of the merger has shown the following:
• According to a study by the independent organization Economic Policy Institute (EPI), investment related to the merger will create an estimated 55,000 to 96,000 new jobs.
• The Communication Workers of America (CWA) has stated that a post-merger AT&T will be better able to retain and increase jobs, in the long term, because it will be in a more advantageous position to expand and extend its business than either AT&T or T-Mobile could as separate entities.
“Bringing call center jobs to American workers is commendable, but it’s the tip of the iceberg,” said IIA Co-Chairman Bruce Mehlman. “The real job-generating benefits of the merger will be seen as higher-speed mobile broadband gets deployed to millions more Americans, giving them far greater opportunities to reach new customers, serve new markets and benefit from new applications and services that are transforming the global economy.”
As recent research shows, investment in broadband technology — also a pledge with the merger — will greatly contribute to job creation in the United States:
• Wireless carriers could invest between $25 billion and $53 billion in building out their 4G network through 2016, which could lead to the creation of 371,000 to 771,000 jobs and gross domestic product growth of $73 billion to $151 billion, according to a study from Deloitte.
• According to a McKinsey study, the Internet creates 2.6 new jobs for every one job lost.
In an op-ed for USA Today, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski makes the case for expanding broadband access to create jobs:
Last century, building roads and bridges not only created near-term jobs coming out of the Depression, they laid the foundation for ongoing economic success by connecting communities and people across the country. Broadband can do the same in the 21st century. Yes, let’s repair our roads and bridges, but let’s also build the road to our economic future with broadband — especially when we can do both at the same time. And let’s make sure that all Americans and small businesses get connected.
Our economy is not where we want it to be. But if we harness the power of communications technology, and unleash the creativity of our great entrepreneurs, there’s much we can do to ensure our brightest days are still ahead of us.
In an opinion piece for CNN, Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute argues regulations are slowing innovation and much-needed job creation. Highlighting the Federal Trade Commission’s recent investigation into Google, Mandel also looks at the FCC’s slow movement on the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile:
For example, AT&T invested $19.5 billion in the U.S in 2010, more than any other corporation, at a time when most companies are hoarding cash. But instead of applauding AT&T’s willingness to spend and create jobs, regulators at the Federal Communications Commission have recently decided to slow down their reviews of both AT&T’s bid to merge with T-Mobile and the company’s earlier proposal to buy wireless licenses from Qualcomm, which has been pending since February. The Commission’s slowdown pace adds uncertainty to the marketplace and keeps investment plans from moving forward.
The full op-ed is worth checking out. Mandel will also be taking part in our next press teleconference, which is happening next Wednesday at 2 pm ET.
In order to highlight some of the many ways increasing broadband access can benefit America’s rural communities, we’ve put together this handy infographic. Sources and an embed code are available at the bottom.
At Internet Evolution, Andrew Keen writes about his trip to Paris to attend e-G8, a technological summit bringing Internet experts together with leaders of the G8 nations. According to Keen, the big takeaways from the summit were 1) The market, rather than the government, should drive the digital economy, and 2) Underprivileged communities are in dire need of access to broadband, which market solutions can provide. Writes Keen:
[The joining of AT&T and T-Mobile] shows the power of the free market to bring the Internet economy to communities. The faster speeds, more reliable performance, and ability to support new real-time services of AT&T’s 4G LTE coverage will be of massive benefit to those millions of Americans in isolated communities, helping to deliver key education, healthcare, and other essential social services to them.
Education and healthcare will particularly benefit from 4G LTE’s advanced video streaming capabilities, which will enable increased access to improved distance learning and telemedicine programs. For small-town Americans, mostly starved of world-class educational and medical programs, such access is critical, opening up their citizens to the most cutting-edge video-streamed technologies in patient care and e-learning.
Keen also examines the economic impact increased broadband investment — including the $8 billion AT&T has said it will invest to build out its 4G LTE network to more of rural America — will have on America’s economy:
Such investment is key to the competitiveness of America in the 21st century digital economy. Not only will these increased wireless and broadband services result in productivity gains that industry analysts estimate will have surpassed $400 billion by 2016, but they will also help in realizing the National Broadband Plan’s goal of universal broadband adoption for all Americans by 2014.
The Lincoln Journal Star‘s Art Hovey reports on a recent visit to the small town of Diller by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski:
The Internet wasn’t even available in his remote hometown near the Kansas border when Chad Lottman went into business in Diller at age 19.
In the 17 years since then, Lottman and his wife, Courtney, have made such a success of a high-speed connection with the Internet to market hotdogs, bratwurst, jalapeno ham sticks and other specialty meat products that they earned a visit Wednesday from the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
Julius Genachowski called the Lottmans’ ability to do business with more than 7,000 customers as far away as Maryland “incredible” and said it “points out why high-speed Internet is so important in rural America.”
The 36-year-old Lottman agreed. Without an electronic marketing system, “I would probably have moved on to somewhere else.”
With small towns and rural communities slowly drying up in many places, a connection to the Internet can make all the difference between young people staying in their hometown and moving on to larger cities. That’s just one of the many reasons we need to ensure every corner of America has access.
That’s a quote from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, speaking at a recent event on mobile broadband, net neutrality, and spectrum in Washington DC. Mobile Marketing Watch has more on the event:
While the event centered on discussions on what can be done in relation to net neutrality across any channel, the general consensus was that it’s up to the FCC to induce the change necessary. ”The biggest remaining barrier to mobile technology is high-speed data access from anywhere,” said Computech president Larry Fitzpatrick who spoke on the panel. ”While the private sector has handled computing power and storage, it can’t solve data access on its own since it involves a public resource (spectrum) and the FCC has to be part of the solution.”
On March 20, AT&T proposed to combine resources with T-Mobile USA. As an organization that has for years promoted efforts to bring broadband to all Americans, including the underserved, communities of color, and citizens in rural areas, we see benefits for both consumers and the economy with this joining of forces.
The agreement appears likely to significantly boost efforts to achieve universal broadband access with AT&T’s pledge to make next generation wireless Internet available to 95% of all Americans. While the majority of consumers can already choose between five or more wireless telephony providers, consumers in small, rural communities often have fewer options for broadband Internet connectivity. The combined companies would be able to elevate competition in a way that is particularly beneficial for underserved and rural areas.
That’s how much Egypt’s economy lost during the country’s recent clampdown on the Internet and cellular phones, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That’s $18 million each day.
Where did it all begin? Upon graduating from college two years ago, Co-Founders Jakovcic and Sawicki began talking to hiring managers, recruiters and job seekers. What they found was that the job/career-search market lacked sophisticated web-based tools for job seekers. As such, they’ve been building Uvisor.com with the help of organizational psychologists, human resource professionals and recruiters.
“The job market has evolved alongside the Internet, which is now the primary medium for finding a job,” says Jakovcic. “Uvisor has harnessed this technology to provide an interactive, digital approach to the job search. Operationally, broadband allows us to work on a daily basis. Strategically, it brings Uvisor to the world.”
The site uses a patent-pending algorithm to provide the best possible career matches (out of a database of 700,000 jobs) for users based on personality, skills, education, hobbies and experience. It also automatically builds custom resumes, helps users assess relocation and quickly research a company before their interview. Evidence of broadband’s crucial role in the job search in this day and age: users can easily apply to numerous positions as the site migrates data from their Uvisor profile to online forms, simplifying the application process and facilitating the chances of landing a job.
“High-speed Internet is a game changer for product and service industries. People want things accomplished as quickly as possible with the least amount of effort; that is what broadband has brought to the table,” says Sawicki. “This technology plays a crucial role in the success of Uvisor.com. Our goals are 1) to allow our users to save time in the job search with fast and efficient web-based tools, and 2) to locate the position that best suits them, based on an algorithm that gets smarter and smarter as our user base grows – both of which hinge on broadband.”
Visitors to Uvisor.com can conduct a standard job search or sign up for a free MyUvisor account for complete career assistance, which guides them through five key steps in the job search process.
For more information on Uvisor, check out their blog and visit their website.
After our Broadband Symposium “A View From Wall Street” earlier this week, NextGenWeb talked with panelist Rebecca Arbogast of Stifel Nicolaus about regulations and how they impact jobs and the economy. Here’s the video:
Late last week, Kim Hart of Politico reported that the FCC is going to make a move on net neutrality. According to “several sources with knowledge of the situation,” the FCC’s regulations would be very similar to the framework outlined in the failed net neutrality bill put together by Rep. Henry Waxman but with one, very important, difference: the regulations would also extend to wireless broadband.
If Politico’s story was correct (and today’s reports that Chairman Genachowski called phone and cable officials into a special meeting today suggest that it is), then it would be a disastrous move for the FCC to make. Not just for efforts to close the digital divide (underserved communities are embracing wireless broadband at a greater clip), but also for investment and job creation — two things America desperately needs right now.
If there’s one industry that has benefited by a light regulatory touch it’s the wireless industry. And while wireless broadband is currently experiencing explosive growth, it’s still a relatively young technology. Extending investment-chilling net neutrality regulations to it is a step in the wrong direction.
The latest round of the great net neutrality debate has been going on for a year now. Agreement from both sides is close. For the FCC to now make a move toward wireless — especially after voters made clear on Election Day that job creation should be the #1 priority — is, frankly, baffling.
Just the access to blogs like yours to find the best grocery deals has cut our food/grocery budget in half. We save a ton by keeping up with family and friends through e-mail, skype, and facebook rather than through post mail and long distance telephone calls. Access to research materials and online banking save me countless hours that I can put into other money saving ventures. I don’t think it’s $8,000 a year, but broadband internet access is definitely a good value for our household.
Planning my shopping trip with research online is a gas saver. No more running around town searching for the best deals.
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