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Telecommunications Investments could help the economy, create jobs - Pete Meadows

To the editor:

As a telecommunications worker, I believe that expanding access to broadband technology and updating and improving our nation's wireless infrastructure would be a game-changer for our economy.

Over the last decade, the telecommunications industry has been one of the few bright spots in our otherwise sluggish economy. In addition to employing more than one million people nationwide, the telecommunications industry has helped promote job growth and development across the economy.

Sales revenue for Internet-accessible tablets, for example, is expected to reach $140 million in 2011. That's a 373-percent increase in a single year for a product that did not exist five years ago, and would not be possible without wireless networks and continued innovation.

Promoting continued development in the telecommunications industry is critically important to the American economy. High-tech wireless technologies encourage innovation, and make it easier for companies to identify new markets for their products and services.

The proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile would pump more than $8 billion of private-sector funding into improvements to our telecommunications infrastructure. By combining, these wireless companies would be able to update and improve their wireless networks to increase network capacity.

The end result would be new employment opportunities and expanded access to high-speed wireless service for residents of rural communities.

In today's highly competitive worldwide marketplace, it is important for any community to grow while attracting jobs and investment, which can be accomplished in an easier fashion through a broadband connection.

At the same time, under-served populations will not be able to access the full range of educational and job-training resources and opportunities that are available, if they do not have access to high-speed networks.

Investment in our telecommunications system deserves our strong support. Improving wireless infrastructure and expanding access to high-speed networks will get our economy moving, so that the American Dream can live on for the next generation and beyond.

PETE MEADOWS

AT&T Georgia

Regional Director,

External Affairs