Recently, Malkia Cyril wrote a post on Politico.com titled "AT&T/TMobile Merger Hurts Poor." I'm glad that it was called an opinion piece because I could not find much fact in it. The piece talks about how low income communities and people of color rely heavily on wireless access. This is only partially true. People of color do currently over index in mobile use compared to the majority, but lumping people of color and low income in the same sentence is a gross mischaracterization and borderline offensive. It makes the leap that either all low income communities are populated by people of color or that all people of color have low incomes, both of which I can tell you are not true.
The next leap of fallacy that the piece makes is that the AT&T merger will immediately raise barriers to heavy users of mobile, limit access, and monopolize the industry. All without any facts to back any of these claims, just her opinion. I wanted to make sure that people were given points based on facts, so here are a few:
1. The merger will actually provide more access, not less: Once the merger is complete, there will be end-to-end wireless coverage in states that currently have spotty coverage and also are heavily populated by African Americans. States like W. Virginia, S. Carolina and Mississippi to name a few, will now have more opportunities for people who currently have no access to get connected. Don't take my word for it, read about it here.
2. The merger will actually increase competition and better pricing, not lessen it: I've seen more Sprint commercials since the merger was announced than ever. Then shortly after, Sprint announced their all-in-one pricing plan. If that's not an example of competition making things better for the consumer, then I'm not sure what is.
So anyone who chooses to write about these issues should lead with facts instead of assumptions and opinions. The issue is too important to misinform people.
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