The FCC has expressed support for a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, but critics warn that the deal will lead to less competition and higher prices for Americans.
On Monday, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai released a statement in support of an ongoing effort to merge Sprint and T-Mobile, two of the four largest telecom companies in the United States. Pai stated that his support for the controversial merger comes in response to a promise by the two corporations to bring the equally controversial 5G, or 5th generation, cellular network to rural America.
“Two of the FCC’s top priorities are closing the digital divide in rural America and advancing United States leadership in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity. The commitments made today by TMobile and Sprint would substantially advance each of these critical objectives,” Pai wrote. The “digital divide” is a reference to the fact the cellular companies tend to release new technologies in cities, often leaving rural towns behind. “For example, the companies have committed to deploying a 5G network that would cover 97% of our nation’s population within three years of the closing of the merger and 99% of Americans within six years. This 5G network would also reach deep into rural areas, with 85% of rural Americans covered within three years and 90% covered within six years.”
Pai also noted that T-Mobile and Sprint promised not to raise prices for three years. With his announcement, Pai has essentially guaranteed the FCC will approve the merger. Pai’s statements are supported by Republican commissioners Brendan Carr and Michael O’Rielly, with Carr tweeting that the merger “will enable Americans across the country to see more competition and an accelerated buildout of fast, 5G service, including in rural America.”
After a year long review, I announced today that I support the combination of T-Mobile & Sprint.
The record that’s developed is clear: it will enable Americans across the country to see more competition and an accelerated buildout of fast, 5G service, including in rural America. pic.twitter.com/wY4SJ5R5nk
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) May 20, 2019
However, FCC Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel disagreed with the sentiment, stating, “We’ve seen this kind of consolidation in airlines and with drug companies. It hasn’t worked out well for consumers. But now the FCC wants to bless the same kind of consolidation for wireless carriers. I have serious doubts.”
We've seen this kind of consolidation in airlines and with drug companies. It hasn't worked out well for consumers. But now the @FCC wants to bless the same kind of consolidation for wireless carriers. I have serious doubts. https://t.co/Yh4DC0C134
— Jessica Rosenworcel (@JRosenworcel) May 20, 2019
The deal is also opposed by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who stated that Pai’s support for the deal “makes it even more important for the Department of Justice to step up to the plate to block this merger.” The Justice Department is still deciding whether to sue in an attempt to block the deal due to worries about creating a monopoly.
“The T-Mobile-Sprint merger is still anti-competitive and anti-consumer,” said Gigi Sohn, a former FCC official under former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “The companies have made a handful of promises on 5G, rural buildout and in-home broadband that are speculative, not specific to the merger and completely unenforceable. Does anyone really believe that this FCC, which has asked nothing of the big mobile companies for over two years, will require the companies to abide by these commitments?”
Although T-Mobile and Sprint are making promises to expand the 5G network to all corners of America, as Ars Technica notes, the two companies have already claimed they were building a nationwide 5G network on their own prior to the merger. The promise to combat the digital divide offers nothing new to comfort Americans who fear what will happen when they have even less choice for cellular providers.
“The little bit of price competition people have enjoyed thanks to the rivalry between Sprint and T-Mobile could keep sending prices lower. So a meaningless and unenforceable promise to just tread water where we are now is a sad joke, and nothing more,” the advocacy group Free Press stated.
The FCC has increasingly become the subject of criticism due to the commission’s close ties to the wireless and telecom industry. In 2015, the Harvard Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics published an expose by investigative journalist Norm Alster on the financial ties between the US federal government’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Alster exposes how the wireless industry has “captured” the FCC, meaning it is controlled by the industry it is supposed to be regulating. Current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has ties to the industry, having previously served as Associate General Counsel at Verizon Communications Inc.
Beyond the concerns of corporate control of a government agency, the merger is also likely to create concern among those who already have questions about the privacy and health impacts of the ongoing 5G roll out. As The Mind Unleashed has previously reported, cities and localities are raising alarm bells due to the federal government and their partners in Big Wireless usurping local control of the 5G expansion. The Mayor of Danville, California even admitted that the council had “lost control” of the 5G rollout to the federal government and Big Wireless.
By making the T-Mobile-Sprint merger dependent on expanding 5G to all corners of the US, the FCC is helping push forward a controversial and dangerous technology while encouraging a deal that will likely lead to fewer choices for the American people. No matter how you slice it, the T-Mobile-Sprint Merger is good for 5G and bad for the American people.
Video Showing UFOs Swarming Navy Warship is Real, Pentagon Confirms
Late last month, reports emerged that a number of U.S. Navy guided missile destroyers sailing off the coast near Los Angeles encountered a swarm of strange unidentified flying objects or drones in 2019. While Navy investigators looked into the strange incident, no explanation has since been given.
However, new footage has been leaked to documentary filmmaker Jeremy Corbell that shows the strange flying objects swarming above one of the ships, and the Pentagon has confirmed that the videos are authentic.
“I can confirm that the referenced photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel,” a Department of Defense spokesperson told Futurism.
In the brief footage, which appears to have been recorded with night vision cameras, triangular or pyramid-shaped objects can be seen hovering above the deck of a Navy destroyer.
According to Corbell, the Pentagon has gone to great lengths to disavow any connection to the swarming UAVs.
“This was taken on deployment from the USS Russell,” Corbell told Mystery Wire. “It shows what they described as vehicles. And they made a great distinction. They made sure in this classified briefing, they made a great distinction that this is not something that we own either a black project, this is not something of a foreign military, that these were behaving in ways that we did not expect.“
“And that they were you know shaped non aerodynamically,” he added. “Like pyramids, these are flying pyramids!”
The video, as well as a number of photos from the incident, have all been gathered by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, a group tasked with investigating encounters between the different service branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and a number of unidentified flying objects.
While officials have been baffled by the unknown flying objects, in recent years the Pentagon has been more vocal about past encounters, which they describe as having been frequent. Officials have also discouraged the use of the acronym “UFOs,” instead opting to describe them as unidentified aerial phenomena or UAPs.
Prince Philip Joke About Reincarnating as Deadly Virus to ‘Solve Overpopulation’ Resurfaces
The Friday announcement of the death of Prince Philip elicited a range of reactions on social media, with some users eulogizing the late royal while others used the occasion to heap mockery upon the British monarchy.
However, others also shared an old quote from the Prince Philip where he bizarrely suggested that after he died, his wish would be that he is reincarnated as a deadly virus in order to help solve the so-called problem of overpopulation.
The decidedly anti-social quote was taken from a 2009 article published by The Guardian that listed out a number of controversial and generally distasteful quotes from the Queen’s husband on various subjects.
The full quote read: “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.”
Tweeting a screenshot of the quote, user Riya said: “WHAT THE F*CK.”
While others replied to the misanthropic quote with a reference to the ongoing pandemic:
The Daily Express notes that the quote originates from a joking comment about deadly viruses that the prince made in a 1988 interview with Deutsche Press-Agentur. The quote was also widely shared during the initial outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Buckingham Palace announced the death of Prince Philip, royal consort to Queen Elizabeth II, on Friday morning.
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the announcement read. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
As Marine Life Flees the Equator, Global Mass Extinction is Imminent: Scientists
The waters surrounding the equator are one of the most biodiverse areas in the globe, with the tropical area rich in marine life including rare sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays, and other creatures.
However, rampant rises in temperate have led to a mass exodus of marine species from the sensitive region – with grave implications for life on earth.
While ecologists have long seen the thriving biodiversity of equatorial species holding constant in the past few centuries, a new study by Australian researchers published in The Conversation has found that warming global temperatures are now hitting the equator hard, potentially leading to an unprecedented mass extinction event.
The researchers from the Universities of Auckland, Queensland, and the Sunshine Coast found that as waters surrounding the equator continue to heat up, the ecosystem is being disrupted and forcing species to flee toward the cooler water of the South and North Pole.
The massive changes in marine ecosystems that this entails will have a grave impact not only on ocean life – essentially becoming invasive species in their new homes – but also on the human livelihoods that depend on it.
“When the same thing happened 252 million years ago, 90 percent of all marine species died,” the researchers wrote.
To see where marine life is headed, the researchers tracked the distribution of about 49,000 different species to see what their trajectory was. The global distribution of ocean life typically resembles a bell curve, with far fewer species near the poles and more near the equator.
However, the vast alteration of the curve is already in motion as creatures flee to the poles, according to a study they published in the journal PNAS.
These changes augur major disruptions to global ecosystem as marine life scrambles in a chaotic fight for food, space, and resources – with a mass die-off and extinction of creatures likely resulting.
The research underscores the dire need for human societies to control rampant climate change before the biodiversity and ecological health of the planet is pushed past the point of no return.
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