Hood: Deal should bring Mississippi better internet service

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood discusses an agreement reached recently with T-Mobile, as an alternative to litigation against the phone company's merger, at a Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 news conference at his office in Jackson, Miss. Hood, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, said as a result of the agreement, within three years of closing on the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, T-Mobile will deploy a 5G network in Mississippi with at least 62 percent of the state's general and rural populations having access to download speeds equal to or greater than 100 Mbps and within six years of closing, it will cover at least 92 percent of Mississippi's general population and 88% of Mississippi's rural population. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says the state will settle its part of a lawsuit that opposed the merger of cellphone companies T-Mobile and Sprint.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have been part of the lawsuit.

As explained by Hood back in June 2019, T-Mobile and Sprint are two of the nation’s largest mobile wireless providers behind Verizon and AT&T, with 79 million  and 54 million subscribers respectively.

Fierce competition between these four companies means declining prices, increased coverage area and overall better quality, he said. If the merger goes through that will effectively disappear.

“We’re trying to stop this merger because Mississippi customers would not benefit from the merger, but it would likely increase prices in the long run for them,” Hood said at the time. “Competition creates a healthy market, and a merger like this one would reduce options for consumers.”

For their part, the companies said they need to bulk up to upgrade to a fast, powerful “5G” mobile network that competes with Verizon and AT&T. The companies are appealing to President Donald Trump’s desire for the U.S. to “win” a global 5G race.

The merger awaits final federal approval.

Hood said Wednesday that under the Mississippi agreement, the new company will make a next-generation “5G” network available to at least 62% of Mississippi’s general and rural populations within three years of the merger.

He said that by six years, the company will make the fast service available to 92% of Mississippi’s general population and 88% of its rural population.

Hood is a Democrat running for governor. He said the deal should help with education and economic development because of better internet access.

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