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December 12, 2007

Bernie, AT&T Wireless IS Needed In Vermont!

Back in June I posted a rumor that AT&T was planning an expansion in VT. Then in August, when Verizon announced their plans to purchase Unicel, I think I misinterpreted the news incorrectly. In hindsight, I now think that Verizon's asset swap with AT&T might have been the plan from the start.

I feel this deal would be great for Vermont as it'll increase the competition, the selection of phones, and services to Vermonters. But according to the the The Boston Globe, Bernie Sanders has a different opinion:

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has raised concerns about the proposed Verizon purchase of Cellular One because most of Vermont's cell phone infrastructure would then be controlled by one company, Verizon Wireless.

In a statement Tuesday, Sanders said that even if AT&T took over Unicel's system in Vermont, it wouldn't guarantee better cellular phone service in rural parts of the state.

"While all the ramifications are not yet clear, what is clear is that this deal won't do anything to address the spotty or nonexistent cell phone service in too many places in Vermont," Sanders said. "As I have said from the beginning, in the 21st century Vermonters have a right to expect that everywhere in our state there will be reliable cell phone service at competitive prices. Until Verizon Wireless makes that commitment, they should not be allowed to buy Unicel."

How narrow sighted can Bernie be? The best thing we can hope for is for AT&T to take over Unicel and end this virtual Verizon monopoly. Unicel has never really competed with Verizon. Their phones, plans, and coverage was always a joke! Has Bernie ever used a Unicel phone in the state? Even in Unicel's own company store in So. Burlington I had trouble getting reception with their phones. You might as well have bought a Tracfone!

With a successful bid to move into the state by AT&T it wouldn't surprise me to also see T-Moble make a move in Vermont as their networks are compatible. That would really increase selection and choice. Blocking this swap only guarantees Verizon's continued monopoly and I'm not just saying that because I still want an Apple iPhone.

Posted in Apple & Mac , Vermont , WiFi by usrbingeek at 2007-12-12 21:05 ET (GMT-5) | 2 Comments | Permalink


Unicel's service is a joke? I don't know where you live, but for most of rural VT Unicel is the ONLY service. Verizon only covers centers of population, ie. Burlington. Also, you can have an unlocked Iphone with Unicel already... I write you now with high speed internet from an off grid house- no phone lines or power- accessing the internet on a Macbook through a bluetooth connection with my 'joke' of a unicel phone. Get with it! with need GSM.

Posted by: Keith at May 31, 2008 11:58 AM

unicel service may be the only option for most vermonters, but that doesnt change the face that it sucks.

Posted by: christian emerson at October 22, 2008 11:57 AM

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