California Public Utilities Commission issues proposal to approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger


Hot on the heels of California’s Attorney General saying that he won’t appeal the ruling in T-Mobile-Sprint merger lawsuit, some more good news for the merger has come out of California.

The California Public Utilities Commission has issued a proposal to approve the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. The approval comes with “extensive conditions” that aim to mitigate any adverse impacts on competition and to protect consumers.

The conditions that the CPUC have proposed for the merged company include:

  • Provide 5G wireless service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps to 99 percent of California’s population by the end of 2026.
  • Provide 5G wireless service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps to 85 percent of California’s rural population, and speeds of at least 50 Mbps available to 94 percent of California’s rural population, by the end of 2026.
  • Have fixed home Internet access available to at least 2.3 million California households, of which at least 123,000 are rural households, within six years of closing.
  • No retail price increases for at least three years.
  • Offer the low income California LifeLine program for as long as it operates in California, and enroll at least 300,000 new LifeLine customers.
  • Increase jobs in California by at least 1,000 compared to the total number of current Sprint and T-Mobile employees.
  • Establish the capability to serve all customers for at least 72 hours (i.e., have back-up power) after an emergency event or a utility Public Safety Power Shut-off.
  • Other important commitments relating to diversity, reporting, and rural infrastructure deployment, among other topics.

The CPUC proposal also orders that an independent monitor is appointed to view T-Mobile’s compliance with this proposal and that the CPUC may take action if T-Mo fails to comply with the conditions.

It’s worth noting that while the CPUC has issued a proposal to approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, the CPUC commissioners’ first opportunity to vote on the proposal will be April 16th. Comments on the proposal from parties to the proceeding are due in 20 days, and members of the public can submit comments on the docket card here.

All this means that T-Mobile likely won’t close the merger on April 1st like it has been hoping, but T-Mo and Sprint are probably still pleased to learn that the CPUC has issued a proposal to conditionally approve the deal.

Source: California Public Utilities Commission

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  • Mister Thursday

    Finally….I can’t wait for T-Mobile to close this merger and start utilizing the new spectrum to make their network even better. Politics as usual….

    • Brandon Thomas

      All they have to do now is wait until the 16th of April unless they can convince the CPUC to hold a Ratesetting emergency session. This “proposal” is the approval, the vote on the 16th is all but a formality at this point.

      • Bilesha Welton

        I think they can also close the merger before April 16 as planned, but they would have to delay merging in California. Not seeing why they would do that, but it is a possibility if they’re trying to make their April 1 goal.

  • Shaun Michalak

    Provide 5G wireless service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps to 99 percent of California’s population by the end of 2026.

    Provide 5G wireless service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps to 85 percent of California’s rural population, and speeds of at least 50 Mbps available to 94 percent of California’s rural population, by the end of 2026.

    Am I confused here, or does this just not make any sense?? Both give a timeline of 2026, but one says 100mb to 99% and the other to 85%?? So just who messed this up.. The CPUC or the news??

    • The first paragraph talks about the population as a whole. The second one only refers to the rural population

      • Shaun Michalak

        I understand that.. But it states that T-Mobile has to have coverage to 99% of total population by 2026, but then says that they have to cover 85% of rural customers by that time.. It seems that if you are covering over 99% of all customers, that you would have hit that 85% of rural customers.

        Edit.., I just looked it up.., I guess it seems that at 99% of the total population, and nothing in rural, would only account for 25% of the rural areas.. Of course, I am sure that those same towers would also hit a lot more then just 25% of the rural communities..

  • Shaun Michalak

    Did anyone else notice that, while it is not a huge list, but pretty much everything in this list has already been agreed to in other agreements?? So basically, they asked for nothing new, and all they have to do is agree to what they already agreed to.. Is this some kind of a joke to inflate egos or something??

    • Mister Thursday

      I thought the same thing but when I compared them side by side, The agreement with the California Attorney General and the proposed agreement with the CPUC are different.

      Here are the requirements that T-Mobile must meet as part of its settlement with California:

      Make its low-cost T-Mobile Connect plans available in California for at least 5 years. These plans include 2GB of data for $15 per month and 5GB for $25.
      T-Mobile customers can keep their T-Mobile plans held in February 2019 for a total of five years.
      Project 10 Million, part of the New T-Mobile Un-carrier 1.0 move that will offer a free hotspot device and 100GB of free broadband internet per year for five years to 10 million low-income households. These households can also purchase select Wi-Fi tablets at cost.
      All current T-Mobile and Sprint employees in California must receive an offer of “substantially similar employment” with New T-Mobile. Also, the number of New T-Mobile employees in California will be equal to or greater than the current number of T-Mobile and Sprint employees.
      Open a new customer support center in Kingsburg, CA that will create approximately 1,000 new jobs.
      Increase participation in employee Diversity and Inclusion program to 60% within 3 years.
      Reimburse California and other states that participated in merger lawsuit for the costs of the investigation and litigation, up to a total of $15 million.

      • Shaun Michalak

        15/25 dollar plans was already agreed to right after I think Nevada agreed. Also, they even upped the plan one by saying that for each year you stay on it, it will add extra gigs of data to use.. This version was actually better then the 2gig they mentioned, without the increases.

        T-Mobile does not force people off of their old plans.. They entice them to willingly go to a new one. Also, they agreed to this months ago too.

        Project 10 million.,. Already went on record offering it, along with the 15/25$ plans.. There was no exclusions to either one, as long as you meet their financial requirements..

        Similar employment for the people working for them.. Agreed to months ago..

        The employees in both sections.., Already agreed to with the state of CA through the AG.

        When they talked about the $15 country wide plans, they also offered the diversity program too..

        I could be wrong, but If I remember right, they had the hole power backup for their towers done through the government, for them to agree.. I know I did see the agreement somewhere before for sure though.

        The only thing that is actually new, is the agreement to pay off their debts suing T-Mobile.. Notice how they put that at the very bottom as to hide it?? I guess them just putting down, pay us back for our costs to sue you would not look so good.

      • marque2

        Why should TMobile have to pay for a bogus lawsuit against them?

        • Shaun Michalak

          That one is easy.. It is because of green and corrupt government.. The thing is, Since the CPUC is ties in with the state Government in a way, the AG probably talked with the CPUC about making T-Mobile pay for their merger.. and if T-Mobile refused the AG, which they could do, and there is really nothing that the AG could do about it, the CPUC could very easily refuse T-Mobile the merger just in spite.. They probably had this all worked out as a backup before the hearings every too place.. Just think.. besides the AG suit, they are the only ones that never agreed to it clear up till the end of the law suit.. Coincidence?? Maybe, but I highly doubt it.. Just look at the times.. The CPUC said and did nothing, then suddenly the agreement was made to pay California’s end of the law suit, then suddenly they are all, “hey, they agreed to it so now we will talk about it”.. Seems to me that everything lines up suspiciously too much to me, to not have been setup ahead of time as blackmail against T-Mobile..

      • Red

        Gee, I wonder if anyone on the CPUC has ties to the Kingsburg local government?

    • Jay Holm

      Very honest statement sir!

  • vrm

    The 100 mbps Inernet to 99% of population is almost impossible to deliver. 2500 Mhz coverage of a large state like CA would be extremely difficult, esp in the mountains.

    • Trevnerdio

      I’ve gotten over 100 a few times with just their limited 600MHz rollout. Once they throw a bit more spectrum towards that, 100 should be achievable. After all, it is still over 6.5 years out.

  • riverhorse

    Forgot to require installation of giant underground berms to hold up the state when the next big Sodom-err earthquake hits.

  • Jay Holm

    A frinkin year later than it should have been!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wheww California is not playing

  • Willie D

    So which is it?
    Provide 5G wireless service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps to 99 percent of California’s population by the end of 2026.
    Provide 5G wireless service with speeds of at least 100 Mbps to 85 percent of California’s rural population, and speeds of at least 50 Mbps available to 94 percent of California’s rural population, by the end of 2026.
    Neither of which should be demanded by California, instead they should have required a mandatory 1gbps 5G speed. If TMo claims they can do it and be the only one to do it, then they need to put their money where their mouth is and do it. They lied and never deployed much of Gigabit LTE or LAA, both would actually exceed 100mbps 4 years ago. They ditched both. Now they only have to meet 5G with 100mbps ? No way. They should be required to deploy Gigabit LTE and LAA to at least 500mbps BEFORE California signs off on any other concession of this acquisition of Sprint. TMo has spend a good part of 10 years faking their way through with mega advertising but still has nothing much to show nationally for speed and coverage. Sorry but California will eventually regret their decision.