It's understandable when a small wireless carrier sells out to one the Big 4, but it's troubling when it happens to the wireless arm of a rural wireline co-op. They're the ones who are supposed to operate with the best interests of their members. Today, Plateau Wireless of New Mexico agreed to sell their cellular network and customers to Verizon Wireless. It really is the new economic reality for small telecoms, but it seems so short-sighted. The future is wireless, and now it looks like Plateau has mortgaged away their future. Those wireless channels could have been used for more than just phone calls. No matter. Money talks.
The good news is that life will probably get better for Plateau customers. While Plateau offers a wide variety of plans, most of them are overpriced. When Verizon takes over, everybody gets a new CDMA phone and a chance to upgrade to the iPhone. Previous Verizon conversions from GSM to CDMA have gone smoothly and we expect this one to be, too. Plateau was a real champion of the rural wireless user, even keeping analog operating because so few farmers could afford to convert their wireless sprinkler controls over to digital.
We wish Plateau's main parent, The ENMR Telephone Cooperative, well. We hope they'll still have some customers left to co-operate with. Most of us may have cut the cord.