T-Mobile asks California to waive 1,000 job mandate

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T-Mobile asked California on Tuesday to eliminate the proposed requirement that the company add 1,000 jobs in exchange for the state’s approval of its recent $26 billion merger with Sprint.

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The second largest wireless network argued in a petition that the California Public Utilities Commission doesn’t actually have the legal authority to mandate the creation of new jobs, and even if it did, it would be unreasonable to expect T-Mobile to do so in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The current economic crisis makes the imposition of a mandate to create additional jobs infeasible and unwarranted,” T-Mobile writes in the filing. “Such a material change in circumstances clearly warrants modification of the decision.”

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The CPUC has also required T-Mobile to provide average network speeds of 300 megabits per second to 93 percent of California by 2024. T-Mobile told the CPUC that the target date should actually be pushed back to 2026.

“The 2024 date was a proxy – used at the beginning of the regulatory approval process in 2018 – for the period ending six years after closing, which occurred in 2020,” a spokesperson for T-Mobile explained to FOX Business.

The CPUC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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T-Mobile said Tuesday that it is still committed to having the same number of T-Mobile employees in California three years from now as it has right now.

“Our goal is to ensure the CPUC’s final Decision aligns with what was presented in our proceeding and clearly articulates the benefits this merger will deliver to Californians,” the company said in a statement to FOX Business. “We appreciate the willingness of the Commission’s staff and the Commissioners to work with us to resolve our outstanding concerns and clarifications.”

It has been a rough couple of months for T-Mobile since its merger with Sprint.

The company let go of hundreds of Sprint employees last week. There was also a widespread outage affecting millions of customers that lasted roughly 12 hours last week. The company explained that it was caused by a “leased fiber circuit failure from a third-party provider.” Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai said he is launching an investigation into the outage.

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