Some of the biggest names in the Internet, technology and venture capital industries wrote to the FCC on Monday in support of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA, arguing that the $39 billion transaction offers the fastest and most efficient means of expanding scarce wireless broadband capacity in the face of rapidly-growing demand. The filing of separate letters from a coalition of eight technology and web firms led by Microsoft and from ten venture capital firms that include Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Partners follows the FCC’s receipt of petitions last week from Sprint Nextel and other opponents who argue that the proposed merger would create a duopoly that would raise prices and hinder competition. Facebook, Yahoo, Oracle, Research-In-Motion and Qualcomm are also among the signatories of the letters delivered on Monday. Observing that “consumer demand for wireless broadband is dramatically increasing and our wireless networks are struggling to keep pace,” the Microsoft group advised the agency that “policymakers must give meaningful consideration to AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile as a means of addressing . . . near-term broadband capacity needs.” In calling for merger approval, the group noted that that combined entity “will be able to leverage a larger network of cell sites allowing greater reuse of spectrum and increasing the wireless broadband capacity of the network.” While citing AT&T’s plan to migrate the T-Mobile network to fourth-generation long-term evolution (LTE) technology as part of AT&T’s goal of “offer[ing] LTE-based wireless broadband to 97.3 percent of the U.S. population,” the group also pointed to AT&T’s pronouncement that such LTE deployment “will bring significant benefits to residents of rural areas and smaller communities where the benefits of real-time video and similar capabilities are most urgently needed to fill gaps in physical infrastructure.” Minority groups also urged the FCC to approve the transaction, with groups such as the NAACP, Hispanic groups, and the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council touting the potential benefits of the merger for minority employees and communities.