AT&T Statement on Univision
Blocking U-verse Customers

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on March 6, 2016 at 11:41 am

The following may be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs:

“It’s unfortunate the owners of Univision not only have blocked U-verse customers from seeing their channels, but also have stooped to despicable allegations in an effort to extort an outrageous price increase – an increase which ultimately will come at the expense of all our customers, including Univision viewers. Spanish-language channels are important to us and our customers. AT&T’s focus is to offer a wide range of content for our Hispanic viewers, while keeping cost increases, and bills, down as much as possible.  If Univision really cares about their audiences, they will immediately restore their channels to U-Verse homes while we figure this out. Go to to learn more.”


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TOPICS: Cable, Consumers
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Congress, Not the Courts,
Should Decide Apple Case

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on March 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm

By David McAtee, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Today, AT&T filed a “friend of the court” brief with the magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, urging the court to vacate its order requiring Apple to take some fairly extraordinary steps to assist the FBI in unlocking the iPhone used by one of the perpetrators of the San Bernardino shootings.

This case involves two interests that all Americans share: keeping our citizens safe and protecting our personal privacy.  As a company committed to both, the critical issue to AT&T is whether those interests will be balanced on an ad hoc basis by judges presiding over individual cases or by Congress providing a clear, uniform legal framework for all participants in the new digital economy.  We felt it important to add our voice to this conversation because we believe that, as a matter of law and policy, Congress is the right body to decide this balance.

Technology has changed dramatically since Congress last addressed these issues in 1994.  Then, Congress focused on what telecommunications carriers like AT&T may be required to do to assist law enforcement and national security officials.  Now, the government seeks data stored by many other types of companies, from device manufacturers to social media, search, and applications companies, among others.  But our laws have not kept pace with technology.

Only Congress can address these issues in a sufficiently comprehensive, uniform, and fair manner.  All of us—the government, the courts, consumers and companies—need clear and uniform rules that can be produced only through a broadly-informed, transparent and accountable legislative process.  In the meantime, we should not consider the All Writs Act, which merely authorizes the judiciary to enforce existing law, as a substitute for that process.

Like all Americans, we were deeply saddened by the tragic events of San Bernardino.  Without question, the government should use every lawful means to investigate those crimes, and that includes compelling Apple’s cooperation to the full extent permitted by law.  In this case, however, the government seeks more than what can be supported under the law as it is written today.  The solution is for Congress to pass new legislation that provides real clarity for citizens and companies alike.

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AT&T Statement on Mobile Now Act

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on March 3, 2016 at 2:10 pm

The following statement may be attributed to Tim McKone, AT&T Executive Vice President of Federal Relations:

“AT&T commends Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson on the Senate Commerce Committee’s approval of the MOBILE NOW Act.  This bipartisan bill is a step in the right direction – ensuring more spectrum is made available for commercial use and reducing the bureaucratic red tape that often delays broadband buildout.  We look forward to continuing to work with the Chairman and the entire Committee as this bill moves forward.”

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C’mon FCC, Take Your
Thumb off the Scale

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on February 23, 2016 at 11:57 am

By Caroline Van Wie, AT&T Assistant Vice President-Federal Regulatory

The FCC initiated a proceeding to review special access competition way back in 2012 for which it gathered a huge amount of data from incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) and others (a whopping 120 million records making up more than 15 Gigabytes of data).  After reviewing this data, late last month interested parties submitted economic analyses about the state of competition in the special access marketplace.

So as not to disclose any single company’s confidential data (like specific facility locations, which we agree must be kept under lock and key, subject to the FCC’s highly confidential rules), the analysts aggregated the granular, company-specific data to provide high level, yet accurate, snapshots on the state of competitive deployment both nationally and in specific markets.  A typical result would look something like this:  In the San Jose market, X% of census blocks with special access demand are served by non-ILEC competitors.  Y% of San Jose businesses are located within census blocks where competitive providers are present.  Z% of those census blocks have two or more competitive providers.

By the way, this is exactly the type of information the government and tech companies use routinely.  When the government issues its Census Report, it aggregates numbers with the explicit understanding that aggregating data makes it anonymous.  Google does the same thing when it aggregates user data, by, for example, providing traffic data with its Google Maps app.  Indeed, the FCC itself regularly publishes reports that utilize aggregate data to publicly discuss the state of mobile competition as well as broadband deployment.  For instance, in the 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the FCC reported almost identical types of statistics, such as the percentage of U.S. households by the count of available fixed broadband competitors.  And the FCC makes public a store of carrier-specific statistics in its annual Mobile Wireless Competition Report.  In fact, the FCC has not had any qualms about publicly using aggregate revenue and market-share statistics based on this very same special access data when doing so suited its own needs.

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AT&T Statement on FCC’s
Set-Top Box Proposal

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on February 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm

The following may be attributed to Bob Quinn, AT&T Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory:

“A visionary might have started a proceeding today to ask how the consumer driven application economy could accelerate placing the set-top box onto the same path to the technology scrap heap as Black & White Televisions,  Betamaxes, VCRs, iPods and Razr phones.  The focus of that proceeding could have been how to eliminate the set-top box while protecting content creators’ incentives to develop interesting programming, building upon and growing the base of minority programming which exists today, and ensuring that what consumers watch on television remains none of Google’s business.  Instead, the FCC launched a proceeding that could cement the set-top box in your home, with little to no minority programming, collecting data on every program you watch to feed Google’s advertising engine.

“As an added bonus, the FCC will have to establish an enormous regulatory infrastructure to create and oversee this new technology mandate that involves the creation of new technology standards and standards bodies.

“Talk about a missed opportunity. While consumers are embracing an apps-based approach that offers a variety of content on more than 450 million devices, the FCC has chosen to go down a path that threatens the very competition and innovation that has led to this vibrant marketplace.  Concerns over this proposal have been expressed by both Democratic and Republican Members of Congress and a broad mix of stakeholders, including cable and satellite companies, broadcasters, independent and minority content creators and tech companies.  As this proceeding continues, we hope these concerns are given the weight they deserve and the Commission allows consumers and not Google to continue to drive the market.”

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