Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on January 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm
Washington, D.C. – Today, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT) and Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced the Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 to reauthorize Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The following statement may be attributed to Tim McKone, AT&T Executive Vice President-Federal Relations:
“We commend Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Ranking Member Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp for their efforts to introduce a bipartisan bill that will update and renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). We believe the passing of this legislation will align 21st century trade agreements with 21st century TPA rules.
“Taking this critical step forward will strengthen our U.S trade policy to ensure new trade agreements provide us with the opportunity to further U.S. economic growth and investment. We look forward to working with the Congress and the Administration in order to advance U.S. trade agreements, as it will ultimately create new growth opportunities for the U.S economy.”
Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on December 20, 2013 at 3:17 pm
The following statement should be attributed to Wayne Watts, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel:
The debate about government surveillance programs and striking the right balance between protecting personal privacy and providing national security is a healthy one. It’s important that policymakers worldwide get it right so that people can continue to enjoy the benefits of technology and communications with confidence.
When it comes to governmental surveillance and requests for customer information, all companies are compelled to comply with the laws of the country in which they operate. Those laws not only govern what companies must do when they receive lawful government requests, but often limit what companies can say publicly about the requests. But here is what we can say:
- Protecting our customers’ information and privacy is paramount. Everywhere we operate, we go to great lengths to make sure our customers’ data is safe and secure. And we do so in compliance with the laws of the country where the service is provided.
- When we receive a government request for customer information, whether it’s a court order, a subpoena, or other method, we ensure that the request and our response are completely lawful and proper in that country.
- We work hard to make sure that the requests or orders are valid and that our response to them is lawful. We’ve challenged court orders, subpoenas and other requests from local, state and federal governmental entities – and will continue to do so, if we believe they are unlawful.
- We do not allow any government agency to connect directly to our network to gather, review or retrieve our customers’ information.
- We only provide wireless customer location data in response to a court order except in the rare cases in which an emergency compels us to do so. Examples include when law enforcement enlists us to locate a missing child or a kidnapping suspect, and they provide us assurance that a real emergency affecting human life exists.
Posted by: Bob Quinn on December 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm
The following statement may be attributed to Bob Quinn, AT&T’s Senior Vice President-Federal Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer:
“The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), under the leadership of Chairman Wheeler, has set a clear path for cementing our country’s state of the art communications future. While the transition to 21st century network technologies and communications services is well underway, the status report issued today by the FCC’s Technology Transitions Policy Task Force sets forth the plans for an Order at its January open meeting. That Order will address, among other things, the goals, schedule and various policy issues as the transition moves forward.
“We support the FCC’s ambitious Internet-Protocol (IP) agenda, particularly the FCC’s recommendation to bring service experiments or IP trials to fruition. These IP trials will give policymakers and all stakeholders the ability to observe and learn from the facts on the ground, rather than being frozen by false fears. Ultimately, the IP trials will ensure that no one is left behind as the country moves forward to an Internet-enabled future.
“We look forward to working cooperatively with the Commission as it moves in earnest to manage the transition to IP technologies and services.”
Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on December 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm
Today, the Energy & Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3674, the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act and H.R. 3675, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act. The following statement may be attributed to AT&T’s Executive Vice President-Federal Relations Tim McKone:
“I want to applaud Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden and Committee Ranking Member Henry Waxman and Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo for their leadership in moving these important pieces of legislation.”
“I also want to applaud Reps. Brett Guthrie and Doris Matsui for bringing creative solutions to our nation’s spectrum policy. We believe the legislation, while not practical for all government agencies, provides a workable alternative to those agencies that have stopped using or have found alternative systems for their wireless communications needs. The approaching spectrum crunch calls for unique proposals like this and others that will provide federal agencies the funding they need to research and develop new techniques and systems that will allow the agency to perform their mission. This bill’s approach directly incents agencies to clear spectrum for commercial auction, which will ultimately translate into economic growth, and, importantly, provide consumers with new and innovative mobile Internet services.”
“The FCC process reform bill modernizes FCC practices and procedures. These much needed institutional reforms will help arm the agency with the tools to keep pace with the Internet speed of today’s marketplace. It will also ensure that outmoded regulatory practices for today’s competitive marketplace are properly placed in the dustbin of history.”
“We look forward to working with Congress, the FCC, and all stakeholders to ensure the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act and the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act move forward to fruition.”
Posted by: Joan Marsh on December 9, 2013 at 10:00 am
In an op ed last week, CCA again called for auction limits to “prevent the two dominant wireless carriers from blocking competitors’ access to low-frequency spectrum.” The problem, according to CCA, is that AT&T and Verizon control a significant portfolio of low band spectrum. CCA also alleges we were “handed” our 850 MHz allocations “free of charge” (despite the fact that the vast majority of our current 850 MHz licenses were acquired for significant value on the secondary market).
Finally, CCA alleges that we “want to keep other cellphone carriers (including, presumably, CCA members) from getting access” to low band allocations. CCA specifically identifies three member companies – Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, Cellular One – that “are anxious to further expand in rural America, and they need low-frequency spectrum to do so.”
As with so many arguments in the high band/low band spectrum debate, these arguments are made without much reliance on facts. So, let’s look at some relevant facts, starting with the three member companies CCA identifies in support of their argument: