The Need for Flexibility
In Broadband Pricing

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on May 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm

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

“FCC Chairman Genachowski made an important statement today in support of usage-based pricing.  This isn’t the first time the chairman has recognized the need for flexibility in broadband pricing, but his words today come at a time when one company has been pushing the FCC to impose a particular pricing model on Internet service providers.  Under that company’s proposal, the costs of providing their service would be borne by all consumers, not just those who choose to use their service.  This would be fundamentally unfair, and that’s why Chairman Genachowski’s pushback is significant.  

“The Chairman seems to recognize that the broadband market is in fact working and benefiting consumers.  Innovation is booming and choices are proliferating.  As consumer tastes and needs evolve at a fast pace, companies are experimenting with new services, and new pricing models, tailored toward their customers.  This is how free and competitive markets should work, especially in the Internet space.  In short, nothing is broken in this market, certainly nothing that government needs to intervene and fix.  That’s why it’s worth commending when a government official recognizes the need for regulatory humility, especially when it comes to the Internet.  Those who want to impose legacy telephone regulations, or the business agenda of their particular company, on a dynamic Internet industry are not serving the interests of consumers or our country.  If little else is clear in our economy today, one thing sure is– that the Internet is working quite well today and has no need for such intrusions.”

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AT&T Statement on Consequences of the Spectrum Crunch

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on May 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm

The following is in response to comments made today by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at the International CTIA Wireless Show. It can be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President, External and Legislative Affairs.

“The need for more spectrum is an industry-wide issue and problem.  The merger AT&T proposed last year was all about creating more capacity by combining the spectrum holdings and networks of two companies.  The FCC was within its rights to withhold its approval.  But it is incorrect when it denies the impact such decisions have on the price of wireless services.

“Basic economics, and the law of supply and demand, apply to the wireless industry as to all others.  In the case of wireless, without additional capacity, which would have been created by our transaction, prices rise.  This simple point was made last week by AT&T’s Chairman.

“Last year, when Chairman Genachowski spoke at the CTIA convention he made essentially the same point, saying,

‘If we do nothing in the face of the looming spectrum crunch, many consumers will face higher prices—as the market is forced to respond to supply and demand….’

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TOPICS: FCC, Spectrum
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AT&T on Modernizing Communications Laws

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on May 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm

In case you missed it, the Progressive Policy Institute this week held a conference here in Washington at the National Press Club on the economic implications of the wireless boom. AT&T’s Jim Cicconi delivered remarks that focused on the outdated regulations that stand to affect the growth and innovation of the wireless market. Check out the videos below to hear more from Jim on modernizing current communications laws to better fit the ever changing marketplace, and other panelists talking about the wireless boon.

Here, Jim talks about how the regulatory structure in this country is designed to oversee a wireline voice monopoly, which does not exist today.

And here, Jim talks about how the Telecom Act is out of date and that there’s a need to take a fresh look at modernizing the function of the FCC  as well.

Roger Enter of Recon Analytics discusses his new study, “The Wireless Industry: The Essential Engine of U.S. Economic Growth,” and the impact the wireless industry has on job creation and GDP.

Tom Hazlett, Professor of Law & Economics at the nearby George Mason University, talks about the wireless innovation wave and that it is just beginning.

Mike Mandel, Chief Economic Strategist of the Progressive Policy Institute, addresses how while investment by the government has been falling in recent years, investment by wireless providers is very strong.  Are they “investment heroes”?

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Clips from FSF’s
Telecom Policy Conference

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on March 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Jim Cicconi

On Tuesday, AT&T’s Jim Cicconi spoke at the Free State Foundation’s Telecom Policy Conference and addressed government regulation of the Internet.  He discussed the steps some international policymakers have taken to impose onerous regulations on the industry.  And while President Obama and his Administration has strongly opposed such measures, the US Government’s policies don’t always synch up with the actions of the Federal Communications Commission.  These conflicts are not lost on international policymakers, according to Cicconi, and we cannot succeed with a “do as I say, not as I do” approach.  “Getting more Internet infrastructure in this country should be our Government’s number one priority, whether it’s wireless spectrum or last-mile fiber,”

said Cicconi.

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AT&T Statement on T-Mobile
Closing Seven Call Centers

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on March 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

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

“Yesterday, T-Mobile made the sad announcement that it would be closing seven call centers, laying off thousands of workers, and that more layoff announcements may follow. Normally, we’d not comment on something like this. But I feel this is an exception for one big reason– only a few months ago AT&T promised to preserve these very same call centers and jobs if our merger was approved. We also predicted that if the merger failed, T-Mobile would be forced into major layoffs.

“At that time, the current FCC not only rejected our pledges and predictions, they also questioned our credibility. The FCC argued that the merger would cost jobs, not preserve them, and that rejecting it would save jobs. In short, the FCC said they were right, we were wrong, and did so in an aggressive and adamant way.

“Rarely are a regulatory agency’s predictive judgments proven so wrong so fast. But for the government’s decision, centers now being closed would be staying open, workers now facing layoffs would have job guarantees, and communities facing turmoil would have security. Only a few months later, the truth of who was right is sadly obvious.

“So what’s the lesson here? For one thing, it’s a reminder of why “regulatory humility” should be more than a slogan. The FCC may consider itself an expert agency on telecom, but it is not omniscient. And when it ventures far afield from technical issues, and into judgments about employment or predictions about business decisions, it has often been wildly wrong. The other lesson is even more important, and should be sobering. It is a reminder that in government, as in life, decisions have consequences. One must approach them not as an exercise of power but instead of responsibility, because, as I learned in my years of public service, the price of a bad decision is too often paid by someone else.”

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