AT&T Response to Hesse Remarks
On T-Mobile Merger, DoJ Lawsuit

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on September 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm

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

“The CEO of Sprint said the Department of Justice should block AT&T from merging with T-Mobile, but would have good reasons to instead allow Sprint to purchase them.  For months Sprint has spoken disingenuously about their motives for opposing AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile.  Now, Mr. Hesse’s public musings have made their motives much more clear.  That they would act in their own economic interest is not surprising.  That they would expect the United States Government to be a willing partner certainly is.”

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Want to Keep America Competitive?
Do the Math.

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on September 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm

By Carol Wilner, AT&T Vice President of Federal & National Third Party Affairs

As a former teacher, I know how hard it is to capture the imaginations of kids as they move through elementary school through high school and beyond, and that is why I am thrilled that our most creative minds are attacking the challenge.  We hope to help kids across the country get interested, involved and educated in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by bringing the innovation of AT&T Labs to the challenge.  President Obama has made this a key priority of his administration and has challenged us all – industry, government, academia – to work together to improve U.S. standing in STEM.  We are proud to help respond to that challenge. 

Our support for STEM is a natural extension of our commitment to help kids stay in school so they can succeed – the goal of our Aspire Program ($100M over four years).  When we were asked if we would help chart the course for ways to take advantage of the explosion of new mobile broadband opportunities through smartphones, tablets, digital textbooks, we welcomed the chance to contribute to charting the path forward.  All this new thinking will be focused on the Obama Administration’s new Digital Promise initiative, a new national center that aims to transform learning, particularly around technology, in America’s classrooms.

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Keeping Up with Technology…and Kids

Posted by: Brent Olson on September 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm

It almost goes without saying that most kids are savvier than their parents when it comes to being online.  But, in a first-of-its-kind research survey conducted by the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), in collaboration with Hart Research Associates, new data suggests that parents may finally be gaining ground.   FOSI announced the results of the survey today at the National Press Club and I had the opportunity to participate on a panel with representatives from Microsoft, Google and Verizon to discuss the encouraging results and the lessons we can draw from them in our efforts to make sure parents have the knowledge and resources they need to help keep their kids safe online. 

Sponsored by AT&T, Verizon, Google and Microsoft, the survey was conducted in July and involved more than 700 parents with kids between the ages of 8 and 17.  The survey addresses a wide variety of issues and I encourage you to read the results yourself to get the complete picture.  But a few are worth pointing out.  According to the survey, 86% of parents feel their child is “very” or “somewhat safe” online.  That statistic alone shows how far we’ve come from the day when the Internet was the “great unknown” that many parents feared.  As you’d expect, parents are still concerned about their kids’ safety online but overall most appear to be knowledgeable and feel empowered to do something about it.  In fact, according to the survey, 87% of parents say that they are aware of at least one type of parental control and more than 50% say they have used one.

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VoIP Confusion

Posted by: Hank Hultquist on September 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Reactions to the submission of the ABC Plan and the announcement of the unprecedented joint framework for reform have been overwhelmingly positive. I think it’s fair to say that virtually everyone agrees with the premises that we must transform universal service into a program focused on broadband, not POTS (plain old telephone service), and we must, at the same time, reform intercarrier compensation in a measured way that addresses arbitrage and reduces reliance on implicit subsidies. The ABC Plan accomplishes both objectives.

Nonetheless, some parties have raised concerns about certain components of the plan. One issue that has drawn some criticism is the plan’s proposal for the treatment of traffic exchanged between telecom carriers that originates and/or terminates with a VoIP user. – The plan proposes that such traffic be treated like other traffic exchanged between telecom carriers, except that intrastate access charges would not be applied.

Click here to read more.

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The Power to Password Protect

Posted by: Bob Quinn on August 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Once upon a time, with the increasing popularity of talking on the go, AT&T made it easier for our wireless subscribers to get access to their cell phone voicemail boxes without having to use their password when they were calling the mailbox from their mobile device.  For folks who do a lot of talking while traveling, that option proved safe and certainly more convenient (no entering four or more numbers into the telephone) for our users. 

However, given the advent and, unfortunately, the wide availability of sophisticated telephone number spoofing technology that allows people to “fake” the telephone number they are calling from, we are moving in a new direction.  We have long encouraged our subscribers who might have concerns about voicemail privacy to establish passwords and to set their voicemail preferences to require the use of a password whenever voicemail is accessed. 

Beginning today, however, we will automatically set the default voicemail setting to Password Protect on any new subscriber or new line added to an existing account.  In addition, beginning in early 2012, we will set the default voicemail setting to Password Protect anytime you upgrade or change your handset.  That means whenever you get a new device, you will be required to set a password and use it unless you affirmatively turn the feature off. 

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