“I Want my QoS!”

Posted by: Hank Hultquist on October 5, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I had the honor of participating in a terrific panel the other day at ITIF. The panel was about the idea of “managed services,” and much of the discussion focused on the value of QoS (quality of service) and prioritization on the Internet. Happily, it was a dogma-free zone.  But, unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped some from engaging in Tuesday morning quarterbacking, complete with bumper sticker critiques and verbal shell games, instead of debating this issue on substance.

The presentations reviewed some of the history of differentiation and prioritization, both in the context of the Internet and elsewhere. It was an incredibly educational experience and, if you missed it, I recommend that you pop some corn and watch the whole thing here.

I’d like to draw your attention in particular to the part of Scott Jordan’s presentation when he makes the point that our policy focus should be on how to make QoS available on the Internet to the applications that need it. Needless to say, this is a far cry from the view of some that we should preserve the “best-efforts” Internet in regulatory formaldehyde.

I thought Rob Atkinson closed the panel on just the right note when he proposed a new slogan for policy wonks – “I want my QoS.”

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Another Significant
Step Forward for BITAG

Posted by: Brent Olson on October 4, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Today, Dale Hatfield announced another significant milestone for the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG).  For the acronym junkies, you’ll want to know that after careful debate and deliberation, befitting a room of technical experts and engineers, the group agreed that the preferred pronunciation would be Bee Tag – perhaps a harbinger of the group’s collaborative spirit and out-of-the-box thinking to resolve thorny problems in an amicable way.

More importantly, for a consensus-building organization, the group has finalized its structure, and its operational and membership guidelines.

This is truly a first-of-its-kind entity and, while no doubt everyone involved is taking a bit of a leap of faith, speaking for AT&T, we are truly excited to be a part of this effort from the ground floor.  One thing we can probably all agree on is that broadband and Internet policy issues should begin with a strong foundation in and understanding of the underlying technology, given its inherent complexity and dynamic nature.  This is not to say that technology should be the sole determinant in making Internet policy, but it is generally safe to say that any policy decision made without the benefit of understanding how the technology works is likely doomed to fail and probably not without first doing some serious damage.  

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Game-Changing Solutions
For Small Businesses‪

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on October 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

By Cathy Martine, AT&T EVP-Small Business Solutions & Alternate Channels

Last week, President Obama signed the monumental Small Business Jobs Act, a major victory for small businesses that will help them to expand their businesses and create jobs–something sorely needed in these tough economic times.   AT&T sees this bill as a positive step for small businesses because of the tax relief it provides and simplified tax deductions for cell phones for small businesses.  Specifically, the Act removes wireless devices from the IRS’ listed property rules, which should make it easier for businesses to purchase cell phones for employee use.   That’s great news for businesses that are looking for ways to cut costs and run more efficiently. ‪

We recognize the importance of small businesses and we’re ready to support them. In fact, on the heels of this significant new law, we’re proud to announce that AT&T Capital Services, our financing subsidiary, is starting a new program to provide capital loans to small businesses that are aiming to deploy new wireless solutions or upgrade existing services.   I made the announcement last week at the annual conference for Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) in Washington, D.C.  

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AT&T Statement Regarding
Open Internet Legislation

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on September 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm

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

“After months of hard work, we were pleased to reach an agreement with Chairmen Waxman and Boucher on compromise legislation that would ensure the openness of the Internet while protecting investment – all without new, intrusive FCC regulation. While we are disappointed that it was not possible to introduce a bill with bipartisan support, we are mindful that these issues are important and complex, and that there was insufficient time to consider and act on our efforts. We are pleased that ranking members Barton and Stearns remain open to Congressional action on this issue, and pledge to work closely with them toward that end.

“This agreement demonstrates that when all parties act in good faith, and resist extreme voices, it is indeed possible to find a reasonable middle ground on the net neutrality issue.  We remain convinced that the proper course is for Congress to decide the scope of authority it wishes the FCC to have in this area. And we remain equally convinced that the regulatory overreach being urged on the FCC by some is a major mistake that would adversely impact jobs and investment, and would likely be overturned in court.”

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AT&T Statement on the Equal Access
To 21st Century Communications Act

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on September 29, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Background: Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act. The following statement may be attributed to Tim McKone, AT&T Executive Vice President of Federal Relations:

“AT&T is pleased with the passage of the Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act, which will greatly enhance the lives of people with disabilities by increasing access to advanced technologies and services.  We applaud Senator Pryor and Congressman Markey for shepherding this critical legislation through Congress.

“AT&T works closely with and supports the disability community on several fronts, including through the AT&T Advisory Panel on Access & Aging and through our efforts to promote the application of universal design principles in the development of new communications services.”

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