Sustainability, Community and Business

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on November 24, 2010 at 12:53 pm

By Charlene Lake, AT&T SVP of Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer

In Europe last week, I met with inspirational people who are making an impact on their communities.

In London, a main issue of concern for those I met with is the high-school dropout rate. Early school leavers (as is the UK term) who are not in employment or training represent 9.2% of 16-18 year olds. This has a direct impact on the readiness of the future workforce.

I had a valuable discussion with a group of people working on different early school leaver initiatives – local community projects such as Urban Synergy, nationwide organizations such as the Prince’s Trust and initiatives with international activities or aspirations such as City Year and Debate Mate. Common success factors emerged:  one-on-one engagement; mentoring and using role models; engaging families through activities with young people rather than in parallel; and focusing on life skills. And common challenges:  scaling up small impactful projects so that they make inroads into the overall problem; generating and measuring meaningful data so that resources are directed to the better initiatives.

There is agreement that business is crucial in improving the early school leaver problem. Introducing young people to the world of work through job shadowing or internships opens up a realm of possibilities. But the belief is that the role of business extends beyond that – a company’s involvement in a project has knock-on benefits:  it draws the involvement and financial attention of stakeholders – industry peers, government, even the company’s supply chain.

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Miracle on Special Access Street

Posted by: Frank Simone on November 23, 2010 at 11:24 am

If you’ve spent any amount of time in Washington, D.C. telecom circles you no doubt have heard AT&T shout from the roof tops that the marketplace for special access services is very competitive.  But the NoChokePoints coalition has sought to discredit these claims by characterizing them like Kris Kringle’s in the holiday movie favorite Miracle on 34th Street, as the ramblings of an insane old man who should be institutionalized.

So, it was with great interest that I read the other day that one of the leading member companies of this coalition was boasting that they receive these services from fourteen different providers.

“T-Mobile now uses 14 different backhaul providers, including local exchange carriers, Ethernet wireless providers and cable companies. Economics is the main reason T-Mobile is using so many providers…[and] T-Mobile had to work with smaller providers to get the right mix of technology and price.”

Yes, fourteen.  Twelve drummers drumming plus two.  Ten lords a-leaping plus four.

At that moment, I understood Judge Henry X. Harper’s excitement when proof that Kris Kringle is Santa Claus was presented to the Court.  

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The Women of the FCC

Posted by: Joan Marsh on November 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Last Thursday, I had the privilege of attending the Alliance for Women in Media event, “Honoring the Women of the FCC:  Past and Present.”  AT&T was the premier sponsor of the program which included a moderated discussion between former and current FCC Commissioners Mimi Dawson, Susan Ness, Deborah Taylor Tate, Gloria Tristani and Meredith Atwell Baker.  And what a discussion it was.  The Commissioners past and present shared their insights and perspectives, commented on issues about which they are passionate and offered an opinion or two.  And, by the way, they all looked marvelous.

The dialogue was free flowing and covered questions about how being a woman shaped the panelists’ views on substantive issue.  While most agreed that it did not have a direct impact on their deliberative processes, it often did aid in their understanding and empathy on issues.  The Commissioners also answered questions related to diversity in the media and challenges faced by female candidates for nominated or elected positions.  

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Shedding Light on a Few Things

Posted by: Bob Quinn on November 17, 2010 at 6:06 pm

A little over a year ago, AT&T’s unwieldy privacy policy, which actually numbered 17 different policies, and came in at 37,000-plus words, was shrunk to one policy, at a more svelte 8,000’ish words.

I tell you this because, as some of you know, the duties of chief privacy officer were added to my day job about two months ago.  And our priority is to continue to build upon the success and leadership we have forged under my missed predecessor Dorothy Attwood in giving consumers more control over their personal information.

The first step for living up to a consumer control framework is to be vigilant about telling consumers, in clear language, what information we have about them, how it is being used and shared, and how we protect their information.  To that end, today we are updating our privacy policy with some further clarifications about our practices.

As we did with the initial launch, we will preview the updated policy for 45 days to gather feedback from our customers before it goes into effect.  Based on that feedback, we may further refine the policy.

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TOPICS: Privacy
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Helping Families Stay Safe Online

Posted by: Brent Olson on November 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Last week, we launched our new Smart Controls website in conjunction with the Fourth Annual Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) Conference.   While my colleague highlighted all the great tools the new site has in place to help consumers manage their bills, I want to follow-up by pointing out its broader significance for parents and families.

Smart Controls includes tools for parents to help make sure their families are safe whether they are using our broadband, TV or mobile services.  The site combines easy-to-find information about AT&T’s own safety and control tools with access to resources from a wide range of third party experts, all under a single online portal that makes it simple for our customers to find what they need quickly and efficiently.  Check it out here.

I, along with my colleague, Jeff Brueggeman, had the pleasure of not only attending but speaking at the FOSI Conference, which was held in Washington, D.C.  Jeff appeared on a panel focused on privacy and the unique issues facing parents and families with new location-based services.  My panel focused on the mobile future and its broader impact on kids and online safety.  

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