AT&T Statement on ‘Cramming’

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on April 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm

The following statement may be attributed to an AT&T spokesperson:

“AT&T takes the problem of unauthorized third-party charges, or cramming, very seriously.  We provide our customers with tools to understand and manage legitimate third-party charges on their phone bills and we have also put in place an aggressive anti-cramming program that includes strict requirements for customer authorization of third-party charges, monthly tracking of cramming complaints and audits of third-party billers.  In addition, last month, we announced that we would limit third-party charges on wireline bills to certain types of charges that are less likely to create opportunities for cramming.  The industry as a whole has worked cooperatively with each other, as well as the FCC, to identify ways to help customers effectively manage their bills.  And we are committed to continuing this work”

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TOPICS: Consumers, FCC
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Aspire to Success

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on March 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

By Charlene Lake, AT&T Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer

American consumers are in the midst of a communications revolution, and AT&T is proud to be playing a role in it.  Powerful devices and services keep consumers connected around the clock and increase the velocity of commerce in this country.

The very viability of our nation’s communications structure and, indeed, the viability of our business at AT&T depend on communities of customers and employees who have the ability to make the best use of the tools we have to offer.  After all, it takes people to power the technology that unleashes great change in this country. 

That’s why we place such an emphasis on supporting education. AT&T’s Aspire initiative seeks a nation  where every student graduates high school ready for a successful college career, or ready to feed the talent pipeline to American business and become productive members of society.   

It’s been an inspiration to watch how our original $100 million Aspire program has impacted more than 1 million students across the nation in the past four years. This was done by working with more than 1,000 excellent community and national organizations who like us, understand how important it is to improve graduation rates.   

A big part of our impact came through our employees, who worked with Junior Achievement to expose 100,000 students to the real-life world of business through Job Shadow. All across the company our employees opened the eyes of students to the possibilities of their future.  Some students rode elevators for the first time. Some who had never been far from their neighborhood got to experience live Telepresence video conferencing connections with students all across the country, and some who believed they were limited in career options realized they could be writers, or engineers or CEOs.  And all got to see and hear how their classroom education had real relevance and impact to their future life success.  Our employees made a difference in the lives of thousands of students all across the country.

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The Value of Public-Private Partnerships

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on March 15, 2012 at 8:40 am

By Jim Bugel, AT&T Assistant Vice President, Public Safety and Homeland Security

Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that AT&T is the first company to be certified under the Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Program, or PS-Prep, which is a partnership between DHS and private entities and is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

We take very seriously our commitment to disaster preparedness and we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in this area.  We were excited to participate in this voluntary program and we’re incredibly proud to be the first private company to receive certification under the DHS-developed standards.  We couldn’t agree more with Secretary Napolitano that the private sector indeed plays a critical role in our country’s disaster preparedness efforts and abilities to respond accordingly.

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Spectrum Auctions and
Lessons Learned

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on February 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm

As reported in today’s Communications Daily, former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt concedes Commission mistakes in the spectrum auction that involved NextWave, yet he is still pushing for FCC discretion in future spectrum auctions.  The following may be attributed to Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs:

“As Reed admits, Congress gave the FCC discretion in the PCS C Block auction, and it used that discretion in a way that resulted in an auction that was a disaster for the industry and for the Treasury.  And the flaw, in our view, was not simply a function of installment payments.  It was the decision to have a closed versus an open auction.  Our point is that an auction should be open to all competitors, not just to those hand picked by the FCC.  Reed was a good and diligent chairman, and it’s characteristic of him that he’d acknowledge a mistake.  But Congress has every right to learn from those mistakes, and to insist the FCC not repeat them.  That’s what the House spectrum bill does.  The FCC should get behind it and put the interests of the country first so that we can quickly move forward to address the looming spectrum crisis that we all agree is the biggest threat to innovation, job creation and growth for the wireless industry.”

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AT&T Response to Former FCC Chair’s
Remarks on Spectrum Auctions

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on February 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs, responds to comments made by former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt regarding spectrum auctions:

“Despite Reed Hundt’s recollection, the FCC’s track record on auctions is not an unbroken string of successes.  In fact, Hundt’s tenure saw perhaps the biggest single fiasco of this sort, the PCS C Block auction.  In that situation, the FCC used its discretion in a way that set aside valuable spectrum for ‘designated entities’, and excluded otherwise qualified companies from bidding.  Over half of the 493 licenses from that auction were later returned to the government for non-payment, and the licenses of the largest winner, NextWave, were tied up in bankruptcy litigation for years.  In that case, the FCC’s use of its ‘discretion’ ended up costing the U.S. Treasury billions, and left vitally needed spectrum unused for years.   

“No one is suggesting the FCC’s conduct of auctions be micro-managed.  But Congress – not the FCC – sets policy, especially when it directly impacts revenue needed for deficit reduction.  And there is no more fundamental policy point than whether a spectrum auction should be open or closed.  Congress has every right to tell the FCC it should not be picking winners and losers in the wireless market, or using its ‘discretion’ to tilt the playing field. We need open auctions where every competitor has a fair chance to participate, and that is what the House bill provides.”

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