Lessons from the Super Bowl

Posted by: Joan Marsh on February 8, 2012 at 10:04 am

The Super Bowl.  There are many ways to calculate the scope and impact of the big game – both on and off the gridiron.  Here are just a few:

  • $15,343:  the highest price for a ticket to the big game as offered on the NFL’s website;
  • 11 million:  number of pizza slices Domino’s Pizza expected to sell Sunday;
  • $10.8 billion:  amount spent on beer for the game

But the numbers most important to us were the record-breaking numbers being generated by our customers in the stands.  From our very own John Donovan, AT&T’s senior executive vice president – technology and network operations, here are the numbers that we count: 

  • 215:  total data usage in GBs in Lucas Oil Stadium – the highest data usage we’ve ever seen from a single sporting event;
  • 74,204:  the number of calls our customers made on game day; and
  • 722,296:  the number of text messages sent and received.

These numbers are incredible and they tell the story of mobile devices and how integral they’ve become to our lives, our experiences and the way we communicate.  And one fact really stands out – our customers at the game created and uploaded more content than they consumed.  In fact, they uploaded nearly 40 percent more data than they downloaded – posting videos, pictures and messages for family and friends not lucky enough to join them in the stands.

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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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The Value of Universal Design

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on December 9, 2011 at 11:05 am

By Len Cali, AT&T Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy 

Did you know that one quarter of the U.S. population consists of people who are elderly, have a disability, or both?  And 30% of households in this country have a family member with a disability.  With our aging population, roughly 10,000 people turn 65 every day.  And this trend is expected to continue for the next two decades.  Think about that.  This is a significant number of Americans whose appetite for mobile broadband technologies is just as voracious as the rest of the population. 

This week, I had the privilege of delivering a keynote address at the M-Enabling Summit held here in Washington D.C.  This was the first industry event dedicated exclusively to exploring accessible and assistive mobile platforms to better serve seniors and persons with disabilities.  

Our philosophy at AT&T has always been to design products and services that benefit as many people as possible.  And our Universal Design policy provides our suppliers and internal stakeholders with a clear set of guidelines that enable us to bring accessible products and services to the marketplace.  

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AT&T Response to FCC Staff Report

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on December 1, 2011 at 10:25 am

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

We expected that the AT&T-T-Mobile transaction would receive careful, considered, and fair analysis.   Unfortunately, the preliminary FCC Staff Analysis offers none of that.  The document is so obviously one-sided that any fair-minded person reading it is left with the clear impression that it is an advocacy piece, and not a considered analysis.

In our view, the report raises questions as to whether its authors were predisposed.  The report cherry-picks facts to support its views, and ignores facts that don’t.  Where facts were lacking, the report speculates, with no basis, and then treats its own speculations as if they were fact.  This is clearly not the fair and objective analysis to which any party is entitled, and which we have every right to expect. 

All any company can properly ask when they present a matter to the government is a fair hearing and objective treatment based on factual findings.  The FCC’s report makes clear that neither occurred on our merger, at least within the pages of this report.  This has not been our past experience with the agency, which lets us hope for and expect better in the future.  Here are examples of what we are describing: 

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