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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Supporting Free Expression . . .
As Long As We Agree with You

Posted by: Joan Marsh on November 8, 2011 at 10:54 am

Media Access Project, or MAP, fashions itself a “non-profit law firm and advocacy organization” that works on behalf of the public “to promote freedom of expression.”  Indeed, one of MAP’s primary objectives is to protect the public’s First Amendment rights by ensuring “universal and equitable access to media outlets.” 

But apparently those rights extend only to speakers with whom MAP agrees. 

In yet another ironic twist in a deal that has been rife with them, MAP has now sent a letter to local broadcast station WUSA-9 to ask the station to “cease running commercials sponsored by AT&T relating to its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile.”  In short, MAP takes issue with the content of our ads, so they are asking a local broadcaster to censor them. 

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Ready, Fire…But No Real Aim

Posted by: Joan Marsh on October 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Yesterday, we were the recipient of another Public Knowledge nasty-gram.  You know the drill.  PK latches onto some straight-forward fact, misrepresents it to some extreme and lashes out with a press release or blog containing reckless and unfounded allegations.  

In this case, Public Knowledge is spinning AT&T’s attempt to sell its WCS C and D block spectrum licenses, which PK alleged was hypocritical and borderline sinister.  Let’s take a moment to reflect on the irony of this allegation.  PK has for months accused us of hoarding spectrum, and now they are indignant and outraged that we are trying to . . . (dramatic pause, insert snippet from Psycho soundtrack) . . . sell spectrum.  Even inside the beltway, that dog don’t woof. 

But more disturbing is how the allegation lays bare just how unknowledgeable Public Knowledge is about spectrum and wireless network deployments – that and how willing it is to mislead.  Let’s consider some basic facts about the WCS C and D blocks (which you won’t find in PK’s press release).  

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Bringing Healthcare
Into a 4G LTE World

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on July 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm

By Jeff Brueggeman, AT&T Vice President of Public Policy and Deputy Chief Privacy Officer

A recent AT&T television spot shows a video diagnosis between a patient in an ambulance and an emergency room doctor over a mobile tablet device.  It’s a powerful example of how broadband technology enables cutting-edge health care solutions.  After participating in a recent seminar on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Institute for e-Health Policy, I walked away further convinced that continued broadband build out, including the expanded next-generation mobile broadband network that will be enabled by the AT&T and T-Mobile combination, will promote e-Health initiatives nationwide. 

One of the key takeaways from this seminar is the trend of e-Health toward mobile devices, which enable medical information to be shared quickly and securely.  The challenge is to provide customers with a full range of high quality e-Health offerings.  Not only do customers desire High-Definition video conferencing with doctors, but they also want low-cost, ubiquitous, mobile services, like apps that help monitor and control chronic conditions and wireless-enabled devices to remotely monitor patient biometrics in the home and on-the-go.  AT&T’s challenge is building an intelligent and secure broadband network that meets all of these needs. 

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