The Heart of the Storm

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

I travelled to Houston yesterday with John Donovan and members of his leadership team to survey the damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey, which was unimaginable. We visited a central office (CO) that was swamped by six feet of water in the middle of a neighborhood where piles of debris flanked the curbs in every direction….

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Ensuring an Open Internet while Fostering Innovation and Investment

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Today, AT&T filed reply comments on the FCC’s proposal to restore the longstanding, bipartisan consensus that internet access service is an information service, a status that it enjoyed for all but two of the past 20 years. Opponents of returning internet access service to that status make no attempt to balance the costs and benefits…

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Mobility Fund II – a Win for Rural Consumers

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

While we take mobile broadband services for granted in urban environments, many rural Americans still don’t have access to wireless service to keep them connected to family, work and other vital services.   Travel just 75 miles from D.C., and chances are you could find yourself in a small community without wireless voice or broadband coverage….

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A Day of Reflection after the Day of Action

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Remember Dudley Do-Right?  He was the dim-witted but affable Canadian Mountie with the cleft chin who busied himself saving Nell from his arch enemy, Snidely Whiplash.  Snidely, of course, was always portrayed as a good nemesis should be – in a black coat and top hat, with a strangely menacing mustache and a greenish pallor. …

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Does Lifeline Need a Life Boat?

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Last week, the GAO issued a report on its investigation into the FCC’s Lifeline program, a program designed to deliver essential communications services to low income families but one that has grown at an alarming rate.  The report’s findings are both expected and surprising – expected in that the report highlights areas of weakness in…

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There Are Still Payphones?

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

The first payphone was installed in New Haven, Conn. in June 1880 with payphone usage peaking in 2000 when there were more than two million payphones in service. By 2009, AT&T had exited the payphone business and, by the end of last year, it was estimated that less than 100,000 payphones remained in service in…

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Returning to Sound Policy and Restoring Internet Freedom

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to begin the process of revisiting whether internet access services should be classified as “information services” or “telecommunications services” as defined by the Telecom Act.  From its inception, and throughout Republican and Democratic Administrations, internet access was treated as an information service.  It was this light touch approach…

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The Real Debate Over The Open Internet

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Yesterday, Chairman Pai announced that he would open a proceeding to revisit the question of whether Congress directed the FCC to regulate the internet using the regulatory framework adopted in 1934 for the monopoly-era telephone networks. To be clear, this proceeding is not about whether the open internet will continue to be protected and preserved….

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New Coat of Paint

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

Don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place. This is still the AT&T Public Policy Blog, a home for our thoughts on government policies and how they impact and shape the communications industry. We just decided we needed a new look. It’s been a little over seven years since we launched our blog. And…

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Delivering on the Broadband Promise to All Americans

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Regulatory & State External Affairs

If last week’s House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing on broadband infrastructure is any measure, there appears to be growing consensus that any new infrastructure bill should include dollars for broadband – arguably the most essential infrastructure for American progress and productivity. As Chairman Blackburn observed, “we are all tired of hearing stories about parents…

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