AT&T Statement on FCC’s Action on Mobility Fund II and CAF II Auctions

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on February 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm

The following may be attributed to Joan Marsh, AT&T Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory:

“While many of us take broadband services for granted, many Americans living in rural communities remain unconnected.  Low population density, topographical barriers, and significant geographical distances make it economically unviable to deploy broadband in many rural areas. Today, the FCC, under Chairman Pai’s leadership, took significant steps toward addressing the digital divide and bringing mobile and fixed broadband services to hard-to-serve rural communities.  The FCC’s actions today move both the Mobility Fund II and CAF II Auctions closer to reality and are a big win for rural Americans.  By making these items a top priority for 2017, Chairman Pai is delivering on his commitment to Universal Service and his pledge to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans.”

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Walking in L.A.

Posted by: Joan Marsh on February 21, 2017 at 10:42 am

When I was a student at UCLA, my car (that was uninsured for theft) was stolen. I suddenly found myself without basic transportation in Los Angeles. The logistics of getting to school and work became quite challenging, forget about attempting a doctor’s appointment or a social event. I became a slave to bus schedules and favors from friends. And, contrary to the admonition in the Missing Persons’ song that was popular at the time, I walked in LA.

After six months, I scraped together enough money to buy a friend’s 10-year-old dented Subaru mini-wagon. I loved that car as if it was a Cadillac. To this day, I remember my first day in the car driving down Santa Monica Boulevard feeling an enormous sense of freedom and opportunity. I learned that transportation in LA was not a luxury – it was a necessity.

This week, the FCC will consider two items central to delivering broadband – the 21st century necessity – to rural communities that have been left behind. That these items are moving forward quickly is no surprise given Chairman Pai’s enduring commitment to closing the digital divide, particularly in rural America. The FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF) and Mobility Fund Phase II (MF II) programs represent the best and perhaps only path to broadband deployment in these rural communities. And the MF II item now on circulation appears to take huge steps toward the adoption of a clear and fair framework that will increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of the program.

But the hard fact is that there are clear limits to the amount of subsidy money available in both programs, and tough policy cuts will need to be made on the breadth and scope of the services that will ultimately be delivered to these communities.

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AT&T Statement on FCC Wireless Bureau’s Decision to Close Sponsored Data Inquiry

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on February 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm

The following statement may be attributed to Joan Marsh, AT&T Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory:

“Today’s announcement is a win for the millions of consumers who are reaping the benefits of services made available through free data programs. We’re pleased that these innovative products will be able to continue to flourish in the marketplace.”

 

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TOPICS: Broadband, Consumers
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AT&T Statement on Protecting Customers’ Privacy Rights

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on January 27, 2017 at 7:22 pm

Today, in a petition to stay the Federal Communications Commission’s flawed privacy rules, several associations representing U.S. internet service providers (ISPs) released detailed principles, fully supported by AT&T, that reaffirm ISPs’ commitment to protecting customers’ privacy online.

The following statement may be attributed to Joan Marsh, AT&T Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory:

“AT&T has long been committed to a clear and transparent approach to protecting the privacy rights of our customers. Our approach is consistent with the established framework used by the Federal Trade Commission, which regulates the privacy practices of virtually all other companies operating in the internet ecosystem.

“As we previously noted, the framework adopted last fall by the FCC significantly departed from the FTC regime, most importantly in the treatment of web browsing and app history data. The FCC’s order failed to recognize that consumers want their information protected based on the sensitivity of the information, not the entity collecting it. The FCC’s divergent, and illogical, approach will serve only to confuse consumers, who will continue to see ads based on their web browsing history collected by edge providers even after being told by their service provider that their consent is required for use of such information.

“Any effective regulatory approach to privacy should protect information in a consistent manner based on its sensitivity, create uniform standards for the entire ecosystem and, ultimately, be enforced by a single government agency.”

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How the Public Safety Bureau
Paper Gets Cybersecurity Wrong

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on January 25, 2017 at 2:36 pm

By Chris Boyer, AT&T Assistant Vice President of Global Public Policy 

Last week, the FCC’s Public Safety Bureau issued a white paper on “Cybersecurity Risk Reduction” that raised several issues around the role of Internet service providers (ISPs) in cybersecurity.  While there are too many flaws in the paper to mention them all here, two themes are particularly problematic. First is the assumption that ISPs, like AT&T, don’t have the proper incentives to protect our network and customers from cyberattacks, and that there is some sort of unsubstantiated market failure that needs to be addressed.  Second is the notion that the FCC is in a position to regulate this fast-changing area.

The Bureau makes bald assertions but doesn’t provide any evidence that there are a lack of incentives for carriers to protect their networks from cyberattacks.  Instead it relies on already-debunked assumptions that there is inadequate competition in the broadband marketplace, and then leaps to the conclusion that ISPs therefore won’t invest in protecting their networks and customers from cyberattacks. This is not merely unsupported, it is absurd.

Cybersecurity is fundamental to what we do.  AT&T’s security experts are analyzing the traffic on our network 24/7/365 to understand and identify emerging threats.  We currently have eight global security operation centers and hold 179 security and privacy patents.  AT&T has a fleet of cybersecurity experts, and we are actively training, and re-training, employees to increase this pool of experts. 

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