Facts not Fiat

Posted by: Joan Marsh on August 26, 2016 at 8:52 am

Today, AT&T filed its response to a July 27 Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) issued by the FCC for alleged violations of the lowest corresponding price (LCP) requirements of the E-rate program.  These rules say that in order to participate in the E-rate program, a carrier must charge a participating school, library or consortium no higher than the lowest price that it charges to any similarly situated non-residential customer for similar services.  To be clear, we wholeheartedly support the E-rate goals of providing schools and libraries with affordable broadband and telecommunications services. The Bureau’s arguments, however, that we applied the LCP rule incorrectly are factually wrong, they deviate from the FCC’s own rules and existing precedent, and they continue the Enforcement Bureau’s troubling pattern of “rulemaking through enforcement.”

The facts of the case aptly demonstrate that no actual FCC rules were violated.  First, the Bureau alleges that AT&T should have provided two school districts rates based on one-year contracts despite the fact that the schools were buying services on a month-to-month basis.  Contract term is a regular and routine distinction in rates, and the Commission has previously expressed the view that length of contract is a valid basis to price services differently among customers.   In this case the school districts at issue never asked for annual contracts, never signed annual contracts and did not behave as though they had annual contracts.

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TechGirls: My Day with the Next Generation of Innovators

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on August 14, 2014 at 4:16 pm

The following may be attributed to Amy Alvarez, AT&T Executive Director of International External Affairs:

For the past two years, I’ve had the privilege to host TechGirls – an international exchange program for girls from the Middle East and North Africa – at AT&T’s office in D.C. for a day of job-shadowing.

It’s one of my favorite days of the year. Getting to know these students and seeing their passion for technology is always inspiring.

TechGirls focuses on hands-on skills development in fields such as programming, mobile application building, web design, and more for girls between ages 15 and 17. It’s an initiative of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by Legacy International. Following the three week program in the U.S., the TechGirls will return home and give a presentation to their schools and communities about the experiences and what they learned, and carry out a community-based project as part of transferring those skills back to their respective communities.

This week, Aria from Lebanon and Christy of Palestine joined me for a day at the office.


TechGirls participate in a virtual Mobile App Creation workshop.

TechGirls participate in a virtual Mobile App Creation workshop.

AT&T relies on a highly skilled workforce and we’re working to help ensure students like Aria and Christy are exposed to STEM skills. It’s a driving factor behind our $350 million Aspire program, which is AT&T’s signature education initiative aimed to help young people graduate from high school ready for college and career success.

Learning how we can monitor our homes from our cars.

Let’s keep encouraging and empowering our young girls to be creative and curious so they can lead the next generation of innovators.

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Anchor Institutions or a
Digital Bridge to Nowhere?

Posted by: Hank Hultquist on October 18, 2013 at 11:29 am

One of the most important issues that the FCC should examine in considering a proposal to expand its E-rate programs, is the issue of “dark fiber.” Dark fiber refers to fiber optic cable that has not been activated, or “lit,” for use. Some people are saying that the FCC should expand E-rate by expending limited Universal Service Fund (USF) resources on limited-reach networks, i.e., networks that only reach the locations of E-rate customers, and do not provide broadband services to the community at large. But in a world where USF dollars are limited, and any expansion in E-rate could reduce funding available for other universal service objectives, it is critical that the FCC build synergies between its programs. E-rate should not become a digital bridge to nowhere.

Proponents of this plan argue that dark fiber could be a more cost-effective way for schools and libraries to afford high speed broadband service. But policymakers must be careful when analyzing this assumption. Fiber in the ground does not a reliable broadband service make. The Commission proposes to support the cost of electronics to light the fiber, but what about the considerable expertise required to setup and manage the ongoing operation of a sophisticated network? Are schools going to be expected to take on this role? Or will they need to hire consultants? Asking a school to become a telecom provider makes about as much sense as asking a telecom provider to open an elementary school. Our public schools already have the most challenging and important job in the country — educating our children. Does it make public policy sense to add owning and operating networks to that job? The answer cannot possibly be yes.

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Images from the NOYS 2013 Teen Distracted Driving Summit

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on September 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 19:    (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
AT&T’s Charlene Lake addresses the crowd at the 2013 NOYS Teen Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC.


CLake Thanking Signers 09-19-13

Lake thanking students for taking the pledge


ICW-Large-Group-Sept-19-Photo_591Pictured are: Brian Conklin, USAA; Reggie Shaw; Michael Miess, T-Mobile; Bill Barloon, Sprint; Melissa Digby, USAA; Coco Jones, Teen actress and recording artist; Melanie Ortel, Verizon; Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC; Sue Sampson, State Farm; Victor Mendez, Federal Highway Administration; Charlene Lake, AT&T; and Christopher Hart, NTSB.

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Encouraging the Next Generation of “TechGirls”

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on July 19, 2013 at 10:31 am

Please attribute the following blog post to Amy Alvarez, AT&T Executive Director, International External Affairs:

Women play a vital role in driving innovation at AT&T and we’re working to encourage more minorities and women to enter the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The shortage of women in the technology sector has been well documented. Women hold less than a quarter of STEM jobs in the U.S., even though women make up more than half of the overall workforce.


Many young women lack support when contemplating a career in STEM fields and mentoring can change that dramatically.


In an effort to encourage the next generation of female innovators, last week AT&T joined with TechGirls, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by Legacy International.  This international exchange program aims to empower young women from the Middle East and North Africa to pursue careers in the areas of science and technology.  Twenty-seven girls (ages 15-17) from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, and Yemen have travelled to the U.S. for the three-week program.


The TechGirls participate in a summer tech camp which gives the young women the opportunity to learn about technology fields such as programming, robotics, mobile application building, web design, video graphics, and 3D game design through a hands-on skills lab. Additionally, the students consider ways technology can address needs in their own countries. 


AT&T was proud to host three of the visiting students here in our Washington, D.C. office. The young women participated in a day of job shadowing to help build their confidence in pursuing technology-related careers and to show them the range of professions available. They met with several of AT&T’s women leaders, joined a Telepresence meeting with members of AT&T Labs to discuss potential mobile solutions for women in developing countries, and spent a few hours at our Innovation Center to see demos of the latest AT&T apps and services.


[Photo caption: TechGirl participants learn about the connected hospital room and connected business environments at AT&T’s Innovation Center.]


The young women we met were passionate about exploring careers in technology and developing leadership skills to be the voice of their generation. Highly-skilled workers with STEM education are increasingly important to our business – and to nearly every business – because STEM drives innovation and innovation drives our economies.


At AT&T, more than 90,000 women help lead a transformation in the way we connect with our world.  We are executives, engineers, marketers, sales people, finance leaders, attorneys – and mentors.  We were thrilled to provide these extremely bright and technologically savvy young ladies a glimpse of the exciting work we’re doing at AT&T.

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