Does Lifeline Need a Life Boat?

by Joan Marsh

Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory

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

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,…

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Walking in L.A.

by Joan Marsh

Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory

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…

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Making Access to Broadband A Reality for Low-Income Americans

by Joan Marsh

Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory

AT&T has long supported universal access to broadband for all Americans.  And through our Access from AT&T low cost broadband program, we are making broadband a reality for low-income consumers for $10 a month or less.  We believe that, at this time, Access from AT&T is a better way for AT&T to address broadband adoption than…

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Making Mobility Fund II Work

by Joan Marsh

Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory

As part of the Connect America Fund (CAF), the FCC created the Mobility Fund – a universal service support mechanism dedicated exclusively to mobile services – and in 2012 held the first Mobility Fund (MFI) auction. Since that time, the FCC has gained substantial experience with other CAF programs, including CAF I and II. So,…

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The FCC’s Half-Shoveled Sidewalk

by Hank Hultquist

Vice President of Federal Regulatory

Many communities have laws that require residents to shovel their walks within 24 hours of a snowstorm. Where I live, it’s become something of a game to take pictures of the unshoveled sidewalks of politicians or other prominent citizens and post them on the Internet. But the people who really get under my skin are…

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A 21st Century Safety Net

by Jim Cicconi

Former AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs, Retired September 2016

Tomorrow, the Senate Commerce Committee will convene a hearing on the future of the FCC’s Lifeline program.  Given the recent GAO report on the program and the FCC report on the broadband Lifeline trial, some folks might argue that Lifeline is irreversibly broken and incapable of accomplishing any credible goals.  While I would agree that…

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Critical of CAF in the 10th Circuit

by Hank Hultquist

Vice President of Federal Regulatory

Yesterday, more than two years after the FCC adopted transformational reforms of universal service and intercarrier compensation, critics of that order (which include AT&T on a single, discrete intercarrier compensation issue) finally had their day in court. And by all reports it was a long and exhausting day with more than two dozen lawyers arguing…

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Anchor Institutions or a Digital Bridge to Nowhere?

by Hank Hultquist

Vice President of Federal Regulatory

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…

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