AT&T Statement on Chairman Pai’s Process Reform Pilot Program

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on February 2, 2017 at 11:33 am

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

“Clear and transparent processes lead to better regulatory results. FCC Chairman Pai made clear his commitment to these goals with the voting process reform he enacted at his first Open Meeting.

“Today’s announcement underscores that commitment even further. The pilot program of releasing proposed rules to the public, before they are voted on by the FCC, allows for greater public engagement and ultimately better government actions.  We applaud Chairman Pai’s and his fellow Commissioners’ efforts to improve the agency’s transparency to produce better results.”

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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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AT&T Applauds President Trump’s Decision to Name Ajit Pai as New FCC Chairman

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on January 23, 2017 at 5:13 pm

The following statement may be attributed to Bob Quinn, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs:

“Today, on his first official day in office, President Trump designated Ajit Pai as the new FCC Chairman. No one is more prepared to reframe the agency to address the needs of this rapidly changing marketplace. Chairman Pai will work with his fellow Commissioners to quickly and decisively put back in place the commonsense regulatory framework necessary to support the President’s agenda for job creation, innovation and investment.

“Congratulations to Chairman Pai.  We look forward to working with him and his team and the FCC to support President Trump’s growth agenda.”

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Leaning Toward the IP Future

Posted by: Joan Marsh on January 19, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Three years ago, AT&T commenced two technology transition trials with the goal of identifying and resolving operational, technical, and public policy issues associated with migrating legacy TDM services to an IP future.

Now, three years later, AT&T has achieved many of the goals it established for the trials:  the trials accelerated and increased the dialogue around the impacts of an IP transition on different customer segments; AT&T grandfathered numerous business TDM-based services with no evidence of customer disruption; and perhaps most importantly, customers that voluntarily transitioned to IP services during the trials continued to receive exceptional service quality and customer care.  In sum, the trials were a success in no small part due to the participation of and dialogue with key stakeholders representing persons with disabilities, seniors, the public safety community, federal, state and local governments, policymakers and others.

During this same time period, the FCC was busy as well.  The Commission issued two orders establishing a framework and rules for technology transitions, including processes and standards for discontinuing retail voice and wholesale services, as well as updating certain requirements for retiring legacy facilities.  While AT&T has challenged certain aspects of those orders, the rules of the road for the IP transition have now been established and the path forged.  As a result, we announced today that we are terminating the two trials. 

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