Meeting Consumer Demand
for advanced Internet-based services
New Connections on the Horizon for West Delray Beach community
By Joe York, AT&T President — Florida, Puerto Rico & US-VI
As you may know, AT&T has announced the selection of the West Delray Beach area of Florida as one of two locations nationwide for a multi-year technology trial to be overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This pilot program will shape AT&T’s efforts to develop new products and processes in the West Delray Beach community — and nationally. The announcement is in response to a request by the FCC to companies to submit proposals to conduct trials where connections and services would be rolled out and offered to customers.
In greater numbers, and with greater frequency than ever before, consumers and businesses are choosing to use newer technologies and devices that enable more choices in how they connect: video, email, text and voice. These connections not only benefit consumers, but also communities and important community institutions, including schools, hospitals, police and fire stations, and businesses. Students can access education resources on the other side of the country or world; first responders can have the best real-time information going into emergency situations; and businesses can reach out to and expand in new markets on the other side of the state and other side of the globe.
This trial presents an important opportunity for Floridians to gain access to new technologies and products, while ensuring that the essential values of universal service, competition, public safety, reliability and consumer protection are preserved. Our goal is to get our customers the most powerful new technologies while maintaining the reliability they have come to expect from us.
Connecting West Delray Beach
Last week, the FCC discussed and reviewed AT&T’s proposal to move forward with our multi-year trials in the West Delray Beach area of Florida and in Carbon Hill, Alabama. These multi-year trials will help us connect our customers and these communities to more of the products and services they are demanding using newer, Internet-based networks.
The trials – and the FCC’s review – are both an acknowledgement and confirmation that consumer demand is changing. Floridians are using tablets, laptops, cell phones and home phones (that may look, feel and act like the phones we’ve used for many years but are actually Internet-based), to talk, text, Skype and email. And AT&T and others are investing and innovating to develop and make available newer products, services and technologies to meet consumer demand, and to strengthen and expand the network that makes these devices work.
These trials will help us bring this network, and the products and services it fuels, to more people and to provide connections that are reliable and dependable. The trials will provide us with the opportunity to work with customers who have not yet transitioned to our new network to make sure they are able do so safely and seamlessly. And we are committed to moving forward in a way that will ensure that the values of universal service, competition, public safety, reliability and consumer protection are preserved.
Since March, we have been out in the West Delray Beach area meeting with residents, customers, elected officials and others about the proposed trials. Listening to your feedback and suggestions has been incredibly helpful, as has hearing your questions and concerns. We know that the trial, once it gets underway, will be a multi-year process. And we are at the very beginning of this process. We don’t have all of the answers yet, but we are committed to working with our customers, with the West Delray Beach community, with the FCC and with others to answer all questions and develop and implement the solutions that best meet your needs.
These trials also provide a forum where we can listen to and learn from our customers and others to determine what products, services and solutions are needed and how best to answer questions and address concerns. We at AT&T have made a commitment to continuing to meet the values of universal service, competition, public safety, reliability and consumer protection. And these trials will occur while the traditional telephone network is still in place.
We will continue to be out in the West Delray Beach area, meeting with customers, answering questions and providing information. Our customers are the most important part of this process – and I look forward to seeing you, and hearing your experiences and insights, in the time to come.