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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.

Read more about the National Technology Trial 



Reaching Out to West Delray Beach Area Residents: An Update

Posted by Joe York on May 15, 2015

When I talk with customers across Florida, many of them tell me how they use technology to make their lives easier and connect to their loved ones. It used to be that products and devices connected us to a place. If you were in Miami and wanted to talk to your grandparents in Minnesota, you called their home phone. Today, newer technologies and products link us to places, people, ideas and information. Whether you are in Miami, Mississippi or Munich, you can connect via call, video chat, social media, text or send photos. Friends in different cities can play video games together online; brothers and sisters can share the suspense of their favorite TV shows via text; family members separated by miles (or oceans) can celebrate birthdays and other special events using real-time video chats.

At AT&T, our goal is two-fold: to bring these newer products and technologies to more Americans, and to make sure that these newer connections are just as seamless and reliable as the older ones. To make this happen, last February we announced the selection of two locations where technology trial programs would be conducted. The West Delray Beach area of Florida is one of these. The technology trial that takes place here provides us with the opportunity to work with and hear from our customers and community members about their experiences with our products and services, to share information and to answer questions.

Since last February’s announcement, we have been reaching out to our customers in the West Delray Beach area to discuss the transition with them. We’ve held a number of events, participated in community and association meetings, and worked with local organizations to answer questions, provide information, and talk about what this all means for our customers. And we have focused our efforts not only on our residential and business customers in the area, but also on making sure that we are communicating with seniors in the area and consumers with disabilities.

To reach out to local seniors, we have partnered with the Delray Alliance and with local homeowners associations. Throughout last year and the beginning of this year, we have held a number of events with these organizations in order to offer senior residents an opportunity to ask questions, learn more about the trials, and become more familiar with smartphones, tablets and other devices. At these “tech trainings”, we’ve worked with West Delray area seniors to help them learn how to use their phones to take and send photos; to set up and use the calendar feature on their devices to set regular reminders for doctors’ appointments or to remember to take medication; and how to find, download and use apps that can help them access their favorite newspapers and magazines. At our Senior Tech Training event in late March for Pines of Delray residents, one attendee said: “I now know how to do everything on my list! I am going to show my grandkids! They will be so proud of me!” We also hosted a public screening of the documentary “Cyber Seniors”, which attracted nearly 200 attendees. The film tells the story of a group of senior citizens who learn how to navigate the Internet and forge digital connections with the help of teenage mentors.

We are also working with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and with local organizations that represent residents with disabilities to share information about the trials and make sure that customers in the West Delray Beach area with special communications needs are informed, can have questions answered, and understand what the trial means for them.

And we will continue to have meetings and convene events and informational sessions in the coming weeks and months so that West Delray Beach area customers and community members can stay informed and involved, including additional tech trainings, information sessions and a product demonstration event. For more information about when these meetings will be held, or about the trials generally, you can visit our website at any point (ip4westdelraybeach.com).  We’re holding all these sessions and meetings because we want to hear from you. Come to our community meetings; call or e-mail; visit our website—tell us what excites you about the technologies and products we’re offering and let us know what questions you have.

Our goal has always been, and always will be, to keep our customers connected to the people and things that matter most to them.  We would love to hear from you while we continue to do just that.

AT&T Statement on FCC's Proposed IP Transition Rules

Posted by Bob Quinn, AT&T Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer on November 21, 2014

“The principles the FCC’s IP Transition NPRM seeks to uphold – public safety, reliability, universal connectivity, competition and consumer protections – should be implemented in a manner that reflects the many marketplace and technological developments that today are driving the transition to next generation networks.  Customers are demanding higher speeds and more capacity, and a vibrant, competitive environment exists to provide robust, innovative options. The success of what Chairman Wheeler describes as the Fourth Network Revolution can be achieved by adapting the FCC’s technology transition framework in recognition of these realities while preserving the ability for all industry participants to continue to invest in faster and better Internet for consumers.”

Powering your quality of life

Posted by Joe York on July 28, 2014

We enjoy a great quality of life in South Florida and expanding and enhancing your communications choices in the West Delray Beach area helps support that lifestyle. Wireless and broadband services are not just for the young anymore. Seniors today are living more active, independent and connected lives than ever before and advanced communications services like wireless and broadband help make this possible.

According to research released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life project in April, 6 in 10 seniors today are online and 77% have a cell phone[1]. And newer devices like tablets are helping seniors overcome physical challenges or personal skepticism toward using technology and the Internet. What is also increasingly clear is that seniors who use these services like them and are actively using them.  

Image of AT&T Employee at West Delray Beach event with elder

Many families today are spread across the country, so in-person visits aren’t always possible, but wireless and broadband services help fill the gap between visits. Families and seniors are using social networks to stay connected no matter where they live. An email or text with a photo from children and grandchildren is an amazing pick-me-up for anyone’s day. Not only does the ease of communication enhance seniors’ lives, but it also builds an irreplaceable family connection for grandchildren.
 
Seniors are using the web to learn about community activities, to join social clubs and to enhance their educations. Like other Facebook users, they are reconnecting with old friends, neighbors and schoolmates. Wireless and broadband break down the walls of isolation that many seniors experience. Recent mental health research suggests using the Internet to connect with family and friends helps seniors combat loneliness and depression.
 
Every day more seniors use the Internet to extend their independence. They use mobile services that can connect them to live help in the event of an emergency, medical monitoring devices that bring care beyond the doctor’s office, right into the home, and GPS services that provide turn-by-turn directions to help avoid traffic.
 
These devices and services need an advanced network to provide the connectivity consumers, including seniors, are demanding. That is why AT&T has proposed selecting the West Delray Beach area and another community to lead the nation in transitioning from older networks to an all-IP based network - to make the products, services and connections these networks power available to more Americans.
 
Image of AT&T Employee Norah at a IP Transition event in West Delray Beach training an elder For any senior who wishes to polish their tech skills or take the first steps online, there are many community resources available in the West Delray Beach area to help you learn to navigate new technologies, whatever your level of experience or expertise. AT&T has launched a series of trainings for seniors to learn about wireless and broadband services and devices. We’ve already conducted four training sessions in the West Delray Beach community where more than 100 seniors participated in one-on-one and group sessions. Seniors of all experience levels found the sessions to be very helpful and many noted they learned new skills and tips. One senior said she, “learned how to retrieve pictures from my cellphone. Also discovered what some symbols on Kindle Fire mean.” Another participant said, “Best tip of the day was being able to upload a bit of film to YouTube.”
 
At AT&T we see great opportunities in these technologies and look forward to helping the West Delray Beach community get the most out of everything these advanced networks enable. If for any reason, you or a family member can’t find a convenient resource, please let us know and we can help connect you with quality local training.
 
Go to http://ip4westdelraybeach.att.com/ for updates about our events and initiatives in the West Delray Beach area.
 

[1] http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/03/older-adults-and-technology-use/

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