Meeting Consumer Demand
for advanced Internet-based services

Picture of AT&T Florida State President Joe York

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 



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/

Connecting West Delray Beach

Posted by Joe York on June 18, 2014

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.

Meeting with & Listening to Our Customers: An Update

Posted by Joe York on May 08, 2014

During the past several weeks, we have been out in the West Delray Beach community, meeting with residents, business owners, community leaders and others to answer their questions about our proposed technology trial. On April 9, we held a town hall meeting at the South County Civic Center with more than a hundred attendees. Two weeks later, on April 22, we convened another public meeting at the Civic Center with about sixty attendees.

At both sessions and, indeed, at the majority of our meetings with West Delray Beach residents – whether they are one-on-one or in large meeting rooms with dozens of folks - our goal is to provide information but also to listen. This is our opportunity to learn from attendees about the questions that they have and the issues that they would like to see addressed. Some customers have questions about their current service and the devices and products that they use today; many others want to know about the logistics and specifics of the trial and what it will mean for them; still others are focused on what “IP” and “IP networks” are, and how these will impact – and can benefit them in - their everyday lives.

A theme that has surfaced repeatedly is the idea of seamlessness. West Delray Beach area residents – like consumers across the country – want to be able to use technology to make their lives easier, and to help them to connect to information, people and places that they care about. Customers want their parents (and grandparents) to be able to connect and communicate easily and simply; and have these connections be reliable. And, for those who have not yet adopted newer products and devices, we all want these individuals to make this transition forward safely and seamlessly.

These are all reasons why AT&T has proposed conducting FCC trials in the West Delray Beach area and in Carbon Hill, Alabama. For our customers who are already using newer products and technologies, we want to help them do more. In South Florida and across America, more of us are using newer and different products to talk, text, video conference, get a map or a restaurant review, and connect to doctors or neighbors, instantly and seamlessly, from wherever we are.

But, as importantly, we want those who haven’t yet moved forward to have the assurance that they will be able to do so safely and seamlessly.

The trials will be a multi-year process and we are at the very beginning of this process. Our guiding principle during the trial is our commitment to working with our customers in West Delray, with policymakers, and with others in the community to ensure that everyone can move forward, safely and seamlessly. We will make sure that the values of universal service, competition, public safety, reliability and consumer protection are met throughout this process.

The meetings we have held, and will continue to hold in the coming weeks and months, throughout the West Delray Beach area, will help us to understand your experiences, address your concerns and provide the information needed to assure that we can make this transition seamless. We will continue to hold public meetings where all residents are welcome, and we will soon begin to hold “Technology Trainings” where interested West Delray Beach residents can come and learn about – and try out - newer products and devices like smartphones and tablets. We want to make sure that we have the chance to talk to and hear from customers of all ages, of all interests, and at every level of “tech savvy” so that even those who consider themselves tech novices can see the benefits that IP technology can bring them.

For information about upcoming events and activities, or to learn more about the trials, please make sure to regularly visit our website at: ip4westdelraybeach.com. We post new information as it becomes available, and details about events and activities as they are confirmed.

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