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June 10, 2019

Honoring our heroes, investing in our future

Posted by Cheryl Riley

Here at AT&T, we believe in supporting those individuals and organizations who serve others.

Last month was Military Appreciation Month, and this week, we commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. In May, AT&T took a moment to reflect on the sacrifices that our veterans and first responders have made in service to us. We unveiled multiple initiatives aimed at recognizing active military personnel, veterans and their families. For the sixth year in a row, we supported Carry the Load through a large-scale employee volunteer effort, as well as a $100,000 donation.

This spring we also doubled down on investing in our future, and not just in the world of tech, but in our kids. We celebrated National Volunteer Month in April by rolling up our sleeves and volunteering in South Dakota at Children’s Home Society. It’s important to AT&T that our company invests in the future of our youth. 

But that’s not all. South Dakota communities are taking seriously the future of public safety to protect its citizens and keep our communities safe. As of just a few weeks ago, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is officially signed up with AT&T’s FirstNet broadband network. We’re hopeful Pennington County will lead the way for other agencies and communities to embrace the FirstNet platform to give first responders on-demand communications priority to help them respond to emergencies when seconds matter. 

To prepare for the future, we will continue making lasting investments in our service members, our children, and the safety of our local communities. In doing so, we’ll strive to always honor and empower those who serve others.

Best Regards,

Cheryl Riley
President — AT&T Northern Plains
South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska
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June 09, 2019

AT&T honors Military Appreciation Month

Posted by AT&T South Dakota Team

Carry the Load

AT&T has supported active military personnel, veterans and their families for more than 80 years, when our telephone services provided much needed connectivity during World War II. We’re proud to keep current and veteran servicemembers connected — to families, battle buddies and even job opportunities — then and now.


AT&T Helps Carry the Load 

This May, AT&T donated $100,000 to Carry the Load. In addition, we organized a large-scale employee volunteer effort to participate in the national relay or local city rallies across the country. Store locations around select relay routes supported relay walkers with water, energy bars and encouragement along the way. This year, 11,500 miles were walked over 23 days, on three major routes throughout the country, by thousands — and AT&T employees were there.

Over the last 5 years, AT&T has contributed or directed about $21 million to organizations and projects that support our military, veterans and their families. Our commitment to servicemembers and first responders isn’t just a competitive advantage. It’s a nearly century-old tradition.


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June 08, 2019

Celebrating National Volunteer Month in April

Posted by AT&T South Dakota Team

Volunteers

For more than 100 years, AT&T employees have given their time, talents and resources to causes that matter most to them. From mentoring students, supporting our military, improving our environment and everything in-between. AT&T employee volunteers make our company and our communities stronger.

This April, the AT&T team hosted a volunteer day at Children’s Home Society in Sioux Falls with our Mobility partners. Volunteers worked on a variety of projects around the CHS facility and also hosted a lunchtime pizza party for the resident children.

Children's Home Society VolunteersCheryl Riley and AT&T volunteers serve lunch with Rick Weber at Children’s Home Society.

Children’s Home Society is South Dakota’s oldest human service nonprofit organization. CHS serves victims of child abuse and domestic violence and partners with caring parents to help children with emotional or behavioral needs.  Today its services work to strengthen families and the community with expanded educational programs for emergency shelter, residential treatment, special education, forensic interviews, foster care and adoption services, and prevention services.

AT&T also presented a $4,000 check to CHS to support its science curriculum.

“It is truly an honor to continue our AT&T partnership with Children’s Home Society for a seventh year” said Cheryl Riley, president, AT&T Northern Plains. “We’ve also enjoyed volunteering alongside this incredible organization to support South Dakota children and families to foster their interest in literacy and science.”


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June 07, 2019

Pennington County Signs Up for FirstNet

Posted by AT&T South Dakota Team

FirstNet

When a young girl went missing in Pennington County, law enforcement officials turned to the FirstNet communication broadband network.

Today, Pennington County Sheriff’s office, one of the largest agencies in South Dakota, is officially signed up for FirstNet.

On May 16th, FirstNet officials were on site to switch old phones over to the FirstNet infrastructure and train law enforcement on their new devices.

Pennington County FirstNet A FirstNet Representative tests new equipment in Pennington County.

“We’re pleased FirstNet could assist Pennington County during a critical time of need, and we look forward to the partnership ahead," said Doug Penniston, South Dakota state consultant, AT&T FirstNet.


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April 15, 2019

AT&T Donates $5,000 to Code Bootcamp School

Posted by AT&T South Dakota

AT&T announced a $5,000 contribution to Code Bootcamp School, to support several gaming camps around the state

. The Sioux Falls program reaches Native American students to teach them coding skills by learning to build video games. AT&T has previously supported Code Bootcamp School with $33,000 since 2016.

 

The program, led by William Bushee, the Executive Director of Code Bootcamp School, recognizes coding is the language of the future. Learning to code will give students the tools needed to compete in a global, digital marketplace.

 

AT&T is a big supporter of programs like these that focus on STEM education, especially in our Native American communities. Code Bootcamp School is a program that not only feeds the intellectual curiosity of our kids to learn critical computer coding skills but will undoubtedly feed the future of our workforce and tech economy,” said Cheryl Riley, president, AT&T Northern Plains.

 

This year several boot camps will be held in areas that serve Native American communities.

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April 15, 2019

AT&T Supports Biz Kids Program at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire

Posted by AT&T South Dakota

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire hosts a unique entrepreneurship program, Biz Kids, to teach students about how to start and run a business.

 

In early March, AT&T was proud to contribute $10,000 to the Clubs for their program, that teaches entrepreneurial skills after school.

 

“Anytime we can impact even one kid in our community, it’s worth it,” said Cheryl Riley, president, AT&T Northern Plains.

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April 15, 2019

AT&T Responds to Relieve Pine Ridge Reservation During Flooding

Posted by AT&T South Dakota

In wake of historic flooding on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, AT&T jumped at the opportunity to help flood victims in the earliest hours of need.

 

In addition to a $10,000 donation to the Salvation Army, AT&T provided bottled water and food to flood victims on the Reservation where entire communities were cut off by rising water.

 

AT&T also engaged two of its South Dakota stores, in Spearfish and Rapid City, to take donations of critical cleaning supplies for recovery and relief for those impacted by flooding.

 

“We’re proud to be part of recovery efforts for victims of flooding this spring on the Reservation,” said Cheryl Riley, president, AT&T Northern Plains. “It’s clear our communities are willing to lend a hand and lift one another up. The spirit of South Dakota won’t be dampened.”

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April 15, 2019

When our communities call, we answer

Posted by Cheryl Riley

Dear Friends,

 

AT&T is proud to be part of this great state. We try to get involved and make a difference when needed.

 

In late March, severe flooding impacted the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. In response, AT&T’s employees immediately joined others in the community to deliver bottled water and food to the Reservation when they were cut off from basic necessities. Our employees took up a collection of supplies in Spearfish and Sioux Falls for those flood victims hardest hit. AT&T also supported the efforts of the Salvation Army, Western Division with a $10,000 contribution for flood relief.

 

We’re also gearing up for a big summer and fall supporting educational initiatives for South Dakota’s kids. In March, AT&T donated $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire to teach students about how to start and run a business.

 

Just this week, we donated $5,000 to the Code Bootcamp School for Native American students to attend coding schools. Code Bootcamp teaches kids coding skills by learning to build video games. It’s one of the first steps in readying our youth for the future digital economy.

 

If we want to have a positive impact on our communities, we’ve got to start with helping our neighbors and empowering our youth. Whether it is an emergency response to a natural disaster, working to enhance education, or delivering trusted technology for South Dakotans, you can count on AT&T.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cheryl Riley

President — AT&T Northern Plains
southdakota.att.com

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December 13, 2017

Happy Holidays!

Posted by Cheryl Riley

We are closing out the year just the way we started it: connecting people to opportunity. From connecting the U.S. Army, to connecting AT&T employees to career pipelines, or even connecting students to academic training, at its core, this is what all of us at AT&T do every day. I am so proud of what we have accomplished this year in South Dakota, and as I look forward to 2018 I am excited for what is to come. But before we get to January, I want to wish all of you, your family and your friends a happy holiday season and a happy New Year!

Best regards,

Cheryl Riley
President — AT&T Northern Plains
South Dakota, Wyoming, North Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska


cyberaware

Five percent of consumers in the U.S. text their passwords to their accounts (not a good idea) … 5% of consumers use consecutive letters or numbers for their passwords (you might as well text those passwords to the bad guys in the first place) … 5% of consumers provide their personal or financial info to an email sender without verifying who they are.

The good news is that most Americans know that these are things we should not be doing online if we want to protect ourselves. The challenge is that the crooks are getting smarter, making it harder for consumers to know what to do to protect themselves online. That’s why AT&T just launched att.com/CyberAware.

Bookmark — and regularly visit — this site to learn about the latest tips for protecting yourself and your family, and stay up to date on the latest threats. From ID theft, to malware to robocalls and other concerns, we’ve put the resources all in one place.

*FleishmanHillard survey, on behalf of AT&T, of 1,020 American consumers age 18 and older online between Sept. 28 and Oct. 1, 2017

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December 12, 2017

U.S. Army Chooses AT&T for Modernized Global Communications

Posted by AT&T South Dakota Team

Army

With nearly 1 million users globally, the U.S. Army has chosen AT&T for its latest contract to unify and modernize their communications capabilities.

We’re providing the Army with a new way to think about connectivity. Our services will make it easier for Army personnel to connect, collaborate and share information in support of daily operations globally. These services include voice, video, chat, instant messaging, presence and screen sharing. Army mechanics overseas can share screens with experts at a home station to speed repairs. Commanders and their staffs can use live video links to collaborate across different locations or direct troop operations abroad.

Army personnel in the U.S. and abroad will have access to these services on demand from their desktops, laptops and approved mobile devices. The Army will not need to buy new equipment. The services are cloud-based, and we will manage them. We are also delivering them in classified and highly secure unclassified formats.

The U.S. Army’s modernization efforts align with Department of Defense strategies to maintain the military’s technological advantage through the use of commercial cloud services.

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December 11, 2017

Employee Uncovers Grandpa’s Secret World War II AT&T Project that Changed the World

Posted by AT&T South Dakota Team

HistoryBrian Rexroad, vice president of Security Platforms in Bedminster, New Jersey, always knew that his grandfather Carl Rumpel had worked for AT&T. But when you’re a kid, you don’t think to ask what “Gramp” did from day to day. Recently, when going through one of his grandfather’s old journals, Brian made an amazing discovery: his grandfather fought Nazis, by helping to create a voice encryption system called SIGSALY.

“It’s one of the first — if not the first — voice encryption systems that was used by [Winston] Churchill and [Franklin D.] Roosevelt to communicate during a World War II effort,” Rexroad said.

Yes, the man Brian called “Gramp” was instrumental in creating technology that was used to defeat Nazi Germany. With stations set up in Washington, D.C., London and Northern Africa, SIGSALY allowed phone conversations without any unwanted listening in.

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November 01, 2017

Join me this Veterans Day to Thank Our Heroes

Posted by Cheryl Riley

Veterans Day is a day of reflection. Reflecting on our country’s past. Reflecting on where we are today. And, most importantly, reflecting on those who fought for our freedoms.

AT&T has a long history of supporting our military and First Responders. We’ve committed to hiring 20,000 veterans by the year 2020. We’re also using our talents to construct a public safety broadband network called FirstNet to connect our First Responders in new ways.

On Veterans Day and every day, we are thankful for our service members.

Join me this Veterans Day in thanking our heroes for their bravery and sacrifices.

Veterans day

To join us in thanking a veteran or military family, share a photo, video or a simple note of gratitude on social media using #ThankOurHeroes.

We are proud to join our voices together with a message to veterans: thank you for your service!

Sincerely,

Cheryl Riley
President — AT&T Northern Plains
South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa and Nebraska

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October 24, 2017

When we invest in our networks, everyone wins

Posted by Cheryl Riley

We know our customers depend on us for fast, reliable mobile internet connections at home, work and everywhere in between. That is why we recently announced that we invested more than $90 million in our South Dakota wireless and wired network over the past three years , driving a wide range of upgrades to reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for residents and businesses — as well as improving critical services that support public safety and first responders.

This robust investment is important to spurring the economy and creating jobs. In our wireless world, mobile and broadband networks help create economic opportunities for health care, manufacturing, education, energy, agriculture, transportation and public safety and virtually every other economic sector.

North Dakota Wireless Over the past 5 years (2012-2016), AT&T’s total investment in the United States, including capital investment and acquisitions of spectrum and wireless operations, was nearly $135 billion , more than any other public company. In fact, the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) named AT&T the top company for U.S. capital expenditures for the 5th year in a row, investing more than $18.7 billion in 2015.

This investment represents a major commitment to 21st century communications infrastructure in the United States, and it has brought high-speed internet connectivity to millions of Americans .This is a very big investment, but more importantly, it’s a very big deal for all our customers and potential customers. It’s exactly the sort of investment in broadband infrastructure that South Dakota and our nation badly need, and we’re proud to make.

From time to time, you may have a question or concern about AT&T from someone in the community.

If you do, please let me know. I’m here to help.Best regards,

Cheryl Riley
President — AT&T Northern Plains
South Dakota, Wyoming, North Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska

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October 17, 2017

Providing relief in the aftermath of natural disasters

Posted by Cheryl Riley

Two earthquakes in Mexico and a trio of hurricanes in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Houston, Louisiana and Florida have left widespread damage.  

In our efforts to restore service to these areas, we've had great collaboration with government officials and others. But our people – doing the difficult, exhausting work – are making a tremendous difference.

During Hurricane Harvey, AT&T Technician, Hector Carrillo, hauled water out of the AT&T southwest Houston central office 5 gallons at a time until it could be restarted. By the time EHS arrived, Hector had removed 140 gallons of water, totaling 28 trips in waist deep water!

There’s no doubt these disasters were merciless – 4 disasters in 4 regions in 4 weeks is hard to fathom. Many people in these communities are hurting. And there's still massive restoration to be done. But we're dedicated to seeing it through for our employees, customers and communities.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Riley
President — AT&T Northern Plains
Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota


 

relief

Mexicodonation

Across Mexico, buildings collapsed, and there were many fires and gas leaks. Transportation systems were shut down, including highways, parts of the subway system and parts of the Mexico City airport.

Our teams continue to work around the clock and have made great progress on our network. However, the country is still under a national emergency. We are supporting CENACED, an organization actively working to aid relief efforts in Mexico and have given our customers in Mexico an option to support those affected by the earthquake by donating to the organization.



Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands list

As the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands face a long road of recovery, we’re bringing much-needed relief. Significant storm damage, power outages and flooding interrupted service throughout the regions.

In Puerto Rico, a total power outage has affected movement and distribution of relief supplies, but John Donovan, AT&T Communications CEO, and our Network team landed in San Juan to help assess damage, develop recovery plans and donate bottled water, generators and other supplies.

In the meantime, we set up a website that will let anyone stateside (regardless of carrier) to register the cell phone number of a family member or friend who is an AT&T wireless customer in Puerto Rico. Thus far, thousands of people have signed up. When the Puerto Rico-based customer’s cell phone connects to our network in Puerto Rico, the customer will be notified that their family or friends in the U.S. have been trying to contact them.

We are also focused on network restoration in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We’ve set up a portable cell site in St. Thomas. Some network services have been restored there and throughout the rest of the Virgin Islands.

We continue to work closely with local authorities. And we're ready to begin work just as soon as we can do it safely.



Florida

Our wireless network is operating normally. The number of wireline customers without service is shrinking. We’ve brought in more than 100 additional technicians from outside Florida. More than 98% of affected network equipment is back in service. We’re adding power equipment where needed to maintain and restore wireline service. We have more than 180 wireline facilities on battery power and more than 90 on generator power.

So far, we’re working to replace more than 800,000 feet of cable. More than 1,500 utility poles have been broken or damaged and need to be replaced.



Texas and Louisiana

While Harvey resulted in terrible flooding, Irma left severe wind damage. The devastation wrought by these disasters will require a long-term effort to rebuild. The one bright spot in all this is that we're making solid progress restoring our operations in those areas. We've accomplished a lot in our response to Harvey.

All our stores are open in South Texas and Louisiana. Our wireline and wireless networks are business as usual. Accessibility and safety for our teams on the ground were a major concern. But in working around the clock with officials, we were able to find ways to get into many areas.

Response

Be sure to check out a blog post by Joan Marsh, AT&T executive vice president, Regulatory & State External Affairs, titled The Tale of Three Storms.

For live AT&T Response and Updates on the recent natural disasters, please visit the AT&T Newsroom. For updates in Spanish, please visit our AT&T Spanish Newscenter.

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May 22, 2017

Carrying the Load in support of our military

Posted by AT&T South Dakota Team

Why I Carry The Load

Enjoying a day away from the office with a few hot dogs, cold drinks and a lot of sun makes for a great Memorial Day, but that isn’t exactly what the day is all about.

In 2003, AT&T employee Matt Foster left his family, friends and future wife for an active duty deployment in the United States Army. His Forward Operating Base (FOB) would often go on “Comms Blackout,” usually meaning a soldier on his FOB had been killed or seriously injured and their family was being officially notified.

It’s that experience that led him to get involved with Carry The Load. Carry The Load works to bring all Americans together to participate in honoring our nation’s heroes every day. This includes a national, 6,200-mile relay where veterans and citizens honor those heroes’ sacrifice and take a turn experiencing the weight of a rucksack. All of the money raised at this event goes directly to support Carry The Load’s Continuum of Care program where partner charities are on the front lines to help those heroes and their families who have given so much to this country.

At AT&T, we know our nation’s service men and women make sacrifices to protect our country and our freedoms. As a company, it is an honor to support them. As a sponsor of this year’s Carry the Load, AT&T is proud to stand behind all participants across the country. Learn more about how to get involved and see the full relay route from coast to coast here.

Comment to show your support below.

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March 31, 2017

AT&T to Deliver Nation’s First-Ever Public Safety Network

Posted by AT&T South Dakota Team

There’s no connection more important than one that can save a life. During emergencies, lives depend on public safety personnel communicating without interruption. Unfortunately today, police, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel often lack the interoperable communications capabilities needed to coordinate and communicate across agencies and jurisdictions when disaster strikes.

That’s why FirstNet, an independent authority established by Congress in 2012, has just selected AT&T to build and manage America’s first-ever nationwide broadband network dedicated to first responders. This is a major step forward for public safety and for the broadband network our nation’s first responders have fought for and deserve.

The FirstNet network will strengthen and modernize public safety’s communications capabilities, enabling them to coordinate and respond more quickly and effectively during day-to-day operations, as well as man-made and natural disasters. The ability to share data, videos and photos — and to access apps — can provide life-saving insights even before emergency personnel arrive on the scene.

FirstNet

Our employees represent a nearly 140-year-old heritage of providing innovative, robust, resilient networking capabilities for first responders and public safety agencies. We look forward to collaborating with FirstNet and each of the 50 states, 5 U.S. territories and the District of Columbia to develop adoption plans specific to their needs.

For more information on the selection of AT&T, please visit att.com/FirstResponderNews.

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December 09, 2016

AT&T Giving Campaign to Help Teachers and Students this Holiday Season

Posted by AT&T South Dakota

Celebrate the season of giving

Together with our employees and customers, we’re helping make the holidays a little bit better for students and teachers across the country through a matching gift campaign with DonorsChoose.org.

Through DonorsChoose.org, teachers can post classroom projects that they need help funding. Once that project is funded, the books, art supplies and other resources are shipped directly to the school.

Last year, AT&T and its employees donated $228,000 to DonorsChoose.org during the holiday season. This year, we’re inviting our customers to join us through the AT&T THANKS customer appreciation program. AT&T will match $1,000 per employee or customer, up to $200,000 for donations to DonorsChoose.org when they use a special code. By spreading the love, we’re hoping to help even more teachers and students this holiday season!

If you are a customer and wish to participate, log on to AT&T THANKS to receive the match code. To learn more about our support of education, visit AT&T Aspire.

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December 09, 2016

Continuing the AT&T Commitment to Native American Communities

Posted by AT&T South Dakota

How AT&T is helping Native American students succeedEvery student deserves opportunities to reach his or her full potential. That is why, for the past 23 years, AT&T has set out to help Native American students, who have the lowest high school graduation rates of any demographic in this country, get to college and earn a degree.

To commemorate Native American Heritage Month this November, AT&T is furthering its commitment to Indian country with more than $1 million dollars in contributions to support and connect Native youth to educational pathways to the 21st century workforce. The contribution includes $600,000 to the American Indian College Fund (College Fund) and $450,000 to George Washington University (GW).

The initiatives announced with the College Fund and GW today build on the company’s long history of support for the communities of Indian country.

The College Fund will use our contribution to increase the number of American Indian students who graduate from high school and to grow a college-going culture among Native American students.

  • The contribution will span 2 years and serve about 700 Native students at 3 tribal colleges (TCUs) and local high schools in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arizona.
  • By collaborating with TCUs, Native American students will connect to programs and supportive services that will help them finish high school, persist in higher education and thrive in the 21st century knowledge economy. 

GW will establish AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy, its first-ever public policy center dedicated to indigenous learnings.

  • The GW Native American Political Leadership Program, sponsored by AT&T and now in its 11th year, will continue to provide a semester in Washington, D.C., for Native American college students.
  • The GW Native American INSPIRE Pre-College Program, sponsored by AT&T, is a full scholarship open to Native American high school students who want to spend 3 weeks on the GW campus to learn about intergovernmental relations between tribal governments and the federal government.
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November 09, 2016

This Veterans Day, AT&T is inviting you to thank a veteran at home or a veteran you've never met

Posted by AT&T South Dakota Team

We are proud to join our voices to yours with the simple message to our veterans: thank you for your service!Twitter

Please click here to share your story, or scroll below to view others messages of thanks.

 

If you would like to request removal of a video, please click here. 

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September 01, 2016

Luck Has Nothing To Do With It

Posted by Cheryl Riley

Dear Friends,

With children back in school and fall fast approaching, we’ve got lots of great news for the season. Since 2009, AT&T’s IT CAN WAIT® campaign has shared a simple, but powerful, message — that no text, post, email or video is worth a life. Since we first launched this campaign, we’ve achieved more than 10 million pledges to not drive distracted, but our goal is to get more drivers to make this important promise.

We’ve also made great updates on Digital You’s library of education resources for your family; we’ve continued our streak of winning a prestigious award 7 consecutive times; and we’re sharing a very interesting study on the power digital devices have to inspire and motivate.

I hope you have a moment to check out these stories and all of our recent news on the AT&T Iowa news page.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Riley
President — AT&T Northern Plains 

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AT&T Ranks Highest in J.D. Power Wireless Purchase Experience for Seventh Time In A Row

AT&T recently earned the top overall ranking in the J.D. Power 2016 Full-Service Wireless Purchase Experience Study — the 7th time in a row we’ve won this award!

AT&T Ranks Highest in J.D. Power Wireless Purchase Experience for Seventh Time In A Row

“There’s nothing lucky about this number seven,” said Glenn Lurie, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations. “J.D. Power conducts exhaustive research, so you can’t be awarded unless your employees are doing their best, day-in and day-out across the country. That’s exactly what our employees are doing on every customer touch. This is their award — from our online team to our front-line employees in our call centers and retail stores to those behind the scenes in marketing and operations.”

Click HERE to read more.

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