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February 26, 2018

Congress needs to establish an 'Internet Bill of Rights'

Posted by Dave Nichols

You've heard a lot about net neutrality in the news lately.

I want to share with you AT&T's perspective on the issue.

You should know that AT&T is committed to an open internet. We don't block websites. We don't censor online content. And we don't throttle, discriminate, or degrade network performance based on content. Period.

We favor federal legislation to ensure that there is one set of rules that applies to all internet companies, and includes internet and privacy protections for consumers.


A patchwork of different state rules would confuse consumers, harm competition, and impede innovation and investment.
Net Neutrality
Congress needs to act to establish an "Internet Bill of Rights" that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protection for all internet users.

For more information, I wanted you to see the open letter that our Chairman shared recently in major national newspapers.

Sincerely,

Dave Nichols
President — AT&T Texas

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Consumers Need an Internet Bill of Rights

PeopleGovernment rules for the internet have been debated for nearly as long as the internet has existed, even before a professor coined the term “net neutrality” 15 years ago.


The internet has changed our lives and grown beyond what anyone could have imagined. And it’s done so, for the most part, with very few—but often changing—rules. Regulators under four different presidents have taken four different approaches. Courts have overturned regulatory decisions. Regulators have reversed their predecessors. And because the internet is so critical to everyone, it’s understandably confusing and a bit concerning when you hear the rules have recently changed, yet again.

It is time for Congress to end the debate once and for all, by writing new laws that govern the internet and protect consumers.

Until they do, I want to make clear what you can expect from AT&T.



AT&T is committed to an open internet. We don’t block websites. We don’t censor online content. And we don’t throttle, discriminate, or degrade network performance based on content. Period.


We have publicly committed to these principles for over 10 years. And we will continue to abide by them in providing our customers the open internet experience they have come to expect.

But the commitment of one company is not enough. Congressional action is needed to establish an “Internet Bill of Rights” that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protection for all internet users.

Legislation would not only ensure consumers’ rights are protected, but it would provide consistent rules of the road for all internet companies across all websites, content, devices and applications. In the very near future, technological advances like self-driving cars, remote surgery and augmented reality will demand even greater performance from the internet. Without predictable rules for how the internet works, it will be difficult to meet the demands of these new technology advances.

That’s why we intend to work with Congress, other internet companies and consumer groups in the coming months to push for an “Internet Bill of Rights” that permanently protects the open internet for all users and encourages continued investment for the next generation of internet innovation.

Randall Stephenson
AT&T Chairman and CEO

November 09, 2017

Join me this Veterans Day to Thank Our Heroes

Posted by Dave Nichols

Dear Friends,

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.

In El Paso, we are supporting the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). Our contribution in honor of Veterans’ Day will go a long way in providing essential resources and supporting our soldiers and their family members as many of them make the region their home.

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.

vetsTo 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,

Dave Nichols
President — AT&T Texas

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August 23, 2017

Be prepared for Hurricane Harvey

Posted by AT&T Texas Team

Just as we prepare our networks and personnel, AT&T encourages residents and small businesses to consider the following recommendations in preparation for the hurricane.

 

Customer Tips:

  • Keep your wireless phone batteries charged at all times. Have an alternative plan to recharge your battery in case of a power outage, such as using your car charger to charge your device or having extra mobile phone batteries on hand.
  • Keep your wireless phone dry. The biggest threat to your device during a hurricane is water,so keep your equipment safe from the elements by storing it in a baggie or some other type of protective covering.
  • Have a family communication plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain that all family members know who to contact if they get separated. Most importantly, practice your emergency plan in advance.
  • Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.
  • Forward your home number to your wireless number in the event of an evacuation. Because call forwarding is based out of the telephone central office, you will get incoming calls from your landline phone even if your local telephone service is disrupted at your home. In the unlikely event that the central office is not operational, services such as Voicemail, Call Forwarding, Remote Access call forwarding and call forwarding busy line/don’t answer may be useful.
  • Track the storm and access weather information on your wireless device. Many homes lose power during severe weather. If you have a wireless device that provides access to the Internet, you can watch weather reports through services like AT&T U-verse Live TV or keep updated with local radar and severe weather alerts through My-Cast® Weather, if you subscribe to those services.
  • Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send photos — even video clips — of damaged property to your insurance company from your device.
  • Take advantage of location-based mapping technology. Services such as AT&T Navigator and AT&T FamilyMap can help you seek evacuation routes or avoid traffic congestion from downed trees or power lines, as well as track a family member’s wireless device in case you get separated.

 

Small Business Tips:

  • Set up a call-forwarding service to a predetermined backup location. Set up a single or multiple hotline number(s) for employees, employees’ families, customers and partners, as appropriate, to call so that all parties know about the business situation and emergency plan. For this to be most effective, maintain an updated contact list, including mobile and home phone numbers and e-mail addresses, for all employees.
  • Protect hardware/software/data records/employee records, etc. Routinely back up these files to an off-site location. Use a generator for supplying backup power to vital computer hardware and other mission-critical equipment. Prearrange the replacement of damaged hardware with vendors to ensure quick business recovery.
  • Outline detailed plans for evacuation and shelter-in-place plans. Practice these plans (employee training, etc.). Establish a backup location for your business and meeting place for all employees.
  • Assemble a crisis-management team and coordinate efforts with neighboring businesses and building management. Be aware that disasters affecting your suppliers also affect your business. Outline a plan for supply chain continuity for business essentials.
  • Consider a back-up cellular network. Services like AT&T Remote Mobility Zone, allows organizations to protect their critical communications by installing small cell sites at the businesses’ locations. If a disaster disables primary communications networks, the back-up cellular network can help keep your company connected.

 

Maximizing Service During and After a Hurricane:

  • Try text messaging. During an emergency situation, text messages may go through more quickly than voice calls because they require fewer network resources. All of AT&T’s wireless devices are text messaging capable. Depending on your text or data plan, additional charges may apply.
  • Be prepared for high call volume. During an emergency, many people are trying to use their phones at the same time. The increased calling volume may create network congestion, leading to “fast busy” signals on your wireless phone or a slow dial tone on your landline phone. If this happens, hang up, wait several seconds and then try the call again. This allows your original call data to clear the network before you try again.
  • Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum, and limit your calls to the most important ones. If there is severe weather, chances are many people will be attempting to place calls to loved ones, friends and business associates.

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July 31, 2017

Connecting people to opportunity: AT&T Annual Sustainability Report

Posted by AT&T Texas Team

At AT&T, we are using the power of our network, our workforce and our connections to drive positive change in communities. Our successes in this effort are in large part due to our employees’ commitment to the greater good.

It’s because of this dedication that for the 3rd time in 5 years, AT&T has been named the top community-minded communications company in the U.S. by The Civic 50.

Additionally, we announced our first milestone toward our goal of enabling customer carbon savings 10x the footprint of AT&T’s operations by 2025. This update includes a methodology for measuring our impact and our first customer case study about the carbon benefits of connected shipping pallets.

Side-by-side with nonprofits, peers and customers, we are working to measure the carbon- and cost-savings enabled by our technology, so more businesses can understand how they can use technology to help improve the environment.

These stories and more are articulated in the 2016 edition of our Annual Sustainability Update and 28 associated issue briefs. The report highlights the progress our company is making through a variety of citizenship and sustainability initiatives designed to help the individuals, communities and environments that need it most.

Check out some additional highlights from the report:

C&S Report

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May 25, 2017

Carrying the Load in Texas in support of our military

Posted by AT&T Texas Team

Carry The Load

Memorial Day is a day that is set aside for all Americans to take a step back and honor and remember those service men and women who died making the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great country.

In 2003, AT&T employee Matt Fosterleft his family, friends and future wife for active duty 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 participants this weekend in Texas. 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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November 10, 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 Texas Team

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

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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August 22, 2016

Supporting our colleagues and neighbors in Louisiana

Posted by Dave Nichols

Our thoughts and prayers remain with those affected by one of the worst natural disasters in Louisiana’s history. You can help us spread the word using the social media buttons below:
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Text

As recovery efforts continue in the aftermath of unprecedented flooding in South Louisiana, we want to do our part:

AT&T wireless customers can text “RELIEF” to 80077 to donate $10 to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation Louisiana Flood Relief Fund to support those affected and the most urgent local needs as we work to restore the community. No text message fees apply. Your $10 donation will appear on your wireless bill or be deducted from your prepaid balance. AT&T employees choosing to participate should text from non-COU devices.

AT&T will also make a $25,000 donation to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation Louisiana Flood Relief Fund, directing support to the most urgent needs related to this tragedy.

AT&T will contribute $100,000 to assist in recovery efforts, making a $50,000 donation to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF) Louisiana Flood Relief Fund and a $50,000 donation to Donors Choose. The BRAF Louisiana Flood Relief Fund is assisting with most urgent needs related to this tragedy, and Donors Choose is assisting affected schools in support of teachers and students.

Sincerely,

Dave Nichols
President — AT&T Texas

1 comments
June 15, 2016

AT&T Texas Stands with Orlando

Posted by AT&T Texas Team

In the wake of the tragic event against the LGBT community in Orlando on June 12, AT&T is dedicated to showing our support.


 Text

AT&T wireless customers can text “Orlando” to 20222 to donate $10 to ORMC’s (Orlando Regional Medical Center) Level One Trauma Center to help with ongoing medical support needs. No text message fees apply.

The Orlando community and the Orlando Level One Trauma Center will continue to be in our thoughts.

The donation will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance.

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May 25, 2016

Thinking of Our Fallen Heroes

Posted by Dave Nichols

Thinking of Our Fallen Heroes
Reflecting on their sacrifices
Twitter

Veteran saluting memorial 

As we approach Memorial Day, we remember that it is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by our fallen service members and their families. While we can never repay the great price paid by these individuals, we can definitely honor them.

Please join me in taking a moment this Memorial Day to be thankful to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Sincerely,

Dave Nichols

President — AT&T Texas

10 comments
April 11, 2016

870 AT&T employees in Texas earn award from U.S. President for helping others

Posted by Dave Nichols

Dear Friends,

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”

For many AT&T employees, the answer is serving their communities in their own unique ways a few hours every month. Some have mentored students in science and math by building a robot for a national competition, others have organized a USO (United States Organizations) event for active duty service members and veterans, and a few even planned kayak trips for youth. Over a year, these individual hours of serving can add up to hundreds of service hours, which contribute to millions of hours across our company.

This month, we recognize 4,527 employees, including 870 in Texas, who logged more than 100 hours of community service in 2015. They are receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA), a prestigious honor given by the President of the United States in recognition of sustained volunteer service. Many employees this year volunteered more than 500 hours and will be honored with a Gold Award for their outstanding service to their community. Additionally, we are recognizing 77 international employees who will also be honored for their service.

PVSA


Click here to see PVSA winners

We would like to congratulate our PVSA 2015 recipients for their commitment to serving and improving the communities where they live and work. We also would like to thank them for answering the most pressing question: “what are you doing for others?”

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Sincerely,

Dave Nichols
President — AT&T Texas

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January 13, 2016

AT&T Employees Mentor 1 Million Hours, Surpassing Goal

Posted by Dave Nichols

1 Million HoursWhen a mentor connects with a mentee, both lives are changed for the better.

That’s why AT&T employees are committed to providing mentoring to students through Aspire Mentoring Academy, a part of AT&T Aspire.

We are excited to announce that in less than 4 years, AT&T employees have provided 1 million hours of mentoring to students who need it most, here in Texas and across the globe.

“A mentor is a critical asset in helping a young person achieve success and one that drives expanded support and opportunity. AT&T employees bring us closer to that goal with Aspire Mentoring Academy,” said David Shapiro, CEO, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. “One million mentoring hours is a major accomplishment. It helps us close the mentoring gap and equip more young people with the skills and confidence they need to be successful. We are excited to work with AT&T to expand their reach to even more students by supporting employees and leveraging innovation and collaboration in the mentoring field.”

With the launch of Aspire Mentoring Academy in the fall of 2012, we set a goal to provide 1 million hours of mentoring by the end of 2016. Since that launch, 3,409 AT&T employees have provided 239,814 mentoring hours to 41,790 students here in Texas.

“I am so proud of what our employees have accomplished here in Texas,” said Dave Nichols, President of AT&T-Texas. “Their commitment to connecting with real students on a regular basis will make a difference the lives of these students and for the future of our state. Connections drive innovation in education and it drives people to do better and to succeed. Hitting 1 million mentor hours – and the 239,000, in Texas alone, is a wonderful testament to the people of AT&T.”


Reaching this milestone is a testament to the commitment and enthusiasm of our employees. As mentors, employees connect with students to help them discover their passions and potential. Watch the video below to learn more about the impact this experience has had on students and employees.

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December 03, 2015

In honor of Veterans Day, AT&T Texas flash-funded more than 165 projects for military-connected schools across the Lone Star State

Posted by Dave Nichols

DonorsChooseFlashFund

Dear Fellow Texans,


This past Veterans Day, teachers and students at military-connected schools across the country woke up to great news: AT&T flash funded more than 430 schools located in military communities in 9 states through DonorsChoose.org!

DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit, crowd-funding website that helps fund classroom requests for supplies at schools in military communities across America.

AT&T contributed more than $532,000 to help fulfill the funding goals of more than 790 different projects listed on DonorsChoose.org in honor of Veterans Day. Classroom requests ranged from pencil sharpeners and binders to tablets and digital cameras, and all told, AT&T’s contributions benefited more than 640 teachers and 83,690 students in military-connected schools.

As part of this nationwide initiative, AT&T Texas contributed more than $117,735 to help fulfill the funding goals of these different projects listed on DonorsChoose.org in honor of Veteran’s Day. Classroom requests ranged from Chromebooks to tablets to complete learning stations to pencils and markers. Overall, more than 19,800 Texas students benefited from these contributions, including students in Mrs. Worsley’s 4th grade class at Herbert G. Boldt Elementary in San Antonio.

Mrs. Worsley and her students were very surprised and thrilled to receive 9 Chromebooks through AT&T’s flash-funding contribution and created this video to show their gratitude. (Check out their reaction in the video below.):

Video
“These Chromebooks will enhance our classroom in so many ways. My students thrive when using technology to learn, create and collaborate,” said Andie Worsley, 4th grade teacher at Herbert G. Boldt Elementary. “Having these devices in our classroom will not only better connect my students with me and each other, but will also better connect them with their families as well as other classrooms around the world!”

Our nation’s brave men and women sacrifice so much for our communities, our country and our way of life. So this Veteran’s Day, we wanted to give back to those who courageously serve and their families by bringing students in military communities the tools and resources they need to be successful in the classroom and ultimately in life.

Sincerely,

Dave Nichols
President — AT&T Texas 

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November 09, 2015

Returning to Serve Those Who Have Served

Posted by Dave Nichols

ATTVeteransDay
You can join us in thanking our veterans by using the social media buttons below:
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The brisk, Midwestern fall left a chill in the air — a perfect night to wrap your hands around a hot bowl of soup in a warm home. Fortunately, for nearly 500 young children in Detroit, the doors to the homeless shelter were open. Their parents had seen these kinds of rough nights before. Not just on the streets of Detroit, but — in many cases — while deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan or other locations where their country had sent them. They are veterans ... and, along with their children, they are now homeless. The person next to them in the foxhole was no longer their fellow service member. It was their child.

VolunteerOn this cold night, the warm food was being generously served by volunteers, many who had also previously served in uniform. They had returned home and moved on to other careers. But, they were trained to leave no one behind. And, so as they shared food, clothes, gift cards, go-phones and their time, they returned to service.

For one of those volunteers, Sheila Parson, this is her “night job.” During the day, she works at AT&T on the Talent Acquisitions team. Thanks to her and so many of her colleagues' tireless efforts in the company, they have been able to successfully help more than 10,000 veterans also find a career at AT&T. At night, she manages a nonprofit organization that she had formed — QSA Foundation — to help homeless children and military families, as well as volunteers with AT&T Veterans (an employee resource group dedicated to serving veterans/members of the military).

VeteransAnd as they do on so many occasions, AT&T employees and retirees, who were returning to service, transformed a shelter into a home.

For AT&T, this isn’t just about filling jobs or helping in the community around select national holidays; this is a part of our DNA. And, we’re honored by the years of recognition that G.I. Jobs Magazine has bestowed on us, naming AT&T as one of the Top 50 Most Military and Military Spouse Friendly Employers.

It’s why Sheila and more than 4,500 of her co-workers at AT&T have been recognized by President Obama with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.

Leading up to this Veterans Day, AT&T has been working with Cell Phones for Soldiers to host events for AT&T employees to serve homeless veterans in cities around the country.

And as we do every day, not only on the 11th day of the 11th month of every year, we say thank you: to Sheila, our other AT&T employees, retirees and every American who has worn the uniform or whose family has served. And to the 10,000 employees, who are serving our customers with the same level of professionalism you learned in the military, we know we have a lot to learn from you as we welcome you to our ranks!

Please pass the word about job openings to other veterans who may be interested — they can learn more here.

Sincerely,

Dave Nichols
President — AT&T Texas


Please watch

DIRECTV (Channel 239) and U-verse (Channel 1114) customers can watch AT&T’s original documentary “GI Jobs” starting on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on AUDIENCE® Network. “GI Jobs” documents the struggles and obstacles that veterans face to find a job after they separate from the military. They can also live  stream it on the DIRECTV App and U-verse App for smartphones and tablets, directv.com and uverse.com.

 

5 comments
August 31, 2015

AT&T Texas Newsletter

Posted by Dave Nichols

Dear Fellow Texans,

We recently announced the completion of our acquisition of DIRECTV. AT&T not only helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, mobile, high speed Internet and voice services, we’re now also the world’s largest provider of pay TV. I'm excited to welcome DIRECTV to the AT&T family.

I am looking forward to the exciting opportunities that we face in the second half of the year, and I hope you are as well.

To find out more about what we are doing in Texas, feel free to visit http://texas.att.com. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at: txatt@connected.att-mail.com if you have any questions. Looking forward to all the good work ahead.

Best regards,
Dave Nichols
President — AT&T Texas

2 comments
August 30, 2015

AT&T and DIRECTV are now ONE!

Posted by Dave Nichols

AT&T and DIRECTV are now ONE!AT&T Inc. has completed its acquisition of DIRECTV. The newly combined company — the largest pay TV provider in the United States and the world — will offer millions of people more choices for video entertainment on any screen from almost anywhere, any time.

Current customers of AT&T and DIRECTV do not need to do anything as a result of the merger. They’ll continue to receive their same services, channel lineups and customer care.

Customer account information, online access and billing arrangements remain the same.

The integration of AT&T and DIRECTV will occur over the coming months. In the coming weeks, AT&T will launch new integrated TV, mobile and high-speed Internet offers that give customers greater value and convenience.

With the completion of its DIRECTV acquisition, AT&T will continue to deploy its all-fiber GigaPower Internet access service — the company’s highest-speed Internet service, which allows you to download a TV show in as little as three seconds. When the expansion is complete, AT&T’s all-fiber broadband footprint will reach more than 14 million customer locations.

“Combining DIRECTV with AT&T is all about giving customers more choices for great video entertainment integrated with mobile and high-speed Internet service,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “We’ll now be able to meet consumers’ future entertainment preferences, whether they want traditional TV service with premier programming, their favorite content on a mobile device, or video streamed over the Internet to any screen."

“This transaction allows us to significantly expand our high-speed Internet service to reach millions more households, which is a perfect complement to our coast-to-coast TV and mobile coverage,” Stephenson said. “We’re now a fundamentally different company, with a diversified set of capabilities and businesses that set us apart from the competition.”

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August 29, 2015

Get Your Internet Game On — Safely!

Posted by Dave Nichols

AT&T launches Digital You to teach you ways to help protect yourself online

Do you know someone who claims they’re “too old” to get online? Or who has had their email — or social media — account compromised? Anyone who has been bullied online? Someone who has posted something they later regretted?

If so, you are not alone!

That is why AT&T, with the help of Common Sense Media, AARP and other national community organizations, is launching Digital You.

This new program is designed to help educate and empower people to learn more about how to have a safe and secure online experience.

Digital You includes features like:

bullet pointA new AT&T website (digitalyou.att.comoffering research-based materials about how to use devices safely and effectively for parents, youth, seniors, people with disabilities and others, with key information in Spanish.

bullet pointCommunity events, training and discussions are led by AT&T employees and community organizations across the country.

bullet pointDigital Compass, a free, interactive game, was developed by Common Sense Media to help teach pre-teens how to make smart decisions online.
   

Digital You can help you take advantage of what the Internet has to offer — while also teaching you ways to help protect yourself from identity theft, online harassment and scams.

So get your Internet game on! Check out Digital You at:
digitalyou.att.com.

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21%  of Internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over by someone else without permissionof Internet users have had unauthorized access to their email or social networking account.[1]

 
 

33% of disconnected adults say that they stay offline because accessing the Web is too difficult or frustrating; they are physically unable; or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware or hackers

of disconnected adults say that they stay offline because accessing the Web is too difficult or frustrating; they are physically unable; or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware or hackers. [2]



43% of teens (13-17 years old) say they have posted something online that they later regrettedof teens  (13-17 years old) say they have posted something online that they later regretted.[3]
 

>40% of teens (13-17 years old) have been bullied online — 25% report it has happened more than onceof teens (13-17 years old) have been bullied online.[4]
 

 

 



[1]Pew Research Center, “Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online,” September 5, 2013
[2]Pew Research Center, ”Who’s Not Online and Why,” September 25, 2013
[3] The Online Generation Gap: Contrasting attitudes and behaviors of Parent and Teens, Submitted to The Family Online Safety Institute by Hart Research Associates, Nov. 14, 2012.
[4]
 Moessner, Chris. "Cyberbullying, Trends and Tudes." NCPC.org. Accessed February 10, 2014, http://www.ncpc.org/resources/files/pdf/bullying/Cyberbullying%20Trends %20-%20Tudes.pdf.

July 07, 2015

Take a moment and vote for Connect Ability Challenge submissions

Posted by Dave Nichols

This month will mark 25 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which aims to help people with disabilities remain as connected to daily life as possible. With changes in technology, it is important to keep the principles of accessibility and connectivity in mind, going beyond accessible buildings and employment to accessible technology like smartphones, wearables and other devices.

To advance the ADA’s goal of ensuring that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of our society, AT&T and the New York University ABILITY lab collaborated to create the Connect Ability Challenge, encouraging developers to create innovative technologies with people with disabilities for people with disabilities.

Developers had the chance to meet four Exemplars who live with some form of emotional, cognitive, physical or social disabilities to understand some of the challenges they face and the solutions they could use. The response from developers has been truly amazing and humbling. We received 63 submissions, spanning 16 states and 15 countries!

Connect Ability Challenge Submissions

The coders and developers have done their part, submitting ideas to empower people with disabilities at home, at work or in their social life. Now is your chance to help mark this milestone! This week, you can visit the Connect Ability Challenge website and vote for the solution you think is best. Voting ends July 11, so don’t miss your chance. The Popular Choice Award winner, and all Connect Ability Challenge winners, will be announced on July 26, the 25th anniversary of the ADA.

Please take a moment to look at these innovative solutions to connect people with disabilities in creative, practical and beneficial ways. Your vote could be the boost a developer needs to push their solution for people with disabilities further than ever before.

We want to give a special thanks to all of the challenge participants for their hard work, creativity and altruism. And, thank you to everyone who takes a moment to review and vote for these great ideas. We look forward to celebrating a quarter century of connecting people with disabilities and helping developers take that tradition to new heights.

Dave Nichols
President, AT&T Texas

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July 02, 2015

AT&T extends high-speed mobile Internet service into Mexico

Posted by Dave Nichols

Dear Fellow Texan,

Texas shares the longest border with Mexico, and many people in our state have ties to our bordering neighbor. Family, friends and businesses will soon have the opportunity to be a little bit closer and more connected.
 
AT&T has announced plans to invest approximately $3 billion to extend its high-speed mobile Internet service to Mexico over the next three years.

This is part of our plan to create the first-ever North American Mobile Service area, which will cover more than 400 million consumers and businesses in Mexico and the U.S. This seamless communications network will link together our two countries’ economies, people and culture like never before. 

I encourage you to check out the full news release below. 


AT&T to invest approximately US$3 billion in Mexico to extend mobile Internet to 100 million consumers & businesses by year-end 2018

Bullet PointNew customer service plans will extend Mexico calling and data plans to the United States

Bullet PointCompany makes commitments to benefit Mexican employees & communities

This seamless communications network will link together our two countries' economies, people and culture like never before.MEXICO CITY, June 25, 2015 — In a meeting today with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson announced that AT&T plans to invest approximately US$3 billion to extend its high-speed, mobile Internet service to Mexico, covering 100 million people in Mexico by year-end 2018. This is in addition to the US$4.4 billion AT&T invested earlier this year to acquire Iusacell and NEXTEL Mexico.

“We are building a network in Mexico that is capable of bringing innovation and economic vitality to the country, just as we have done in the U.S.,” Stephenson said. “We plan to deliver high-quality, high-speed mobile Internet service to Mexico, creating the first-ever North American Mobile Service Area covering 400 million people and businesses in Mexico and the U.S.

This seamless network will link together our two countries’ economies, people and cultures like never before.

“Reforms introduced by President Peña Nieto, with support from the Mexican Congress and IFETEL, have given us the ability to invest in building an advanced mobile network in Mexico,” Stephenson said. “As we are now seeing in Mexico, business investment increases with thoughtful, responsible regulation. And when companies invest — whether in expansion or improved services for consumers and businesses — they create jobs. It is a simple, powerful formula.

“The mobile Internet in the U.S. created an engine of economic growth. As we extend it into Mexico, we believe it will do the same here,” Stephenson said. “Beyond accelerating economic growth, the mobile Internet is about changing the way people live and work, keeping families better connected, opening up new educational and health care opportunities, and strengthening and empowering communities.”

New plans and features for customers

AT&T expects the first phase of its state-of-the-art, high-speed mobile network will be complete in the next six months and cover 40 million Mexicans, about one-third of the population. By the end of 2016, AT&T expects its mobile Internet service will reach 75 million people, nearly two-thirds of the population. AT&T plans to reach 100 million people by year-end 2018.
 
Next month, AT&T will introduce new plans for its Mexican customers that take advantage of the company’s North American Mobile Service Area. The new plans let Mexicans  use their individual plans — including voice, data and text messaging — while in the U.S. Customers on these new plans will also be able to use their available community minutes to call friends and family in the U.S. who are on the AT&T network. It’s one phone, one plan, covering two countries.

AT&T will also offer other features for its customers in Mexico, including Google Play billing, a first in Latin America. Customers with Google Android devices can download apps, books, movies, music and games with just one click — no credit cards needed — and have it added to their monthly wireless bills.

Commitment to customers and the community

AT&T is committed to delivering a great experience to its customers in Mexico. During the summer, the company will begin rolling out Nuestra Promesa (Our Promise). It encourages all employees to commit to a higher level of customer experience. AT&T based Nuestra Promesa on the service excellence standard it has in the U.S. That standard has earned the company multiple national awards for purchase experience and customer care. 

In his talks with President Peña Nieto, Stephenson reiterated AT&T’s commitment to all Mexican citizens. “We believe in taking care of the people in the communities where we live and work,” he said. “As a start, we’ll launch our “It Can Wait” campaign in Mexico City in the months ahead to discourage people from texting while driving. No text is worth a life. That’s a message we’ll send to all wireless users across Mexico. The dangers of texting and driving are just as serious in Mexico as they are in the United States.”
 
AT&T will also be the first Mexican wireless carrier to collaborate with the Alerta Amber (Amber Alert) initiative at a national level. Iusacell, Nextel and Unefon users will receive text messages when a child is missing or abducted in their area.

And, AT&T will invest to help more students in Mexico succeed in school and prepare for the workforce. This commitment will include corporate contributions and work with outstanding non-profit organizations focused on education. AT&T will introduce new learning opportunities for high school students to develop job skills that prepare them for work and teach them about different careers.

Investing in AT&T's people

Stephenson also recognized AT&T’s employees in Mexico for their contributions to the company’s success. “Everything that we’ve accomplished and our future plans for Mexico depend on one thing: Our people,” he said. “Our employees are critical to our success, and we’ll support them by making AT&T a great place to work in Mexico.”

Stephenson set a goal for AT&T to be one of the best employers in Mexico. To reach this goal, AT&T will introduce a number of programs to support its workforce. In 2016, AT&T will offer tuition support to help employees pursue educational opportunities to advance their careers. 

The company is also committed to diversity, with a focus on women and people with disabilities. AT&T plans to launch a Mexico chapter of the Women of AT&T employee resource group later this year and to collaborate with colleges to recruit female students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. AT&T has already moved quickly to expand opportunities for women: Today, women hold 25 percent of leadership positions in the company’s Mexico operations, up from 10 percent when the company entered the market earlier this year.

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Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto with AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson
Pictured above: Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto with AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson on June 25, following an announcement that AT&T plans to invest approximately US$3 billion to extend its high-speed, mobile Internet service to Mexico, covering 100 million people in Mexico by year-end 2018.

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June 16, 2015

AT&T is prepared to keep customers connected during hurricane season

Posted by Dave Nichols

Dear Fellow Texan,

AT&T is the only communications company that is Disaster Response Program Certified by Homeland Security.

AT&T is committed to keeping its customers connected during the upcoming hurricane season — before, during and after storms — and has one of the industry’s largest and most advanced business continuity and disaster response programs to ensure its networks stay up and running.

It can be daunting when a tropical storm or hurricane hits the coastline. But, AT&T is prepared with one of the nation’s largest and most advanced disaster programs.

As we prepare, so should you. Customer tips:It invested more than $600 million in the Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) program. And an arsenal of equipment is ready for deployment, including more than 300 technology and equipment trailers that can be quickly deployed, making it one of the nation’s largest and most advanced disaster programs.

In fact, AT&T is the only communications company to recently become re-certified under new international standards (ISO 22301) by the Department of Homeland Security for its disaster preparedness program.

AT&T conducts readiness drills and simulations year round to keep networks and our people ready to respond at a moment’s notice. NDR will complete its 74th full-field recovery exercise this year. The AT&T Global Network Operations Center monitors our networks 24/7. Since forming in 1991, the NDR has responded to more than 70 events in the U.S.

More information and tips for disaster preparedness can be found at www.att.com/vitalconnections.

Sincerely,

Dave Nichols
President — AT&T Texas

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May 29, 2015

What you can do to help the flood victims in Texas

Posted by Dave Nichols

Dear Fellow Texan,

We have all witnessed record setting rainfall that has led to flooding from North Texas, through Central Texas, down to Houston. Many of us know individuals who have suffered losses because of these storms.

While we can never truly replace what is lost, we at AT&T Texas are working to help these communities pick themselves up and move forward. We understand how critical communication and information is during and after a natural disaster.

Our teams are monitoring our networks to keep you connected and we are doing our absolute best to ensure the severe weather does not disrupt service.

We are proud to announce that AT&T is committing $150,000 to the American Red Cross to assist its relief and recover efforts in Texas. Currently, the American Red Cross is actively helping flood victims in Texas and has opened six shelters around the state located in: San Marcos, Wichita Falls, Wise County, Van, Houston and Corpus Christi.

To help, text REDCROSS to 90999. No text message fees apply.Those who want to support the recovery efforts can text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10*, visit www.redcross.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donations to Red Cross Disaster Relief can help provide food, water and shelter for those who have had to leave their home.

We hope that you will join us in supporting the American Red Cross relief efforts. Your contribution will help those hard-hit communities and so many others start to recover, rebuild and get back on their feet.

It is tough times like these that test our resolve, resiliency and strength as individuals and as a community. Texans always come through for each other in times of need. And with your help, this time will be no different.

We stand strong with the communities affected by these destructive storms and will continue to stand strong in our efforts to help them recover.

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Sincerely,

Dave Nichols
President — AT&T Texas

You can read the full news release here

* Wireless customers who donate to the Red Cross via text will see the donation charged on their monthly bill. No text message fees apply. AT&T employees should text from non-COU devices.

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