Keeping California on the Cutting Edge

Marc Blakeman, President, AT&T California
January 29, 2024
Broadband Access and Affordability


Keeping California on the Cutting Edge

During the internet’s infancy, computers were connected in Santa Monica, UC Berkeley, and at MIT in an important milestone for both California and the development of the network concept. Since that time, California has fostered an environment where technology has thrived. Today, California remains a global leader in internet technology and innovation.

Before the invention of the internet and the buildout of broadband infrastructure, Californians, like many others across the country, had to write a letter, send a fax, or find a landline telephone to communicate remotely. Today, we can communicate through video chat, text, or call anywhere from a mobile device – and it’s all thanks to high-speed fiber and broadband wireless networks.

More Than Just Phone Calls

We’re no longer tied down to a landline device that runs over old copper wires. California’s seniors are using technology to stay connected with loved ones and monitor their health. Smart home technology is being used by caretakers and healthcare providers. Our first responders are using mobile technology to respond to disasters faster and more efficiently. Our most vulnerable residents use modern internet technology to access health care and social services, find jobs and access education.

With continued adoption of wireless and broadband, technology will only continue to transform the way we live and work.

Maintaining The Cutting Edge

Despite the creation of modern networks that consumers prefer like fiber and five generations of cellular technology, current regulations require AT&T to invest heavily in maintaining old copper networks that support landlines. Money spent on these efforts means fewer dollars available to bring more people more advanced technologies.

To remain a technology leader, California regulators should establish a pathway that allows AT&T to better meet consumer demands and transition away from outdated, copper-based networks that no longer meet those needs. Doing so would enable expanded investments in modern communications and help the state increase broadband deployment efforts to connect more residents and businesses.

Our Pledge to You

No AT&T customer will be left behind in this transition—consumers will have access to voice services, whether from AT&T or another service provider. Several products are available today to help upgrade home phone services, offering the same and even more advanced features than traditional landline phones. They have location-based capabilities for emergency services like dialing 911, and battery backup in case of power outages.

We will also continue to invest in our modern broadband network to create greater connectivity across the Golden State. This includes working with state and local elected leaders to make sure available federal and state funding is efficiently used to bridge the digital divide and expand broadband to underserved communities.

It’s time to have a constructive conversation about updating California’s regulations so AT&T can focus on bringing the latest technology to all Californians.

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