Reflecting on 2020 and serving our Indiana communities

Bill Soards
December 15, 2020
Broadband Access and Affordability

Reflecting on 2020 and serving our Indiana communities

Dear Friend:

What are the qualities that define a community? Unity, commitment, and adaptability – all values, when woven together, describe the values our teams work hard to uphold, in and outside the company.

As 2020 comes to an end, we remain steadfast in our commitment to be there for you, your families, our coworkers and neighbors. Whether it’s addressing social and economic barriers or empowering those particularly affected by the pandemic, we’re collaborating with civic and nonprofit organizations to provide Indiana’s communities with the resources they need.

It is vital we continue to support each other through the COVID-19 pandemic to emerge stronger than ever. From opening opportunity’s doors to closing technology gaps, I invite you to read below and learn more about our journey to building a resilient community.

Wishing you a safe and healthy holiday season.


Bill Soards
President – AT&T Indiana

Closing the homework gap

While the homework gap has existed for decades, COVID-19 has brought national awareness to the problem. I’m proud that AT&T continues to do its part to keep students connected to their teachers. Recently, we introduced a new education initiative that will build on our efforts and move us closer to closing both the homework gap and the home connectivity gap.

And we aren’t stopping there. We also announced a new $10 million contribution and collaboration with Connected Nation that will provide free internet connectivity and devices to underserved communities across the country. Please spread the word about this opportunity with your local schools – they can apply here until January 11.

It’s been an honor this year to work with various school districts across the state to ensure they have the tools they need to continue to provide Hoosier students with in-person, hybrid and online-only instruction. AT&T has provided everything from LTE wireless routers for South Bend Community schools, to MiFis for the Jennings County School Corp. We also directed $25,000 from the AT&T Foundation to Indianapolis’ eLearning Fund.

Committed to our communities

In addition to our education priorities, we support nonprofits across the state that are helping Hoosiers in need.

In Evansville, for example, we contributed $5,000 from the AT&T Foundation to the COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund. In Noblesville, the AT&T Foundation funded an organization called “Fueled for School,” which helps fight food insecurity for local students. Up north, an AT&T Foundation contribution assisted South Bend Code School with their efforts to provide technology training to underserved high school students.

Our Believe Indy initiative, which is aimed at lifting up neighborhoods and reducing violent crime, made an impact on our capital city in 2020, despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. While we weren’t able to volunteer in person, we were able to volunteer in our homes, with 120 employees creating notes of support and hygiene kits for residents struggling with poverty or homelessness in Indianapolis.

Through Believe Indy, we also gave $25,000 from the AT&T Foundation to both Gleaner’s Food Bank and the Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana and its minority business efforts.

Investing in our networks and public safety

We unveiled our latest investment figures this year, revealing we invested more than $1.1 billion in our networks across the state from 2017 to 2019.

While those investments benefit all of Indiana’s citizens, our first responders, in particular, have received a major boost in their wireless communications. The addition of new, purpose-built FirstNet cell sites and other network enhancements at hundreds of existing sites brings increased coverage, capacity and capabilities for public safety.

Twelve counties across Indiana – including Brown, Decatur, Fountain, Greene, Jennings, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, Orange, Owen and Ripley – now have newly launched FirstNet cell sites. And Band 14 – the nationwide, high quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet – has also been added on nearly 700 existing sites across Indiana, in markets such as Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis, South Bend and Terre Haute.

None of these technology improvements for Indiana’s citizens would be possible without our incredible employees. We are so grateful to all who toiled under very difficult circumstances this year.