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As our company responds to COVID-19, the health and safety of our employees and customers remain our top priority. The work we do is critical to millions of people and companies around the world, and we’re committed to being there when our customers and colleagues need us most. Here’s how we’re responding.

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Latest Updates

December 1, 2020 2:00 p.m. CST

Here's How AT&T Helps Small Businesses Stay Connected

Learn how K.O Towing uses AT&T and the FirstNet network to maintain operations and communications.

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FirstNet & First Responders

Police, firefighters, EMS, healthcare professionals, military personnel … they’re all on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. And they need fast, reliable, around-the-clock connectivity to coordinate and communicate their emergency response. We’re honored to meet that need with FirstNet, the only nationwide wireless broadband communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community.

Public Safety’s Network Supports COVID-19 Emergency Response

50% Off Service for 6 Months for New Individual First Responders on FirstNet

We’re determined to deliver the best tools and solutions for public safety’s life-saving missions. That’s why, starting today and for a limited time, we’re offering individual first responders who sign on to FirstNet and pay for their own service, 50% off monthly rate plan charges for 6 months when activating a new FirstNet Mobile—Responder Unlimited line of service and purchase a new FirstNet Ready™ device on a qualified installment agreement.1 Plus, they can get a $200 activation credit for their new device.2

1 Limited time only. Available only to eligible subscriber paid users. Req’s new line and min. $_4__ on installment agmt. w/ elig. wireless svc who activate a new FirstNet Mobile—Responder Unlimited line of service (min $39.99/mo on smartphone, $40/mo on tablet, $25 on wearable) and purchase a new FirstNet Ready™ device on a qualified installment agreement. 6 months of credits on a single line of service ($22.50/mo (smartphones), $20/mo (tablets), and $12.50/mo (wearables)) start w/in start w/in 3 bills. Well qualified customers only. If svc cancelled, credits stop & device balance due. New subscribers must qualify for FirstNet service and complete verification process within 30 days. Device must use a FirstNet SIM. Add’l fees, taxes, charges & other restr’s apply. See firstnet.com/currentoffers for complete details.

2 Limited time offer. Requires purchase on 0% APR AT&T Installment (30-month at maximum $66 per month) agreement. Credits start within three billing cycles. Available only to eligible first responders who activate a new smartphone line of service as a Subscriber Paid User on FirstNet Mobile—Responder plan with eligible voice & data service. If service is cancelled, device balance due (up to $1979.99). Tax on full retail price due at sale. Additional fees & restrictions apply. See firstnet.com/currentoffers for verification and here for other details.

FirstNet Connects Tribal Nations

The National Tribal Emergency Management Council has turned to FirstNet – America’s public safety network – for much needed connectivity as they coordinate logistics and package food and medical supplies to support Tribal Nations impacted by the coronavirus pandemic across 32 states. We deployed a dedicated FirstNet portable cell site and are providing in-building networking solutions for longer-term use at their Incident Command in a remote area of Washington. Check out our latest announcement to learn more about how we’ve been on the front lines with tribal nations across the country as they work to combat the coronavirus.

Learn More >>

Supporting Telehealth Quickly and Confidently

The federal government and health care industry have been working to expand coverage and improve access to telehealth services. FirstNet can be used daily by first responders for emergency medical services, and in turn helping maintain a semblance of normalcy for patients across the country through telehealth services. Doctors and nurses can video chat with their patients, as well as send video, medical imaging and medical vital sign information to people within the medical network that need them.

And because FirstNet routes all first responders’ information through a dedicated network core, it’s built with enhanced security (like end-to-end data encryption) and reliability – ideal for sending medical and patient information. By making it easier for doctors to remotely connect with patients, we’re doing what we can to help keep Americans safer and healthier. Check out our latest blog post to learn more on how we’re supporting public safety and the communities they serve with telehealth connectivity.

Learn More >>

The COVID-19 health crisis illustrates precisely why public safety fought for the creation of FirstNet, the only nationwide high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders. And as the nation continues to combat the spread of this disease, the FirstNet® communications platform – built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – is bringing advanced capabilities to first responders across the country.

#1: First responder public safety agencies on FirstNet can get premium FirstNet Ready™ smartphone devices for free for their agency-paid users to connect them to critical communications when and where they need it most. All they have to do is get a new FirstNet Mobile – Unlimited for Smartphone line of service or eligible upgrade with either a 2-year service agreement or a new AT&T Installment 30-month agreement and meet some other conditions.

#2: We’re delivering new capabilities to first responders. Developed from the ground up specifically for and with public safety officials, FirstNet Push-to-Talk (PTT) is the first-ever nationwide mission-critical standards-based push-to-talk solution to launch in the U.S. FirstNet PTT is designed to enable public safety to use their smartphones, feature phones and specialized ultra-rugged devices like they would use a two-way radio, with highly reliable, high-performance calling.

Read more about both here.

“The rapid support we received from the FirstNet team at AT&T to give us the communications we require was like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Having a FirstNet SatCOLT available to us has been an invaluable asset to our mission. I’m encouraged to see that FirstNet has stepped up to support tribal first responders during this unprecedented public health crisis. It gives me confidence knowing that we have a network that will be there when and where we need it.”

- Lynda Zambrano, Executive Director, NTEMC

“We are extremely grateful for the support from the FirstNet team at AT&T for providing additional network capacity for our remote, makeshift hospital at the Porterville Developmental Center in Tulare County. With this support, our first responders and healthcare personnel will have the priority connectivity they need, when they need it.” 

- Dennis Townsend, Tulare County Supervisor

"During an emergency, communications is critical. Thank you for making sure our team stays connected to our First Responders and their efforts fighting COVID-19."

Suzanne Crouch, Lieutenant Governor of Indiana

“COVID-19 is an unprecedented event for the country – and in times of emergency, communication is critical. As we began mobilizing various quarantine locations across California, our commercial network devices were unable to handle the heavy data transmission needed to adequately communicate. We turned to FirstNet, and the quick action and network performance allowed us to support the hundreds of public safety personnel actively engaged in response efforts. It’s been a game changer.”

– Tim Ketchie, Communications Unit Leader, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

FirstNet is public safety’s only network that gives first responders always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data, with multiple priority levels that first responder users can allocate as needed.

It’s like giving public safety communications the “lights and sirens” treatment. When you see or hear an emergency vehicle coming, you get out of the way, so they can quickly get to those in need. Priority and preemption follow that same approach, just on the communications highway.

Public safety agencies on FirstNet have access to a dedicated fleet of 76 deployable cell sites at no additional charge. The deployment of these assets is led by the FirstNet Response Operations Group (ROG), a team of former first responders who manage the program in alignment with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and FEMA National Response Framework (NRF).

No other network provider has deployable network assets dedicated solely and exclusively to public safety, backed by the oversight of the FirstNet Authority to help ensure public safety’s needs are met.  

FirstNet provides public safety with a dedicated lane of connectivity when they need it. To ensure first responders have as much coverage and capacity as possible, FirstNet subscribers have access to all AT&T LTE commercial spectrum bands, as well as Band 14 spectrum. Band 14 is nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the U.S. government specifically for FirstNet. We look at Band 14 as public safety’s VIP lane.

During an emergency, this band – or lane – can be cleared and locked just for FirstNet subscribers. That means only those on FirstNet will be able to access Band 14 spectrum, further elevating their connected experience and emergency response. That’s unique in the industry and something public safety won’t get anywhere but on the FirstNet network.

What is FirstNet?

FirstNet is the nationwide, wireless communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community. As men and women across the country stand on the front lines to support our nation’s response to COVID-19, they can have confidence knowing that with FirstNet they’ll have the unthrottled connectivity and priority communications they need to respond during this public health emergency. This type of unparalleled emergency support distinguishes FirstNet, public safety’s network, from best-effort commercial wireless networks built for consumer use.

So far, more than 11,000 public safety agencies and organizations across the country have subscribed. And over 1.2 million FirstNet connections are in service.

How is FirstNet different from commercial offerings?

FirstNet represents an unprecedented public-private investment in infrastructure that makes America a leader and public safety a national priority.

While commercial wireless offerings are available to public safety, FirstNet continues to grow because it stands apart from those commercial offerings. The FirstNet communications platform comes with unique features, functionality and spectrum for the public safety community. That’s why public safety fought for their own, separate, dedicated communications platform, championing the vision behind FirstNet.

How can I get FirstNet support?

FirstNet subscribers seeking to request FirstNet support can call 1-800-574-7000.

How do I order service or order additional devices?

Public safety agency and individual first responders, including police, fire, EMS, health care professionals, emergency management and military personnel can sign up for service or order devices online: https://www.firstnet.com/signup/.   

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Consumers

The services we provide are woven into the fabric of how we work, play and watch over our loved ones. We are committed to keeping you in touch when it matters most, because staying connected has never been more important. We’re automatically waiving home Internet data overage charges for AT&T Internet customers through December 31. That means new and existing AT&T FiberSM[1] and AT&T Internet customers[2] can use unlimited data and won’t see overage charges on their home Internet bill through December 31.

AT&T Remains Focused on Keeping You Healthy and Connected

Access from AT&T – We offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month or less through our Access from AT&T program. Through 12/31/20, AT&T is temporarily expanding eligibility of Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. Also for a limited time, customers at locations with available AT&T Internet speeds above 10 Mbps may be eligible for a speed upgrade up to 25 Mbps.

For Customers in Washington D.C.

The District of Columbia has passed legislation addressing companies’ ability to terminate or disconnect wireline telephone service during a Public Health Emergency as well as establishing conditions and requirements applicable to telecommunication providers’ payment plans for eligible customers.  Get all the details on B23-0758 at https://lims.dccouncil.us/Legislation/B23-0758.

For Customers in Washington

In Washington State, utility companies, such as wireline service providers, must waive late payment fees and not disconnect residential wireline customers.  See Washington Governor’s Proclamation for more details.

For Customers in Hawaii

The Public Utilities Commission of the State of Hawaii passed an order addressing utility companies’ ability to terminate or disconnect service during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Get all the details on the State of Hawaii’s Public Utility Commission website.

For Customers in Louisiana

The Louisiana Public Service Commission passed two Special Orders addressing utility companies’ ability to disconnect service during the COVID-19 pandemic, including topics such as Customer Notifications; Late Fees, Penalties and Interest; and Customer Payment Plans. In accordance with Louisiana Public Service Commission Special Orders 43-2020 and 44-2020, the Company alerts its customers to the following effective as of July 16, 2020: (1) the Commission has terminated the temporary prohibition on service disconnections, meaning your service may now be discontinued for failing to pay your bill; (2) all customers with an outstanding principal balance have an obligation to pay the outstanding balance; and (3) AT&T is offering payment plans to delinquent customers to allow the payment of outstanding balances – please contact AT&T to set up a plan at 800-288-2020. The details of the Commission’s Orders may be found on the Louisiana Public Service Commission website.

What we do is critical to connecting millions of people and companies around the world to friends, family, colleagues, customers and communities. When people need us most, we show up. That’s what we do. It’s who we are.

The health and safety of our customers and employees are top priorities for AT&T, which is why we want to let you know what we’re doing to respond to COVID-19.

We’re asking our employees in customer-facing roles or those that require onsite presence to take appropriate preventive measures – whether they are in our stores, call centers, our customers’ homes or businesses. This includes stocking up on hand sanitizer and disinfecting spray and wipes, increased cleaning and sanitizing for all company-operated stores with an added focus on locations in affected areas. We’re also encouraging employees who may not feel well to avoid coming to work or interacting with customers. 

Our front-line employees across the nation – including retail employees, Ready to Go, Cricket Wireless, field technicians and others – continue to take your health seriously, which is why we ask them to:

  • Disinfect their workspace after every customer interaction
  • Wipe down all displays and hard surfaces multiple times a day
  • Pay extra attention to sanitizing common areas
  • Take care of themselves by eating well, washing their hands frequently, staying hydrated and well-rested, and quickly reporting if they are not feeling well

And while the mission of our field technicians is essential to keeping our customers connected during this time, we also recognize that there is a balance between providing service and keeping our technicians safe.

To accomplish that balance, we’re providing our field technicians with new policies and procedures so they feel comfortable serving customers at their businesses and in their homes, while delivering on our commitment to service.

For that reason, our technicians will contact customers prior to arriving for scheduled appointments to ask questions concerning health and travel. We've asked that our technicians not enter the home or business of any customer who has:

  • Been sick or quarantined
  • Traveled to a high-risk Level 3 country in the last 14 days
  • Been in close contact with someone confirmed positive for coronavirus or who has traveled through a high-risk country in the last 14 days

In those cases, our technicians will attempt to assist the customer without entering the home or business, where possible. Customers who wish to reschedule their appointments can do so on our myAT&T app or by visiting att.com.

We offer multiple options to keep you connected if you have concerns about getting out in the community or are unable to make it to a store.

  • Our MyAT&T and att.com also give you easy access to view and pay bills, monitor data usage, add more lines to your account and even upgrade existing devices or  services. Our myAT&T app is easy to use and available through mobile app stores.
  • In select markets, AT&T Ready to Go will continue to bring the retail experience to you. Consumers and small business customers can get personal delivery with eligible device orders.
  • AT&T is redirecting more resources to provide communication services and tools for first responders, health care professionals, educators and other essential customers. This additional support will help ensure these customers can continue providing critical support to the country and their communities, particularly to first responders using FirstNet - the nationwide wireless broadband communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community. FirstNet is the first and only network built with first responders, for first responders.
  • Curbside pickup - When your order is ready, we will deliver it to your car. Existing customers can get curbside pickup for online orders at an open AT&T store.
  • Doorstep delivery with virtual setup In select markets, AT&T Ready to Go will continue to bring the retail experience to you. Consumer and small business customers can get fast doorstep delivery with no-contact virtual expert setup with eligible device orders.
  • Express shipping – Wireless customers can get free express shipping for a limited time for online orders.

In recent weeks we’ve all felt the change to our daily lives. In times like this, we want to stay connected to the people that we care about as well as news, information, education and even entertainment.

Our teams across AT&T are honored to keep you connected to what matters to you most. Keeping you connected is what we’ve always done and what we’ll always do. 

How you can reach us

We’re working to keep you, and millions of people and companies around the world, connected during this critical time. We continue to balance providing the services you rely on while maintaining the health and safety of all our employees and customers.

That’s why we encourage you to manage your services online at att.com or on the myAT&T app with 24/7 access allowing you to do almost everything you could do in our store or through our customer service team. These online tools allow you to handle wireless, video or internet bill payments, device or Wi-Fi troubleshooting, upgrading or activating your device or service and so much more.

Additionally, to further ensure we’re taking the proper steps for our customers and employees, we’ve adjusted our retail store presence to focus on handling first responder and critical customer needs. We’ve also reduced hours and taken extra cleaning and social distancing precautions. You can use our store locator to find information about the status of stores near you.

Thank you for choosing AT&T. Now more than ever we’re connected together.

Sincerely,

Thaddeus Signature.gif

Thaddeus Arroyo
CEO – AT&T Consumer

For More Details Click Here >>

Fighting Coronavirus Scam Calls

Scammers are trying to take advantage of the global health emergency. We have not seen an increase of suspicious robocalls across our network. But an increasing percentage of fraudulent robocalls are using coronavirus as bait.

Here are some of the things we do to fight bad robocalls, and how you can help.

We recently added AT&T Call Protect1 for millions of AT&T wireless customers at no charge. It’s a network-level service that automatically blocks suspected fraud calls. It also labels spam and other categories of calls so you can choose to answer or not.

You don’t have to do anything to make the service work. But if you want to do more, you can.

  • To block more unwanted calls, send them straight to voicemail or to customize the service, you can download our free accompanying app of the same name – AT&T Call Protect.
  • You can report unwanted robocalls that get through – to help us make our blocking services even stronger. Just click on the bad call in the app’s call log.

We work behind the scenes for you, as well. Earlier this month, our global fraud team reached a new milestone: They’ve blocked 6 billion suspected illegal robocalls since the launch of our network analytics-based blocking program in 2016. The program works in addition to AT&T Call Protect, and it covers everyone on our network – home phones, business phones, wireless and VoIP.

We also work to protect our customers from abusive, illegal and unwanted text messages. You can help there, too. Please forward suspicious text messages, including coronavirus messages, to 7726 (SPAM) so we can investigate them.

Finally, the AT&T Mobile Security app can help protect you against fake apps that may try to take advantage of the world crisis. It also provides alerts about data breaches.

The best defense against all kinds of fraud is still the same – stop and think. You can read more about coronavirus scams on our Cyber Aware website.

1 AT&T Call Protect is available for consumer and business postpaid wireless accounts with eligible service. AT&T Call Protect is not available for AT&T PREPAID℠ accounts. AT&T Call Protect service requirements: Compatible device is required and includes iPhone 6 or newer, running iOS v9.3+ and AT&T HD Voice-enabled Android smartphones. Some features vary by device operating system. Phones sold by other carriers or direct from device manufacturers may not be eligible for AT&T Call Protect.

Update on our Stores

To help keep our employees, customers and community more safe, we’ve made a number of changes in our retail stores as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • We’re now offering curbside service, touchless transactions, and in some markets, door-step service with a no-contact virtual set-up.
  • We’re also limiting the number of people in our stores to ensure social distancing and asking customers to first go online to handle some services like bill payments and device upgrades.
  • Masks are required to be worn by employees, customers and visitors in our stores and will be provided to customers who need them.
  • Hand sanitizer is available to our employees and customers, and surfaces are cleaned and sanitized at regular intervals throughout the workday.

We thank our customers for their patience as we work hard to provide them with the wireless service they rely on, while keeping safety and health top of mind. We will continue to monitor and act as needed.

Here are a few extra tips to help keep you healthy and connected using your own devices:

  • Keep your device clean. Spray a nonabrasive or alcohol-based (70% isopropyl) disinfectant directly on a soft lint-free cloth and wipe down your device while it is powered down and unplugged
  • Share things like photos through text messages instead of passing your phone around
  • Since devices can collect germs, avoid putting your device on public surfaces and try to use a Bluetooth device or a hands-free headset to minimize the device’s exposure to your face

For more information on how to protect yourself from COVID-19, explore the CDC website.

[1] Limited availability.  May not be available in your area.

[2] Excludes DSL and Fixed Wireless Internet.  Also excludes AT&T Wireless Internet and Mobility plans

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Businesses

Our business customers, large and small, have long looked to us for a wide range of solutions, from wireless connectivity to VPN to cloud services. Today those services are literally enabling many of those customers to continue operating in a work-from-home world.

Supporting Small Businesses and Enterprises Across the Country

AT&T Business and Barbara Corcoran Help Small Businesses Pave the Road to Recovery

Even as businesses around the globe begin to reopen their doors, the future of many small businesses remains uncertain. A new webinar series from AT&T Business and founder of The Corcoran Group and ‘Shark’ on ABC’s Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran, aims to share expertise and experience from successful business leaders to help struggling small businesses recover in a post-pandemic environment.

Read More >>

For Customers in Washington D.C.

The District of Columbia has passed legislation addressing companies’ ability to terminate or disconnect wireline telephone service during a Public Health Emergency as well as establishing conditions and requirements applicable to telecommunication providers’ payment plans for eligible customers.  Get all the details on B23-0758 at https://lims.dccouncil.us/Legislation/B23-0758.

For Customers in Louisiana

The Louisiana Public Service Commission passed two Special Orders addressing utility companies’ ability to disconnect service during the COVID-19 pandemic, including topics such as Customer Notifications; Late Fees, Penalties and Interest; and Customer Payment Plans. In accordance with Louisiana Public Service Commission Special Orders 43-2020 and 44-2020, the Company alerts its customers to the following effective as of July 16, 2020: (1) the Commission has terminated the temporary prohibition on service disconnections, meaning your service may now be discontinued for failing to pay your bill; (2) all customers with an outstanding principal balance have an obligation to pay the outstanding balance; and (3) AT&T is offering payment plans to delinquent customers to allow the payment of outstanding balances – please contact AT&T to set up a plan at 800-288-2020. The details of the Commission’s Orders may be found on the Louisiana Public Service Commission website.

AT&T & IBM Powering Remote Work for Health Care Experts Studying the Coronavirus

Researchers and health professionals at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) are working with global health experts to study COVID-19. AT&T and IBM are providing the NHLBI a cloud-based virtual desktop solution that allows NHLBI workers to easily and more securely access and share vital research while working remotely to help contain the spread of the virus. The solution can support up to 600 remote workers concurrently. It includes AT&T virtual private networking for fast, highly secure access to the IBM Cloud for Government. It supports easy and fast user authentication while meeting federal government requirements for data, system and network security.

We are in uncharted territory – what seemed routine a few short weeks ago – commuting to work, going to the gym, or gathering with friends – is now either a daunting task or a non-existent option. Given the rapid move for many to work from home, organizations have either been scrambling to quickly roll out solutions to keep employees connected or relying upon their contingency plan in place. Protecting your organization and its suddenly remote workforce is essential. Consider these immediate security needs and whether your solutions and services are resilient. Check out this blog from AT&T Cybersecurity’s President & CEO Barmak Meftah. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the value of automated robotics sharply into focus. Today we announced two prime examples of how AT&T Internet of Things cellular connectivity is playing a role. We’re working with XENEX to connect their LightStrike™ Germ-Zapping Robots™ that use intense UV light to deactivate deadly pathogens and help hospitals fight infections and save lives; to see this full release click here. With Brain Corp, we’re helping to enable robotics for cleaning, inventory delivery, and shelf-analytics for retailers and other essential businesses; see this full release here. These are clear examples of how IoT can play a role in meeting society’s needs and urgent challenges.

Anne Chow, CEO, AT&T Business Joins Conversations with Dez Podcast to discuss network preparedness, what we’re hearing from customers and how we’ve responded to the COVID-19 pandemic across industries, including those on the front lines.

Listen Here >>

The connectivity and solutions we provide to our customers have never been more critical – whether it be hospitals, medical facilities, utilities, food and beverage industry, government entities, financial institutions, K-12 and higher education, any other business or employees working from home. Our dedicated Global Operations & Service team in AT&T Business has pulled off some amazing feats to support our customers.

To keep our customers connected and complement our product offers, we’ve launched six new Command Centers that are enabling the fast delivery of increased bandwidth, new circuits and unified communication services. This will help enable working from home and support the smooth functioning of institutions that are experiencing a significant increase in data and voice traffic.  

Our teams are utilizing our own unified communication and borderless collaboration tools.

To highlight three of the six command centers:

1. Delivery Command Center - AT&T Core Network

Our network is at the core of everything we do and it is during times like these when it matters the most. To that end, this command center has been established to handle higher demands across our infrastructure. As demands on the network continually evolve, AT&T is confident this structure will keep our network strong as needs evolve.

2. Delivery Command Center - Customer Needs                  

This structure is designed to organize all delivery functions across AT&T to expedite critical customer orders with high priority work volumes. Within one week, our teams have already completed hundreds of COVID-19-related customer orders across multiple industry segments. This effort is proving vital to not only our customers, but to the functioning of our society in these critical times.

3. Incident Command Center

Customers and businesses will all be impacted in some way during the COVID-19 pandemic. This command center has been established recognizing that vital customer incidents will need restoration faster than ever before. This center will prioritize incidences with Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) indicators above all else.

These are truly unprecedented times.

We recognize that no business will be left untouched by this pandemic. No matter if you’re expanding bandwidth, redeploying employees or needing additional products and services, we’ve established the mechanisms to help you meet your business objectives.

These command centers are a true reflection of people, process, technology and culture coming together. Our team is dedicated around-the-clock, prepared to execute with excellent and seamless collaboration across Delivery, Sales and Technology ecosystems. 

Technology supports our people.

We’re using collaboration tools to provide real-time status updates. We deployed a full automation framework using BOTs and other automation to speed up order intake, triage, delivery activity based on priority request. The BOTs launch a virtual command and control room and invite key stakeholders to collaborate in real time.

We’re doing this while prioritizing the health and safety of our employees. We’re constantly working to stay ahead and respond as the situation evolves.

Does COVID-19 + BAU = WFH? Get prepared with the right communications tools.

For more information and resources to help keep your business running during the unpredictable, please visit AT&T Business Continuity here.

The unprecedented global health crisis has a growing number of businesses taking drastic measures to help ensure the health and safety of their employees. Large-scale work-from-home (WFH) policies are now commonplace with hopes of social distancing to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Addressing the risk to people, families and communities is paramount. We also understand there is significant risk to the financial health of businesses. A prolonged interruption in operations could be significant to many organizations. Even with a workforce that’s suddenly more decentralized, in many cases businesses must attempt to continue to operate as predictably as possible, even amidst the unpredictability of the current environment.  

Many businesses today are familiar with the latest technologies enabling employees to work from nearly anywhere and from any device. But for some, we realize they may find challenges in maintaining not just productivity, but also collaboration and even culture during a prolonged pause to normal office life as we know it – even with all the tools readily available.

As more organizations institute work-from-home policies, we want to emphasize to that our connectivity tools provide the capabilities to enhance the virtual work experience. Below are five tools and tips that your business may already be using to help ease the challenge of working and collaborating from anywhere.

Addressing Security Risks: Possibly the most significant risk related to the work-from-home policies is the effect it could have on cybersecurity. Enable secure access for employees to corporate networks, applications and servers through a VPN. Also, remind employees about your organization’s cybersecurity policies. It’s easier to become complacent at home, and virus-related scams have already been making the rounds.

Putting Faces to Names: It’s easy to become detached if colleagues slowly become words in an email or a voice on the other end of the phone. Enable your workforce with collaboration tools with built-in videoconferencing capabilities and encourage them to connect with each other “face-to-face.”

Reaching You No Matter the Number: How easy is it for customers or others outside your organization to reach you by phone? If teams are out of the office for an extended period of time, calls can get lost in the shuffle quickly. Many enterprise phone services offer simple call forwarding or even the ability to unify phone numbers to a designated device.

Setting Up Living Chat Rooms: Much of what’s most enjoyable about office life is defined by the informal and unplanned interactions where employees can bounce ideas off one another and build camaraderie with colleagues. By creating a space specifically for impromptu discussions, you can help working groups stay more engaged with tasks and collaborate with each other.

Communication Is KEY: We can’t lose sight of our connection to each other. The focus on simply communicating one-on-one and across workgroups while building relationships is a must! Without the ability to meet and spend time in person, get creative. We’ve got to make that extra effort to consciously reach out and collaborate, harnessing the power of the abundant technology and solutions that are available to us. Success depends on creating and sustaining an open dialogue as well as keeping the virtual door always open. Each and all of us have to work with greater purpose to develop and sustain our connections with people – whether it be our colleagues, customers, partners, suppliers and all stakeholders – to ensure ongoing alignment and constructive progress. Feedback will be even more critical during these times – so keep it coming!

Stay well and stay connected!

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Education & Communities

One of AT&T’s core values is to be there when people need us. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is rooted in that belief. Below is more information about how we’re supporting communities, families and educators during this time.

Helping Our Communities in Times of Need

AT&T Commits more than $1 Million to Organizations Supporting Teachers

Teachers give their best to our communities every day. In recognition of their tireless work, AT&T is contributing more than $1 million to teacher-focused organizations as they gear up for another school year. These contributions, made possible in part through AT&T’s Distance Learning & Family Connections fund, will support a variety of programs and resources that provide teachers with tools and training to help their students.

Introducing AT&T Summer Camp

AT&T Summer Camp features free activities, curated from a variety of nonprofits, that engage kids in learning new skills. Kids will be able to cultivate their writing skills with 826 National, code their own games with Scratch and submit videos to Reel Works’ Reel Viral Challenge.

Learn More >>

See additional ways we're supporting families and educations through our $10 million Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund. 

Learn More >>

AT&T Supports California Community Organizations with $3.5 Million in Response to COVID-19

AT&T California announced today more than $3.5 million in contributions to California community-based organizations who are providing relief to residents from underserved communities, front-line health workers, public safety organizations and small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Resources for Families During the Coronavirus Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, children and families are spending more time in front of a screen – watching TV, playing games and using mobile devices to stay connected with teachers, family and friends. Our ScreenReady site is sharing digital parenting tips and resources to help families stay connected, learning and entertained at home during the time of coronavirus.

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Employees

The safety of our employees is one of our top priorities. Today, nearly half of our employees are working from home. And for those who can’t do that, we’re providing personal protection protocols and equipment. We’re working to keep them safe, so they can keep you connected.

Our Paid Time Off and Work-From-Home Policies for COVID-19

AT&T Gives Call Center Employees the Option to Work from Home

With customers, first responders, health care workers, teachers and other essential workers depending on AT&T to keep them connected, our call center employees have a huge responsibility. Now we’re giving many of them the option to do that important work from home during the current pandemic.

Transforming the traditional roles and environments for our call center employees required innovation, and our teams have been able to successfully replicate the call center agent role at home. Today, more than half of our call center employees are working from home and we expect nearly all will be able to in the coming weeks.

This is completely voluntary, and our call centers will remain open for those who choose to continue to go into work and for a small number of employees who currently need to do so because their jobs require handling sensitive customer information. For those employees still going into work at our call centers, we have implemented new procedures and policies to help protect their health and safety.

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Network

As a global company, we have extensive experience in planning for and responding to a wide variety of situations around the world. Our teams are closely monitoring developments in the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and are taking the appropriate steps to help maintain the ongoing health and safety of our employees and customers.

Network Preparedness & Trends

Software-Centric Network Keeps Business Customers Connected in a Highly Safe Manner

You don’t design a network for a pandemic. But it turns out that building your network on software and open hardware specifications can help make it ready for just about anything. Check out the latest blog from AT&T CTO Andre Fuetsch, who explains how AT&T’s network transformation journey is helping companies around the world seamlessly connect their employees to their corporate networks in the middle of a pandemic.

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AT&T uses self-healing architectures and restoration technologies to maintain a reliable network.

We’ve set a high standard for network reliability through our patented Real Time Network Routing (RTNR) system. The RTNR system automatically completes domestic calls via any of more than 134 possible routes. These systems help ensure network reliability by rerouting circuits in the event of a failure on the core network.

We prepare and train year-round for business continuity and disaster recovery scenarios with our experts around the world.

AT&T’s Global Technology Operations Center is committed to 24x7 identifying and managing IT-related service continuity risks across the enterprise. The organization has established procedures designed to minimize the risk, the cost and the duration of disruption to essential business processes in the event of a major crisis or disaster.

Accordingly, we have taken a number of steps to help ensure the reliability of AT&T critical business processes and supporting infrastructures in order to provide high-quality communication services to AT&T customers. This includes up-front prevention and mitigation efforts, as well as comprehensive emergency response and recovery plans in the event of a disaster or crisis.

We are aligned with industry standards for business continuity and resiliency. And we have a business continuity management program that focuses on continuous improvement and evolving threats.

No one can be certain of the extent and effects of an event or disaster, but AT&T is in a strong position for preparedness.

AT&T maintains mobility network capacity in the U.S. by closely monitoring traffic in service areas.

Wireless voice and data traffic changes daily, so we have an extensive program to keep our network’s capacity flexible to deal with normal bandwidth projections.

We continuously monitor our networks 24x7 for faults and address most of them via redundant systems. Continuous analysis of network statistics helps us ensure that we meet our operating and engineering standards.

AT&T determines when to add network capacity based on network load as well as business and traffic forecasts.

Our technology planning and engineering teams manage capacity in the following categories:

  • Backbone links (core, edge and uplinks)
  • Peering links (private and public)
  • Customer ports on access routers
  • Device “soft limits”

We continuously monitor bandwidth use with a proprietary tool that analyzes and correlates network statistics, which reveal network usage trends, and provides us with performance and capacity management reports.

In addition, the tool compares report metrics with engineering objectives and notifies our operations team when the load exceeds specified thresholds.

We support our customers through their business continuity plans by providing a wide array of products and services that will help maintain particular customer operations, applications, work centers and networks.

For example, many employers use virtual private networks, or VPNs, as highly secure, dedicated channels for remote users to access the same network they normally have at work.

AT&T works with our customers on VPN solutions and uses multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) to create a virtual private network.

For resources to help you plan and mitigate unforeseen events, please visit the AT&T Business Continuity Website.

Letter From CEO of AT&T Communications

I don’t think any of us have ever experienced a situation quite like this one. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected virtually everyone around the world, upended the engines of commerce, closed schools and some businesses, and disrupted the rhythms of our daily lives.

 

Connectivity is always essential to our customers – doctors and nurses, first responders, governments, banks, grocery stores, pharmacies and others delivering vital services. It’s even more critical during a public health crisis that’s challenging everyone. In fact, as a critical infrastructure provider, AT&T believes we have a civic duty to step up and keep our customers and communities connected.

I wanted to share some of the ways the people of AT&T are working to respond. We will keep this site updated with new developments as they happen.

Our path forward

One of AT&T’s core values is to Be There when people need us. And we can’t do that if our employees are sick. A simple, effective way to minimize risk is to maximize social distance. So last Friday, we implemented a sweeping work-from-home policy. If AT&T employees can work from home, they will.

We greatly appreciate our customers’ patience as we manage through these challenging times. In these situations, we work to prioritize and serve critical needs. And because we anticipate higher call volumes, we recommend, when your need isn’t critical and when possible, reaching out through att.com or our myAT&T app for customer support, additional resources or to access our online store.

Staying safe on the front lines

At the same time, we have implemented new policies and guidelines to help protect our nonmanagement and management employees who are on the front line serving customers or who can’t do their jobs from home. We’re working to keep up with demand for hand sanitizer and other supplies and are sourcing these from multiple vendors.

In retail, our goal is to limit employees’ exposure while still upholding our responsibility to meet the essential needs of customers, FirstNet subscribers and the public safety community, who are counting on us.

  • So, today we’ll begin closing 40% of our company-owned retail stores nationwide. Closures will continue while we concentrate our resources on select stores to meet the immediate service needs of our customers, including first responders and health care providers.
  • At stores that do remain open, we’re adjusting store hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, and we’re closing all stores on Sundays. 
  • Staffing in stores that remain open will adhere to social distancing guidelines, while still being able to serve customers.

Our call center capacity has declined because of the leave accommodations we have made for employees who are parents of children whose schools have closed and our employees who are at higher risk for the coronavirus. As a result of reduced capacity in our call centers, we’re taking the following steps:

  • Using new IVR (Interactive Voice Response) messaging that encourages customers to take advantage of our self-help online tools at att.com.
  • Adjusting call center staffing levels and shifts to ensure proper social distancing. This may result in longer hold times for service.
  • And just like in retail, we’re taking actions to prioritize service issues - optimizing the handling of calls, whether inbound or outbound, and balancing capacity across all functions.

Our field technicians play a critical role in installing and repairing our services for millions of businesses and consumers. While their mission is essential to keep our customers connected, we also recognize that there is a balance between providing service and keeping our technicians safe. To accomplish that balance, we’re providing them with new policies and procedures, so they feel comfortable serving customers at their businesses and in their homes, while delivering on our commitment to service. Our first priority is repair of the network and the services we provide to customers. Our second priority is installing broadband for health care providers, first responders, government and other essential business and service providers. We will work other installations as resources allow.

Supporting customers and communities

Here’s what we’re doing to help our customers and our communities get through this:

  • Last week, we announced that we are suspending broadband usage caps for our home internet customers. That means no overage fees while people are home using more data.
  • We’re keeping our public Wi-Fi hotspots open for anyone who needs them.
  • We continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited-income households at $10/month through our Access from AT&T program.
  • We won’t terminate service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer due to an inability to pay their bill as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – and we’re waiving late payment fees for those customers.
  • We are underwriting expenses for a “one-stop” resource center to support eLearning Days from the State Educational Technology Directors Association. It’s available to help all educators handle school closings and virtual learning.
  • As public safety’s partner – not simply a vendor or commercial network provider – our FirstNet teams are working closely with first responders – firefighters, police, medics and more – to keep them connected when and where they need it most.
  • And we are helping businesses and universities stand-up virtual offices and classrooms with conference call and videoconferencing with Cisco Webex Meetings with AT&T. We’re also enabling businesses to forward calls to both mobile and landline phones with AT&T IP Flexible Reach.

Connecting first responders

For over a month now, police, fire, EMS, public health, emergency management and military personnel have been working around the clock to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Through FirstNet, AT&T is not just a vendor or commercial network provider. We're the partner for public safety providers, giving first responders the connectivity that they need to serve our communities.

  • Emergency Operations Centers: FirstNet liaisons at AT&T are embedded with state and federal emergency operations centers. This strengthens public safety’s command and control of their network and helps ensure they have the mobile connectivity and devices they need to respond to the coronavirus.
  • FirstNet Fleet: All at no additional charge, public safety agencies on FirstNet have access to a dedicated fleet of 76 deployable cell sites. The deployment of these assets is led by the FirstNet Response Operations Group, a team of former first responders who manage the program in alignment with the National Incident Management System and FEMA’s National Response Framework.

We've deployed FirstNet fleet assets such as portable cell sites, optimized the network or provided FirstNet Ready™ devices to support quarantine zones, airports, emergency operations and other public safety centers.

Looking ahead

I want you to know that AT&T will continue to do everything we can do to help. I truly believe that together we can help slow the spread of the coronavirus and lessen its impact. And once we do that, it is only a matter of time before we get our communities back to normal.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this challenge together. 

JM Sig.PNG

Jeff McElfresh

CEO of AT&T Communications

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