AT&T: One City, Three U-verses? | Street Jazz

Thursday, January 15, 2009

AT&T: One City, Three U-verses?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 10:28 AM

The AT&T U-verse saga continues, with three possible  scenarios before us - all taking place at the same time, it seems. Since alternative earth stories are among my favorite types of science fiction adventures, I’m in seventh heaven this morning. Or hog heaven, since I’m in Fayetteville.

Earth I: Earlier this week, a Community Access Television Board member traveled to the AT&T store in the Northwest Arkansas mall He asked the store rep point blank about the missing channels, who then had to contact AT&T High Command. He reported back that the channels would not be offered on U-verse.

Earth II: I called the Mall store yesterday and talked to someone, and said I was interested in subscribing the U-verse service, but only if certain local channels were offered - Community Access television and Fayetteville Government Channel.  Confused that the channels I was requesting were not offered, the young man on the end of the line had to go online, and check the listings.

When he got back to me, he expressed some concern that the stations were not offered - since they were local -  but he was sure, since they were local, that they would be. He kept mentioning RTN, as if this would somehow appease me.

But my absolute favorite is:

Earth III: I called the 800 number that came with the flyer that appeared in my mailbox and asked about the channels. Though the Bright and Chirpy person didn’t go into the list of channels offered, she assured me that if I signed up for U-verse today (yesterday), I’d find those channels on my TV tomorrow (today).

Well, sad to say, despite Bright and Chirpy’s promises, no one from AT&T has yet approached the PEG Center to discuss the installation of the educational, public access or government channels on their system.

Since AT&T must have made at least - what? A few hundred bucks at least? - profit last year, I’d think they could have gotten all their ducks in a row right from the very beginning - if they ever really intended to.

I think AT&T was miffed by the public forum that was held in Fayetteville in the spring of 2007. Way too many people knew way too much about AT&T and the U-verse - and the problems with it across the country -  and I don’t think they liked it. I don’t think they liked anyone questioning them, and I think that’s when they decided not to offer the PEG channels on the system here.


******

Quote of the Day

Until the lions have their historians, tales of hunting will glorify the hunter. - African proverb

*****

And then there is Kathy Foraker

And then we have AT&T’s Kathy Foraker, who still seems to be promising, “By Golly! We’re gonna do it!”

I don’t know Kathy Foraker. I’m sure she is a nice woman, and is kind to small animals, but I also know that she was part of the Lioneld Jordan transition team, which fills me with all sorts of trepidation.

I don’t know if she is advising the Jordan administration on anything now, but if she is, until this mess is resolved, I think they should put as much distance between her and themselves as humanly possible.

Because it’s not just about this being an unholy mess; it’s about corporate honesty, or the lack of it . . .

****

Julius Genachowski:  A new day dawns at the FCC

The change-over in administrations can’t get here quickly enough.

JANUARY 13, 2009
Obama to Tap Tech Adviser as FCC Chief

By AMY SCHATZ and LAURA MECKLER

WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama intends to nominate his technology adviser, Julius Genachowski, to head the Federal Communications Commission, a Democratic source close to the Obama transition team said.

Mr. Genachowski, 46 years old, is a former Harvard Law School classmate of Mr. Obama. He previously worked at the FCC during the Clinton administration. More recently, he co-founded LaunchBox Digital, a Washington, D.C.-based venture capital firm. He worked at Barry Diller's IAC/InterActive Corp. in various executive positions for eight years after leaving the FCC.

Mr. Genachowski couldn't be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the Obama transition team declined to comment

During the campaign, Mr. Genachowski served as the top technology adviser to Mr. Obama, putting together a detailed technology and innovation plan that expressed support for open Internet or "net neutrality" protections; media-ownership rules that encourage more diversity; and expansion of affordable broadband access across the country.

To read more:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123180775460975639.html

rsdrake@nwark.com


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