Tuesday, March 27, 2007

AT&T chief's words at odds with company's pathetic broadband deployment efforts

In a recent meeting with AT&T employees in Atlanta, AT&T Chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre Jr. admonished them to go the extra mile to serve customers.

“I’m asking you, I’m pleading, don’t let them go until they’re happy,” The New York Times quoted Whitacre as telling AT&T employees. “You just can’t let them go. Hang on till it’s done.”

But rather than hanging in with customers, AT&T has hung out large numbers of them to dry, letting them go years without broadband services and without any meaningful hope of getting broadband anytime soon.

They may be only a mile from existing broadband infrastructure, but Ma Bell won't go the extra mile to provide service as Whitacre as exhorts his workers. Instead, customers are told the system cannot provide broadband because they're too far from a central office, their loop's too long, there's no neighborhood DSL gateway and any number of "no can do" excuses.

While Whitacre may insist AT&T can't "just can’t let them go," that's exactly what it's doing with a sizable segment of its residential customer base.

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