AT&T-Florida’s leadership aligned with big FCC move

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Some of the most fundamentally important policy changes that bring greater efficiency and growth potential to Florida, are invisible from the public.

One such change was announced on Thursday, when the FCC agreed to oversee industry-wide geographic trials for an all-IP broadband architecture.

This announcement represented a huge victory for AT&T’s public affairs team, who had asked the FCC to oversee these trials almost 15 months ago — but are a greater victory for Floridians who will benefit from greater access to broadband connectivity.

The technical details of these policy shifts are lost on most — but in shorthand, it means that the “Plain Old Telephone Service” (POTS) will overtime be phased out. In its place, an all IP Network will be dedicated to enriching economic growth and innovation.

Florida’s political leadership has embraced this vision for some time already.

“Florida has benefited from the strong vision of our elected leaders such as Governor Rick Scott, Senate President Don Gaetz and Speaker of the House Will Weatherford who have implemented economic policies that encourage investments by companies like AT&T,” said Joe York, President of AT&T-FLorida. “Many Floridians are now benefiting from the advanced products and services that our investment of almost $2.8 billion in our networks over the last three years is providing.”

The FCC’s pilot trials will be focused on ensuring that the transition protects public safety, affordable access, competition in the marketplace, and consumer protection.

Experiments will also explore, in depth, impacts on rural America, people with disabilities, and telephone numbering in an all-IP world. Other issues of concern are to analyze “next generation 911 systems” and to better understand how changes will change intergovernmental collaboration.

To York, Florida is prepared to take on these trials.

“Today’s decision by the FCC to move forward with geographic trials signifies a recognition that the future of America will be greatly enriched by economic growth and innovation that will be generated by the evolution to an all IP Network,” York said. “Florida is ready for this next step that is necessary to insure our future competitiveness and individual success!”  

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.