banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

It’s time for a total shake-up of AT&T executives who think they understand the market for high-speed services to residential customers. Take it from someone who worked at Bell Labs and got a ton of real network infrastructure training in the Bell System: Get rid of them because they do not understand what is needed in today’s work-at-home, telecommuter market.

Where is the strategy at AT&T when it comes to their flagship product, U-Verse? It certainly doesn’t address the realities of today’s work-at-home executive who may need a second and secure line for their corporate connection.

As a U-Verse customer with the total package of Voice, Data and TV, I wanted to get another line for data for my wife who needs a separate line for her company. I talked to the AT&T customer service representative and there was no solution. Her response was that I could get a dial-up line (which did me no good), but no second U-Verse line to give me that multi-megabit speed that was needed.

No second line? No multi-megabit speed second line? That is a marketing strategy decision, not a technical or engineering restriction. I was shocked there was no solution to something that is common across families who have people who telecommute.

I was not asking them I needed a network solution for a 30-person call center in my basement. I just wanted a second, secure, separate line for my wife’s corporate needs.


With more people getting the approval to “work at home”, horse-and-buggy solutions that do not address the realities of the 21st century work environment should be questioned.

My solution is to go with another carrier and get that second data line installed which will also give me real network diversity if something should happen to my AT&T connection.

In my case, I am looking at using COMCAST service at
16Mbps for a data line. If AT&T cannot provide me a “real” second line, I will go to a second carrier.

This should be a whole new niche market for carriers like COMCAST, Time-Warner, and others who can provide 21st century network diversity instead of incumbents trying to pitch an obsolete marketing strategy that dates back to the horse-and-buggy days. (one building, one central office connection)

Forget calling (and waiting a long time) to get a pseudo-solution from AT&T. Call another carrier.

Putting a vinyl top on a stagecoach and slapping a couple of NASCAR decals on it while telling you “it’s the latest and fastest in transportation today” in the era of the space shuttle doesn’t cut it.

With all the radical evolution of Smartphones and tablets as new edge technology, the standard copper-based one-line to your house approach is obsolete on so many levels. New edge technology is pushing for gigabit speeds. As I have preached for almost a decade now, one gigabit to the end-user should be the base speed objective, not 10 or even 100 Mbps.

In consulting cutting-edge corporations, I stress the need for network diversity when it comes to supporting mission critical applications. This type of mindset should also be used when looking at your own home if you are involved in any work-at-home scenario. We are at that point.

The cost is not high and the big incumbent, AT&T, not having a cost-effective solution for a simple network request speaks volumes about the clueless drones they have hired as corporate executives. I wasn’t asking for fiber to the house.

Having network diversity for your home communications is not an unreachable concept, it is more a modern-day, work-environment reality.

AT&T get back to the drawing boards. Better yet, get some better executive strategists. The ones you have couldn’t hit the side of a barn with their paintbrush.

The Carlini Challenge: At any Conference, bring your Executive Strategist to talk on a panel discussion and I will debate the issues. AND – no prepared, written statements. Let’s see how good they do by just standing on their feet, talking about what they know and defending their policies.

Maybe that should be the new screening technique for hiring (and retaining) AT&T execs. Stop relying on search firms that push resumes with current buzzwords and flowery, politically correct corporate-speak, instead of brute experience and political accuracy.

When it comes to understanding today’s high-speed residential needs, AT&T execs are all hat, and no cattle.

CARLINI-ISM: When it comes to market strategies, “No-brainers” are not comprehended by those who have no brains.

COPYRIGHT 2014 – James Carlini





  3. Companies out of touch with the needs of consumers. Most service programs always seem to over favor the provider. What happened to great customer service and finding out and delivering on customer needs.

    Must we always have to deal with what we can get and peace-meal products and services together to get what we want?

    Twitter just went public and are promising business the ability to market using Twitter, yet they bought out TweetDeck, which was the most usable program for marketers ever invented for Twitter and they gutted it. It is as if they have no idea what people want to use Twitter for??!!

    My Time Warner cable is a great system, but when I added TIVO over the top of it to get full networking throughout the house I ended up loosing my free on demand!!?? Why? I can go on and on with these stories… Here is one not related necessarily, but I want to warn you to be wary of TWC Business Class for home use.

    Some time ago my Internet went down and when I called Time Warner they gave me a date for service about a week out! I went nuts. I was doing business from home and could not have my Internet down. They said that TWC Business Class gives 24hr turnaround time. I signed up and also ordered a static IP address for my router.

    I paid monthly and was promised the static IP, but never received it. TWC was supposed to install a new router so I could access the business class network. It was never delivered or installed. I canceled the service and got home service and figured I would borrow neighbors Internet or use my smart phone if my service went down. BTW the service is hard to cancel. You have to sign forms and and jump through some hoops which I did only to find out just recently that they never stopped charging me for the service I never got. So now I have been trying to get my money back or just get someone to listen to my story. No call backs.. they cannot find my files or contract… Argh.

    Uplink services with business class are as crappy as home and the service is no better, so you get charged a lot more for nothing. It is depressing at best.

    I worked in IT for years and had to run SMTP programs to constantly monitor my T1 lines for uptime. It turned out that the service was not at 100% that often and was down a lot more than they would admit to. By monitoring the events I was always able to get refunds, but if I trusted my carrier to take care of me I would have been sadly taken advantage of.

    My mother in law was talked into Verizon bundled services including DSL and she is too far from the central station to get half way decent Internet, but that didn’t stop them from selling it to her. Whenever the techs come out they scratch their heads and wonder why it was sold to her, but she is convinced it is her old computer… that’s another story.

    Sorry if I went off topic James, but you pushed a button… LOL Great post!

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