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AT&T Spends Seven Figures to Boost Cell Network for Tampa Bay GOP Convention

Phillip Dampier May 3, 2012 AT&T, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Video, Wireless Broadband 2 Comments

AT&T will increase the capacity of Tampa Bay’s cell phone network to handle 4-5 times the traffic it used to, to serve the needs of the upcoming three-day Republican National Convention to be held in the city in late August.

AT&T will shower the convention and its host city with at least $15 million towards 500 network upgrades around Tampa Bay.  More than 200 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots are being added to the existing network and cell tower improvements are underway on 85 area cell towers.

Tampa Bay media reports AT&T’s investments come as a result of the political convention.  AT&T is one of the group’s largest donors, contributing more than $1 million in cash and free cell phones and calling plans to Republican convention coffers.  AT&T’s enormous contributions prompted the Tampa Bay Host Committee, which is coordinating the event, to organize a media splash with local dignitaries to highlight AT&T’s efforts and image.

When the event is over, Tampa Bay residents will be able to enjoy the benefits of that investment.  The equipment and expanded service will remain in place.

[flv width=”360″ height=”290″]http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/WTVT Tampa Bay ATT Promises Stronger Network 4-26-12.mp4[/flv]

WTVT highlights AT&T’s network expansion now underway in Tampa Bay, to support the upcoming Republican National Convention.  (2 minutes)

Currently there are 2 comments on this Article:

  1. Earl says:

    I know they are doing this more for political reasons than anything else but they also did something similar around the Superbowl, temporarily at least. So tell me they don’t know their network sucks!

    • AT&T is passing out money like Necco wafers down in Tampa Bay, so it is no surprise they are getting a lot of accolades from the event organizers and local politicians. They, like our readers here, follow the money.

      Four years ago, AT&T donated around $638,000 and $1.4 million, respectively, to the host committees for the Democratic and Republican national conventions.

      The proportion is about in keeping with the voting records of both parties. You can’t easily find a Republican who will vote against AT&T’s interests and you can find too many Democrats who will take the money and run with the phone company as long as constituents don’t find out. We help make sure they do.

      Somehow, AT&T has $15 million kicking around for Tampa Bay while customers in New York and San Francisco suffer from dropped calls and data slowdowns. I’m sure Tampa Bay appreciates the network upgrades (and they managed them without the help of T-Mobile, imagine that), but the folks in much larger cities probably need those upgrades more.

      Upgrade priority by political standards drives AT&T’s network engineers crazy, I am sure.

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