Crit­i­cal Con­nec­tions


Dal­las-based AT&T has landed in the Just 100 top 10 for the first time this year thanks to high marks for how the Texas tele­com treats its cus­tomers, par­tic­u­larly those who need help dur­ing an emer­gency. AT&T’s FirstNet wire­less net­work, built af­ter 9/11, helps fire­fight­ers and first re­spon­ders com­mu­ni­cate with each other dur­ing crises, while its $650 mil­lion disas­ter-re­cov­ery pro­gram sends drones to boost cell ser­vice for cus­tomers who have lost their con­nec­tions af­ter hur­ri­canes or wild­fires. CEO John Stankey, who took the reins of the $180 bil­lion (2019 sales) gi­ant from Ran­dall Stephen­son in July, knows there’s more to do. “We’re work­ing with pol­i­cy­mak­ers and the in­dus­try to make in­ter­net ac­cess more avail­able and af­ford­able through a mix of pub­lic sub­si­dies for low-in­come house­holds and smart poli­cies that en­cour­age new in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment in our coun­try,” he says. —Mag­gie Mc­Grath

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