1 year ago

AT&T Alabama invests more than $1.2 billion for wireless and wired networks

Fiber infrastructure is a key tool in attracting new and expanding existing businesses across Alabama, and local providers are actively working to install innovative broadband technologies in both the rural and urban areas of the state.

Last week, AT&T Alabama announced that it has invested more than $1.2 billion in 2015, 2016, and 2017 in its wireless and wired networks to improve reliability, coverage, speed, and overall performance for residential and business consumers.

Gov. Kay Ivey praised AT&T Alabama’s announcement.

“By continuing to build state-of-the-art infrastructure in our state, AT&T is making business growth possible and assuring that our residents, both rural and urban, have the tools to stay connected,” she said. “Announcements like AT&T’s confirm Alabama is indeed open for business.”

AT&T Alabama President Wayne Hutchens lauded the pro-business climate under Gov. Ivey’s administration.

“Governor Ivey and legislative leaders have worked hard to create an environment that welcomes investment and innovation, and the significant investments AT&T is making, combined with the presence of more than 4,800 AT&T employees who call Alabama home, is evidence that the decisions being made by our elected leaders are strengthening Alabama’s economy,” Hutchens explained.

In 2017 alone, AT&T Alabama made hundreds of wireless network upgrades in the state, including the construction and activation of 11 new cell sites. Notable Alabama network enhancements in 2017 included more than 630 LTE capacity adds to over 500 of the state’s cell sites.

AT&T is building out its 4G LTE network, laying the foundation for 5G (the next advance in network technology), while boosting network speeds and capacity as the company expands the availability of its network using the latest innovations.

A little more than a year ago, Alabama’s governor along with the heads of the other 49 states, five territories, and Washington, D.C., joined AT&T to strengthen and modernize public safety’s communications capabilities with FirstNet.

FirstNet is a new nationwide communications platform dedicated to America’s public safety community. In Alabama, FirstNet builds on AT&T’s current and planned investments to help ensure public safety networks can deliver coverage and cutting-edge capabilities that first responders expect.

AT&T Alabama provides ultra-fast Internet service powered by AT&T Fiber to more than 225,000 customer locations in the Alabama area. AT&T has the largest fiber network within its 21-state wireline footprint and is the largest U.S.-based provider of fiber for business services, serving businesses of all sizes.

Per AT&T, Fixed Wireless Internet4 for rural and underserved locations is available in all or parts of Autauga, Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Chilton, Coosa, Cullman, Elmore, Escambia, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Montgomery, Morgan, Russell, Shelby, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston counties.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

9 hours ago

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama announces sponsorship of Montgomery’s bike share program

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama announced Friday a partnership with the City of Montgomery to help sponsor Montgomery’s bike share program.

Blue Cross, Baptist Health and Wind Creek Hospitality are collaborating to launch the new program, which is an innovative biking system aimed at improving the quality of life and increasing tourism in downtown Montgomery.

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“We are proud to partner with the City of Montgomery as we work together to build healthier communities across Alabama,” said Koko Mackin, vice president of Corporate Communications and Community Relations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama in a press release. “Montgomery’s bike share program is an excellent opportunity to provide workers, residents, and visitors a new and convenient way to get around and enjoy our capital city.”

The Montgomery bike share program will be operated by Pace, a micro-mobility vendor. According to the announcement from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, bike stations are placed in prominent locations throughout Montgomery’s city-center.

Bike station locations include the Rosa Parks Library/Museum, First White House of the Confederacy, City Hall, Renaissance Hotel & Spa, Old Alabama Town, Morgan Library, Kress Building, Wright Brothers Park, the Alley and the Intermodal.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

10 hours ago

The Alabama Education Association protects the status quo by opposing charter schools

There are good things happening in education within the state of Alabama, but overall, the quality of education in this state lags behind the rest of the country.

In the past, the Alabama Education Association (AEA) claimed they were an organization that fought for quality education, but the results of their decades of control on the state, and the Alabama Democratic Party, were hardly anything to write home about.

Now, the AEA is in a completely different position. They are the adversary and the loyal opposition, and they are out of power.

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The late Paul Hubbert, who ran the AEA and Democratic Party with an iron fist, is long gone. His predecessor, Henry Mabry, oversaw a wipeout of the AEA’s allies in elected office. No one reading this even knows what unfortunate soul is leading this weakened, but still relevant organization in 2019.

Legislators in the past feared the AEA, but now they are hardly aware of their existence outside of an active email list and subservient “journalists” who are trying to relive their glory days as the sun goes down.

The 2019 AEA is stuck in neutral, at best, they are seen as an annoyance and nothing more.

Recently, Alabama State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) announced that there would be an increase in funding to recruit charter schools to give interested parents more options for their children’s educations.

The quadrupling of their funding will allow $400,000 to recruit new schools, but Marsh highlighted part of the problem with the AEA by pointing out that some of those resources will have to be used to fight the AEA as they sue the state over the creation of charter schools.

Another organization just received a $25 million federal grant to attract charter schools to the state which could bring in 15 additional charter schools.

Will the AEA support them? No, they will fight them. They will fight them at every step.

They could put them in the worst school districts, and they would be opposed.

They could put them in the best school districts, and they would be opposed.

The AEA’s opposition to these programs is based on nothing except fear of competition. They, of course, claim they support “good charter schools,” but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence to back that up.

The AEA sues charter school startups.

The AEA applauds when charter schools are stalled.

Does the AEA actually support charter schools? No.

Does the AEA support vouchers? No.

Does the AEA support school choice? No.

The AEA is an advocate for their members, and that is fine, but they do not seem like they are not good advocates for education and seem to have no desire to change that.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.

11 hours ago

Former NFL star Michael Vick speaks in Alabama, credits God with turning life around

Former NFL star Michael Vick visited Alabama A&M University in Huntsville on Thursday, speaking to students about how he turned his life around after being infamously imprisoned for approximately 18 months from 2007-2009 due to his involvement in a dog-fighting ring.

According to a report by WAFF, Vick stressed the importance of second chances in life.

He also explained that for him, successfully taking advantage of his big second chance was due to Vick turning to God for answers.

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His faith, bolstered in prison, gave him clarity with what his life mission was, Vick told the students.

Vick also commented on the importance of positive role models in life.

“Second chances mean everything to me, man. People who stood at the forefront, who allowed me to be put in that space, they deserve all the credit. I was just a guy who needed them at a critical time in my life,” Vick said.

You can watch WAFF’s report here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

12 hours ago

John Merrill on Mobile Bridge toll: ‘I’m not for putting an additional tax burden on the backs of people’

You can count Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill among those with reservations about supporting the proposed toll plan for the new I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge project offered by the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Merrill, who is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up in 2020, told Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” that he thought there were alternatives for the proposal.

“I’m not for putting an additional tax burden on the backs of people who would use that to gain access to a worksite or family members or church or social gatherings,” Merrill said, “when we can find a way to pay that toll that they believe that needs to be charged in order to make sure that project can become a reality.”

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“We’ve been able to do it before. We can do it again. We need to make sure we’re working with all of our public and private partners to make sure the basic viability of the project is where it needs to be before we start talking about these unbelievable numbers that are increasing the burdens on the backs of our people.”

Merrill pushed back against critics who had suggested the bridge not be built on the backs of taxpayers statewide, noting the amount of tax revenue generated by both Mobile and Baldwin Counties.

“You realize the enormous amount of resources that are generated in Baldwin and Mobile Counties through tax revenues, which is far, far superior to any other part of the state of Alabama,” he said. “So when people start talking about how tax burdens need to be shared, I’m sure that the people in Baldwin and Mobile Counties prefer to have all the ad Valorem taxes and all the sales taxes that are produced by people going to the beach just designated for and used for their part of the state each and every year instead of them sharing it with the entire state in the general fund or the education trust fund because they are able to supplement a lot of things that go on in Central Alabama and North Alabama because of what is generated in South Alabama. I’m quite sure they would like to keep all of those resources, too. So, when it comes to things like this, we all need to work together to come up with the best solution overall.”

Merrill urged the state to avoid building a “Taj Mahal-type project,” borrowing a phrase from former Gov. Fob James.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

13 hours ago

State Rep. Tommy Hanes to introduce resolution calling for the expulsion of Ilhan Omar from Congress at ALGOP Summer Meeting

The Alabama Republican Party’s summer meeting in Auburn on Saturday may not be the ideal forum for such a gesture, but when State Rep. Tommy Hanes (R-Bryant) calls for the expulsion of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the U.S. House of Representatives, it certainly will not go unnoticed.

Earlier this week, Hanes announced he would pursue such a resolution that would encourage Alabama’s congressional delegation to call for the expulsion of the freshman Minnesota congresswoman.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Thursday, Hanes offered justifications for his resolution.

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“What this resolution is going to do is ask our Alabama delegation in Washington to sort of get the ball rolling on this – see if they can unseat this lady,” Hanes said. “The reason for it is – in my opinion, she just continuously breaks the oath of office. She’s broken the office several times. She just completely ignores the U.S. Constitution, and she’s just totally against Israel.”

“So, we come up with the resolution to present to the body on Saturday, and hopefully it will pass,” he continued. “And it will sort of give a good clear shot at where the people in Alabama, at least the GOP, stand with Ms. Omar.”

The Jackson County Republican said he expected to have a lot of allies in pushing for this measure.

“Most conservative Republicans – I think you’ll find that most of them feel the same way we do about it,” Hanes said. “And what I mean is the way I feel about it and the way the Young Republicans here in Jackson County feel about it. I just can’t see them not passing it.”

See resolution below:

ALGOP Rep. Omar Expulsion Resolution (courtesy State Rep. Tommy Hanes)

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.