Randall Stephenson, AT&T CEO, did not proclaim, “AT&T will spend $5B building one of the world’s best networks for Texas and Louisiana. That’s our contribution to the recovery after Harvey.” He should.
AT&T is a world leader in testing 5G mmWave small cells. They are adding three million lines of fiber home every year. There’s no reason they couldn’t focus both efforts in South Texas, performing a civic service without spending an additional dollar in capex.
They would probably actually come out ahead, as the $tens of billions in disaster relief would cover some of the cost.
Larry Babbio of Verizon responded that way to the World Trade Center. “Just watch us,” he replied to my suggestion Verizon bring fiber to lower Manhattan soon after 9/11. Verizon built Fios, which for more than a decade was the finest network in the Western World. (Spain and France are now pulling ahead.)
Rajeev Suri of Nokia should support AT&T by offering to provide $5M in equipment for the build. He should also commit 50 of his best engineers and promise, “We will make sure AT&T has the equipment they need when they need it.” Both are already provided, of course, but it sounds good.