AT&T plans big move to Big D

AT&T announced late Friday that it is moving its corporate headquarters from San Antonio to Dallas, a move that many company watchers probably though would have (and should have) happened a long time ago. One of the primary reasons for the move, apparent from media coverage over the weekend, was to allow AT&T officials to be closer to a broader array of more frequent direct flight options than they had available to them in San Antonio.

AT&T has been in San Antonio for 16 years, and you would think flight choices have never been good--or at least not as good as in Dallas. Still, cutting flights and planes from airline schedules has become frequent practice in recent months, and may have forced the company's hand.

But, why even be worried about airline schedules at all when you have telepresence technology at your disposal? AT&T recently threw its support behind Cisco Systems' telepresence technology, and if it really wants to promote the ultra-life-like successor to video conferencing, it should outfit itself and its customers, partners, law firms, lobbyists, etc., with a multitude of interconnected telepresence rooms, then tell the airlines to take a flying leap.

After the planned move to Dallas, AT&T reportedly will have more than 14,000 employees there. Its choice of new home, not all that far away from its old home, is yet another reminder that the "new AT&T" is not so much AT&T as it is the old SBC. I know--new technology, new businesses, new markets, new image and all that say otherwise, but years ago, Texas came to fit SBC's corporate persona like an ideological glove not long after the company vacated St. Louis. If AT&T really wants to break new ground with a new home, it should move into Verizon Communications' backyard. That way, it can keep an eye on the company that will eventually become its biggest rival. --Dan

For more:
- see this story at The Dallas Morning News

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