Following are quotes from AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson from his interview with John Battelle at the Web 2.0 Summit.
On Net Neutrality
We all want the same thing. We are kind of new in this, and we all want the Internet to flourish and grow rapidly. We come at it from infrastructure and we are plowing a ton of money. We are learning how to work together. Don't regulate until there is a problem.
The rules get dorked up and nobody will invest in these businesses.
If somebody steps out of line they need to be slapped--don't mess with the business model.
I speak to politicians all the time. The American experience endures by its economic strength. Things that increase the velocity of commerce will strengthen the economy....I am all about making sure the velocity of commerce increases all the time. Communications is the hub and it is slowed down by putting rules on telecommunications. If I could wave a magic wand, I would say get the hell out of telecom unless there is a problem.
Technology has bypassed regulation. The rules are not keeping pace with technology. We can put in a 25-megabit pipe with Internet access, but if want to stream video down that pipe you need a franchise authority to approve it. Get the rules out of the way and let companies invest.
I am into selling ones and zeros and transporting them better than anybody else.
On competing with 800 Google 411
We better get our advertising supported service out. We are developing it ourselves and it will scale.
Why the iPhone is on the slower EDGE network
Steve Jobs wanted to be on the EDGE network. He wanted the broadest, most ubiquitous data network. It's the only one that covers the entire country.
Wi-Fi is a pretty darn good surrogate for 3G. We have to give customers what they want.