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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson Says Global Pandemic Is A Time Of War

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AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson says corporate America has to “step up” to help employees, customers, and the country survive in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Stephenson told CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” Sunday that the pandemic situation should be viewed as a time of war.


“A lot of the business leaders, and myself, particularly, we’re looking at this as a time of war. This is like World War II. And everybody needs to step up and do their part, in terms of how to help the general population and the general public,” he said.


Stephenson sits on the  Business Roundtable, a leadership group for chief executives. He said the group had a virtual meeting with President Donald Trump and they discussed a Federal stimulus package to help Americans through the pandemic.


According to him, the country needs a “big” and “bold” plan which will help its consumers and small businesses. “We think that’s what’s going to be required to keep the economy at some level of stability, particularly if we come out of this,” Stephenson said.

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a time of war


His company, AT&T has seen a surge in usage and changing traffic patterns as millions of people work from home. They now have the internet as their sole means of communication.


Stephenson told CNN:


“When US businesses send everyone home it changes traffic patterns. Mobile volumes are up 40 percent, WiFi volumes are up 100 percent, this is an indication that the infrastructure is allowing the communication to continue and the infrastructure is doing quite well.”


“We’re seeing some signs of stress. We’re having to go out and do some augmentation of the network… but right now the network is performing quite well. The US has led the world in investment in comms infrastructure. Billions of dollars of investment are paying off in a national crisis like this,” he added.


AT&T at the moment has about 90,000 employees working from home. However, thousands of its employees and technicians still work in its offices across the US.

On Journalists

Praising journalists and their work, during the pandemic, he makes a comparison with first responders.

“I see the press as vital in a time like this, in a time of war, to make sure that our people are informed, to make sure that our politicians have a means of communicating, to hold people accountable, people in power, whether it be CEOs like me or politicians, to hold people accountable during these times, and getting information to the public,” he said.


AT&T is also waiving data caps for individual and small business broadband consumers. It also will not be enforcing data overage fees or late payment fees.


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