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Rating AT&T, From Inside and Out

"AT&T's iMess" (In Depth, Feb. 15) went out of its way to ignore the facts. Yes, the smartphone phenomenon has created demand for network capacity that exceeded everyone's estimates. What has resulted is AT&T (T) leading the world in mobile broadband, supporting two times more traffic than any other company around.

The reporter relied heavily on the comments of an analyst at a firm that does not regularly follow AT&T or telecommunications but chose to ignore or not seek the perspectives of the 18 financial analysts who have a buy rating on AT&T.

Amazingly, the story questions our capital spending in recent years without noting that AT&T invested more than any other U.S. telecom or cable company last year and more than any U.S. company in 2008. As a result of those investments, our 3G network can support twice as many smartphone users as any of our peers.

AT&T provided vast amounts of information, resources, and references for this piece. Virtually all of it was ignored.

Cathy Coughlin

Senior Executive Vice-President and Global Marketing Officer

AT&T

Dallas

I take strenuous issue with the apologists and shills for AT&T. I'm neither. I'm just a business owner. We recently bought our way out of the remaining 13 months on our AT&T contract because AT&T, in my view, is selling and collecting for a service that it cannot deliver. The assertion that complaints are generally isolated to a few areas of high user density (Manhattan, Los Angeles, etc.) is just 100% bogus. We live in a town of 7,000. Until we ditched AT&T three months ago, being able to make a call was the exception, not the rule.

Screen name: Warren Miller

Reading a Pamphlet Isn't Exercise

Disease management misses the mark ("Take Your Meds, Exercise—and Spend Billions," In Depth, Feb. 15). Phone calls from nurses, newsletters, and online charting of symptoms is like watching an exercise show on TV and expecting results. Companies need to do simple things, like install bike racks or issue routes with mileage for walking during the lunch hour. Tangible, concrete actions trump all the slick health information sent by disease management companies.

Screen name: Mark Siepker

The Tax Burden Obama Overlooks

Regarding "Taxes: Ready to Rumble" (Special Report, Feb. 1): President Barack Obama and his advisers really don't get it. Just as all companies are ultimately owned by individuals, all corporate taxes are ultimately paid by individuals. But corporate taxes are far worse than just a costly, opaque way to collect individual taxes. Given that taxes are a major factor in choosing to locate operations, corporate taxes only provide incentives to move jobs elsewhere.

Chris Waldorf, Seattle

Haiti: 'Business as a Solution to Poverty'

Bill Clinton is right to note how business investment can change the situation in Haiti ("Business Can Help Haiti," Business Views, Feb. 15). I see a new trend in aid efforts that use business as a solution to poverty. For example, Tifie Humanitarian seeks business opportunities in countries investors shun. Its agriculture trucking business in the Democratic Republic of Congo bought big trucks and drove to villages to gather goods that could not reach the city. All profits from these goods go to the villages, and all revenue stays in the country.

Screen name: David Griffith

Keep the Heat on Tim Geithner

My congressman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), is right to go after Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke on AIG (AIG) ("Geithner's Tormentor," New Business, Feb. 15). They're not telling us the whole truth about AIG.

William Thayer, San Diego

How to reach Bloomberg BusinessWeek/Letters for Feedback: We prefer to receive letters via e-mail, without attachments. Writers should disclose any connection or relationship with the subject of their comments. All letters must include an address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and space and to use them in all electronic and print editions. E-mail: bwreader@businessweek.com. Fax: (212) 512-6458.


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