AT&T has been named the official communications and technology provider for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
The announcement was made during a special event at the Hilton hotel at Penn’s Landing Thursday morning with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, DNC CEO the Rev. Leah D. Daughtry and AT&T executives.
The arrangement means that AT&T subscribers will get service that is twice as fast when they’re in and around the Wells Fargo Center during the week of the DNC in July, and forever after that, as well as better upgrades and faster download speeds.
Other carriers like Verizon and Sprint may be able to use AT&T’s network while inside the Wells Fargo Center, though it remained unclear whether that swifter service would work for other carriers outside the center during the convention or not.
“AT&T is doubling our capacity for Wells Fargo — we’re adding capacity like we’re adding lanes of traffic,” said Kurt Woehr, AT&T’s director of network engineering for the Greater Philadelphia region.
“All other upgrades will be permanent for years to come. This means better reliability, better upgrade and download speeds. Other providers that want to jump on can as well.”
Prior to the convention, AT&T also plans to double its network capacity at XFINITY Live! and all areas surrounding the Wells Fargo Center to support media, security and convention attendees, as well as in key downtown hotels and venues to improve mobile coverage and capacity for delegates and visitors.
“We’re proud to announce that convention progress is on time, on task and on budget,” said Kenney.
“Thanks to AT&T, we will not have any communication issues for this event. As many of us know, when we have events of this size, cell phones and wireless Internet connections can fail, but we will not fail with AT&T having our back on this.”
“As CEO, I’ve set a goal for my team to make this convention the most innovation, inclusive and forward-looking convention in history,” said Daughtry.
“We want this convention to be more engaging than ever before, both for participation inside the convention hall and for voters who will be tuning in from around the world. This convention will be experienced on more platforms than ever before and utilize more technologies than any prior convention.
“This is another great example of the positive impact the convention will have here on the city even after we’re gone," Daughtry went on to say.
"In the past few months, we have hosted workshops with local small businesses to help them get online so they can be searchable when up to 50,000 convention visitors come to town looking for places to eat, drink and shop. In addition, our searchable vendor directory will remain in place long after we’re gone — a valuable tool for anyone looking to work with Philadelphia businesses in the future.”