AT&T's Vice President for Emerging Technologies, Samantha Thibault, talks about serving higher education with technology.
Vice President, Emerging Technologies
Samantha Thibault: Many of you may be familiar with AT&T Believes, our company-wide effort to combine employees' passion, creativity, and resources to make a positive impact around the world. So I'd like to start by sharing three beliefs that AT&T is passionate about: first, connectivity matters; second, higher education is an engine for innovation; and third, innovation always requires an impetus. I think we can all agree the last couple of years definitely fit the definition of impetus. The pandemic has not only redefined connectivity and our need for it, but it has also accelerated the digitalization of our society. It has ignited new innovations and a rapid advancement in technologies, like 5G. 5G is the next generation of network connectivity. It will power our digital data-driven future, and for AT&T, 5G isn't just about speed, it's about being transformational, and higher education has an important leadership role in all of this, today and well into the future. Colleges and universities across the country are at the forefront of exploring this new world of connectivity. Through unique research partnerships, we're helping institutions unlock the value of 5G and next-generation technologies in new and unprecedented ways. In addition to benefiting industries that drive our economy and society at large, these innovations also support the mission and operational goals of our higher ed partners. Just consider 5G's impact on research, recruitment, and retention. We're working side-by-side with institutions to help increase their research capabilities by launching cutting edge 5G test beds and labs. As a result, these colleges and universities are able to attract additional funding and create new learning opportunities for students and in return, positively impact recruitment, retention of the best and brightest students and faculty through advanced programs for robotics, healthcare, and cybersecurity. The possibilities are endless, from advancements in virtual learning environment to help close the digital divide to green energy initiatives so we can grow a more sustainable future together. We're honored to work with you and to support the critical role you lead in shaping the future and inspiring the next generation of innovators.