AT&T's new Community Central moves the app market forward

Tue, 2013-07-16 06:14 -- Jesse Berst

By Jesse Berst

Cities are rightfully striving to deliver mobile applications to citizens. But almost all of them are delivering those apps as one-off, point solutions.

Smart Cities Council Lead Partner AT&T has moved the market forward by creating a prepackaged collection of favorite applications. Better yet, this starter collection can become a platform for a raft of useful mobile solutions.

The release below describes the general idea. But in conversations with AT&T's Reed Pangborn, I discovered that Community Central has even more going for it:

  • AT&T researched current city applications and bundled eight of the most popular into one package.
  • AT&T is building a roadmap of future applications to add to the collection.
  • AT&T built Community Central with an eye toward linking to legacy apps. Cities who want a mobile face for their existing applications can contract with AT&T.
  • Community Central is not just about citizen apps. It can also be used to build productivity apps for city employees.
  • Community Central is hosted in the AT&T cloud, but the applications are carrier agnostic – they run over any cellular network.
  • Community Central is future friendly. It uses HTML5. And it is a true mobile application, not just a website optimized to display on small screens. This means it has more power to do such things as push notifications.

Community Central is budget friendly too. The price depends on the size of the city, making it affordable for almost any community. A small to mid-size township might easily pay less for the entire collection than it would pay to build a single application on a custom basis.

We salute AT&T as our Innovator of the Week. With Community Central, they have created an easier, less expensive way for cities to reach their citizens where they live, work and play. And not just to reach them... to have two-way conversations. Participatory democracy just got a bit easier to accomplish.

Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to subscribe to SmartCitiesNow, the weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques.


AT&T Connects Communities With New Mobile App

 Dallas, Texas, June 26, 2013

AT&T* now offers an easier way for small-to-mid size governments to connect with citizens virtually anywhere or anytime using a mobile device. AT&T Community Central is a cloud-based mobile application that enables government entities to more effectively and dynamically communicate with citizens.

Community members can use a smartphone or tablet not only to access helpful information such as maps and directories, but also to immediately report city-related problems. The application also allows local governments to quickly respond to instant feedback from citizens on general issues.

Several key features of AT&T Community Central include:

  • Customizable user interface to better meet the needs of cities and counties.
  • The ability to use a smartphone camera to report city-related issues. Citizens can upload and send pictures of problems such as potholes, landscaping, and traffic signs that need repair.
  • Alert notifications that remind community members of upcoming events as well as updates on city hazards such as a water main break or broken traffic light.
  • A mobile view of the local transportation network to access the latest information on travel schedules and routes.
  • An in-hand ability to find information on city parks and recreational centers related to hours, upcoming events, maps, and directions.
  • A directory listing of all departments that detail contact information, address information, and supporting hours along with the ability to call or email personnel within the app.

“Mobile technology is redefining the way government agencies connect with their community, and we’re helping to make this process more efficient,” said Mike Troiano, Vice President, Advanced Mobility Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions. “AT&T Community Central helps local government simplify communication through a device found in the pockets and purses of on-the-go citizens.”

AT&T Community Central aims to stand out amongst similar mobile applications by offering government agencies an easy-to-manage software platform and access to customer service, all while providing the ability to connect with citizens where they live, work, and play.

AT&T has extensive experience in helping organizations to integrate and customize their mobile applications. In addition, AT&T Mobility Solutions Services specializes in guiding organizations through the entire process of going mobile – from consulting and design to solution configuration and full lifecycle management of the end-to-end solution.

For more information on AT&T Community Central, visit www.att.com/stateandlocal

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T |DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com/aboutus or follow our news on @ATT, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/att.