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AT&T advances timetable, will offer service in Montana by the end of the year

AT&T expects to have cellular service available to most of Montana by the end of the year or early 2011, roughly six months ahead of schedule, the company said Wednesday.

Gallatin, Madison and Park counties are among many across the state expected to receive AT&T coverage. The company said in June that it would offer service within 12 months.

The new cellular and data service comes after AT&T spent $2.35 billion to buy wireless licenses from rival Verizon. That company had to sell the licenses to comply with antitrust laws afer it bought wireless company Alltel in 2009.

AT&T has an exclusive deal with computer company Apple to provide the popular iPhone 4, which will be available in Montana when AT&T service begins.

You can read the full text of the press release after the jump.

Read More »AT&T advances timetable, will offer service in Montana by the end of the year

State attorneys general demand Craigslist remove ‘adult services’ category

State attorneys general want Craigslist to drop its adult services directory, the Associated Press reported today.

craigslist.pngAGs from 18 states sent a letter Tuesday to Craiglist’s CEO, Jim Buckmaster, and its founder, Craig Newmark. The letter contends that the online classifieds site cannot or will not adequately screen ads in the adult services directory, which often include ads for prostitutes.

In the letter, the attorneys general write:

We recognize that craigslist may lose the considerable revenue generated by the Adult Services ads. No amount of money, however, can justify the scourge of illegal prostitution, and the suffering of the women and children who will continue to be victimized, in the market and trafficking provided by craigslist.

In an announcement posted to his website, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said, “Craigslist clearly lacks the wherewithal — or will — to fight flagrant prostitution ads that persist on its site. … Prostitution is a booming business on craigslist, perhaps more than ever before.”

States included in the letter along with Connecticut: Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.

Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock is included in the list of AGs who have backed the letter, but his signature is not included in the copy of the letter that I found online.

I’ve called his office for a comment. I’ll update this post when I hear back from his spokesman.

UPDATE: Kevin O’Brien, a spokesman from Bullock’s office, called me back this afternoon, confirming that Bullock did sign off on the letter, even though his signature did not, for some reason, make it to the PDF circulating online.

O’Brien said that the attorney general has been working with his counterparts in other states since taking office to stem the exploitation of women and children online.

While O’Brien wasn’t aware of any Craigslist related crimes in Montana, he did say that the site has been expanding its Montana pages lately and it becoming more widely used.

“It’s certainly going to grow in prevalence,” he said. “That’s all the more reason that we need to be vigilant that it’s not being used for illegal purposes.”

O’Brien said that Bullock’s office will likely issue a press statement tomorrow. You can read the full text of the letter after the jump.Read More »State attorneys general demand Craigslist remove ‘adult services’ category