The Star-Ledger this weekend ran an interesting article about the rise and fall of AT&T Labs, nee Bell Labs. Tasked a decade ago to invent the future of telecommunications, the research wing is quickly dissolving as its top talent heads elsewhere.
In 2002, about 200 researchers — half the team — were let go. And since then, remaining scientists have left for greener pastures, including MIT, Microsoft, the Pentagon, and Google. With three veeps over the last year, the laboratory is facing three primary challenges, insiders say:
- the loss of esteemed colleagues
- cuts in long-range research
- restrictions on travel, media contacts and publication of scholarly articles