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FCC on AT&T's decision to charge users for FaceTime: "we will exercise our responsibilities and we will act"

Posted: , by Victor H.

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FCC on AT&T's decision to charge users for FaceTime:
The iPhone is the most prolific smartphone in the United States, and that’s one big reason why it’s disturbing to see AT&T decide to charge users for using its otherwise free video calling feature FaceTime.

Many users have complained, and rival carriers Verizon Wireless and Sprint have made the situation even more frustrating for AT&T as they confirmed they’ll be offering the service for free. Problem is AT&T is using a technicality, a literal way into reading a not-perfectly-written law. And now, the Federal Communications Committee confirmed that it would review complaints about AT&T’s controversial decision.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that if AT&T doesn’t respond to the commissions attempts to resolve the problem and "doesn't lead to a resolution and a complaint is filed, we will exercise our responsibilities and we will act."

Net neutrality folks and users in general should be quick to address the FCC with a formal complaint. They have all stressed that FCC's Open Internet rules ban randomly limiting services like FaceTime over particular networks.

source: TheVerge

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posted on 26 Sep 2012, 07:59 6

1. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

This Is what happens when you become a pig. Imagine how much worse it would have been if AT&T had been successful in acquiring T-Mo....

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 08:02 2

2. baldilocks (Posts: 829; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)

...and now AT&T will use that as justification to raise data prices. Then Verizon will follow suit and then Sprint and T-Mobile. Then the same people will complain that prices are going up.

Use something else for video calling instead of Facetime. Problem solved.

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 08:46 2

8. Aeires (unregistered)

T-Mobile just started an unlimited data plan, I don't see them screwing customers to keep up with the Jones'.

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 10:31

13. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1639; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

Doesn't T-Mobile still throttle data after 2GB of data usage? If so, then while you may think they aren't screwing over their customers, they really kind of are.

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 12:02

14. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

well the new plans advertise that they dont throttle. Im sure someone that remains on the previous plans will be throttled. The new plans seem to cost more than the previous plans, so maybe they are gonna stop the throttling and are betting that allowing more data will give them a boost in revenue over their current setup.

posted on 27 Sep 2012, 02:50

17. crankyd00d (Posts: 191; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

If you read like a sufficiently smart person would do when buying something you would know where and when you will be throttled, it's right there in the description for every single option. Anyway, no throttling with the new unlimited data option

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 12:47

16. NexusKoolaid (Posts: 493; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)

As if they ever needed justification to raise data prices.

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 08:13 3

4. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

Facetime is one of the worst video chat apps out anyway. Low frame rates, high data consumption, server issues, not to mention apple-only restrictions and that apps like Skype, Fring, Tango, Qik, etc are superior to it in every way, as well as being [duh-duh-da!] cross-platform.

The FCC should tell the whiners to do some research first and try the other programs out instead of using the proprietary one (which really reeks of violating net neutrality).

As far as I've been hearing, AT&T's Mobile Share plans have been pretty satisfactory, since it allows higher data thresholds with unlimited minutes, which is beneficial because the minutes were the largest part of the customers' bills, plus with the option to switch back to a non-shared plan, they put themselves one step above verizon (as well as being cheaper)

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 08:16

5. ebunny89 (Posts: 10; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)

Verizon is cheaper for lesser accounts. At&t only becomes cheaper when you have like 6 or more people on the account. Do your research.

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 08:24

6. mozes316 (Posts: 142; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)

Verizon allows you to switch back to unshared plans as well...

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 09:09

9. bigdawg23 (Posts: 462; Member since: 25 May 2011)

I will have to disagree. In my experience Android video chats blow. When I have used it on my SGS2, Vivid or G Note video is bad. When I move to Facetime on my iTouch its clear. Video playback on Android isn't that clear compared to Apple. Just look at Netflix, YouTube and Directv NFL Sunday Ticket app. Over wifi my Apple products blow Android away. When I had it iPhone those apps were fine over 3G.

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 09:18

10. bucky (Posts: 3132; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

I have to disagree as well. I haven't seen any video chat apps even close to FaceTime.

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 08:25

7. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1236; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)

AT&T is just lickin' their chops cause the sheep lined up to buy the iphone 5. Well AT&T is just following Rotten Apple's example of being greedy!
Bu the way just goes to show what problems one can encounter if he/she is a sheep and owns an iPhone (no matter which version)!

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 10:09 1

11. bigstrudel (Posts: 529; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)

Its really not the governments business to step in here. If you don't like AT&Ts policies; leave the carrier. If you're locked in on contract and don't want to shell out the quitting money; then you shouldn't have bought a subsidized phone.

Perhaps a feature phone would be more appropriate for someone who can't pay up front for a premium device. Just a thought.

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 10:21

12. MartyK (Posts: 946; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)

So you don't see how or why the government should protect 81 million customers from a big company?...So a companies should be allow to run a mock?...okay.

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 12:20

15. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

You both are right. AT&T shouldn't be able to determine how users can use their phone, and at the same time, people shouldnt be allowed to get such an expensive device for so cheap and be locked into contract. Carriers should abandon the contract model, go full price on all handsets, and lower monthly bills.

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