Net neutrality complaints against AT&T expected due to FaceTime block over cellular

Net neutrality complaints against AT&T expected due to FaceTime block over cellular
iOS 6 is just about to be unleashed and you know what that means, FaceTime over cellular will be an enabled feature on the iPhone and applicable iPads.

If you are an AT&T customer however, there are rules you must follow in order to take advantage of that feature. Namely, you must switch to one of their Mobile Share data plans.  This was not received well across the spectrum, from customers to advocacy groups.  Some believed it was not in keeping with the spirit of net neutrality.  However, that was the set of rules that AT&T used when they responded.  Citing the net neutrality rules set forth by the FCC, AT&T explained that it was not doing anything wrong in blocking this feature for its customers that are not on a shared data plan.  This explanation was in response to a statement offered by Public Knowledge which asserted that “there is no technical reason why one data plan should be able to access FaceTime, and another not.”

Free Press, Public Knowledge and the Open Technology Institute at New America Foundation informed AT&T of their intent to file a formal complaint against the company to the FCC. That means that they have not yet filed, perhaps hoping that AT&T will respond to the threat.

Given AT&T’s response to Public Knowledge last month, we suspect that this threat of action will not yield any results. It is a fine line between a pre-loaded app like FaceTime, and a third-party app like Skype, which is not restricted. The question may be posed, would AT&T be able to thread that needle to the FCC, which of late has been leaning on the side of “openness?”

source: GigaOM

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7 Comments

1. AndroidShiz

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

Tango and Skype. Problem solved.

2. Contreramanjaro

Posts: 153; Member since: Dec 04, 2011

A good percentage of FaceTime users have no idea what you just said.

3. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Which i think is hilarious cause its true! hahaha

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Don't be envious. It's all about unifying the Apple experience which is why Facetime is on many iDevices.

5. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

And its not available for any non apple devices. So really, its a useless program since it doesnt have mass market penetration.

6. digitalguy

Posts: 6; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

att is unfair to its customers !!! i just updated my iphone to ios6 but cant use facetime over 3g because i dont have a family share plan !!!! thats unfair att !!!i pay for data the same data that family share data has. let us individul plan customers use facetime just like other customers. file a quick informal fcc complaint !! gov/ccmsforms/form2000.action?form_type=2000B

7. digitalguy

Posts: 6; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

att customers not on shared data plans. easily file a quick informal complaint with the fcc esupport.fcc.gov/ccmsforms/form2000.action?form_ty​pe=2000B

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