AT&T has publically stated that it will ban wireless
phone subscribers from using P2P programs and that any subscriber caught
using P2P services will be terminated. AT&T made the statement last week in
response to a question posed by FCC Republican Robert McDowell.
McDowell asked AT&T about its policy on P2P traffic over its wireless
network at an FCC forum in July. Robert Quinn, AT&T senior vice president
for regulatory affairs said in the letter to the FCC, "AT&T's terms of
service for mobile wireless broadband customers prohibit all uses that may
cause extreme network capacity issues, and explicitly identify P2P file sharing
applications as such a use."
Quinn did sate in the letter that AT&T does not use network management
tools to block the use of P2P applications by its users. Quinn says that
AT&T warns its customers in writing that they could be terminated from
AT&T Wireless if caught using P2P applications. AT&T uses the same song
and dance used by ISPs like Comcast to justify its policy -- a small number of
P2P users can degrade network performance for other AT&T network users.
Comcast was one of the first ISPs to make headlines over P2P traffic.
Comcast was caught cutting
back the connection speed of those using P2P services on its network.
Comcast says that it only limited the speed at which P2P users could upload
data at peak traffic times. Comcast has squared off against the FCC with claims
that the FCC has no authority to tell it how to manage its network. The FCC is
expected to vote that Comcast degraded performance for some P2P Internet
Martin has said that the FCC will not seek to impose financial penalties on
Comcast over its network management policies.