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Print 12 comment(s) - last by Rukkian.. on Aug 22 at 10:02 AM

AT&T might be violating the FCC's Open Internet Rules

AT&T may have landed itself in hot water with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its limitations on iOS 6's FaceTime abilities.

Earlier this week, it was announced that AT&T would limit FaceTime to 3G/4G mobile share data plans. Those with older tiered or unlimited data plans are excluded, but users with any kind of plan can use the service through Wi-Fi. 

It's unclear exactly why AT&T made the decision to do this, but many seem to suggest that AT&T is trying to "smoke out" users clinging to unlimited plans and force them to more lucrative [for AT&T] Mobile Share data plans.

Clearly, this won't sit well with the FCC, which will likely see this as an anticompetitive move. Nonprofit group Public Knowledge has already said that AT&T is violating the FCC's Open Internet Rules, which state that carrier's can't restrict customers from using applications that compete with their own "voice or video telephony services."
 
“There is no technical reason why one data plan should be able to access FaceTime and another not,” said John Bergmayer, a senior staff lawyer for Public Knowledge.
 
Mark Sigel, a spokesman for AT&T, countered the accusations by reiterating, “FaceTime is available to all of our customers today over Wi-Fi, and we’re now expanding its availability even further as an added benefit of our new Mobile Share data plans.”

Apple reportedly plans to announce its next-generation iPhone, which will pack the iOS 6 mobile operating system, on September 12. It will likely be released shortly thereafter, but for the new iPhones running on AT&T's network, it remains to be seen what will happen with this FaceTime issue.

Source: The New York Times



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By Pandamonium on 8/21/2012 12:19:21 AM , Rating: 2
Stuck with AT&T. This whole mess with data is ridiculous. Towers are analogous to dumb pipes- hopefully the backlash will be sufficient to put AT&T in its place. And (wishful thinking), I hope the carriers will revise their shared data plans so that consumers can actually save money...


RE: I've got 99 problems but AT&T aint one of them
By Samus on 8/21/2012 1:08:56 AM , Rating: 3
This company is ridiculous, BREAK THEM UP.


By bah12 on 8/21/2012 10:26:48 AM , Rating: 2
Can't they are the T100 of the business world.

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/955486/


By semiconshawn on 8/21/2012 2:04:20 AM , Rating: 2
Current Verizon bill $300. Family plan 1400 min unlimited txt 2 gigs each on 2 phones 4 gig with hotspot on the third. Same 3 phones 10 gigs shared (2 more than total before) unlimited talk and txt plus all 3 have hotspot now. New bill $280. I could drop $20 more by going back to 8 gigs. New plans work for me.


By semiconshawn on 8/21/2012 2:05:00 AM , Rating: 2
Old Verizon bill $300. Family plan 1400 min unlimited txt 2 gigs each on 2 phones 4 gig with hotspot on the third. Same 3 phones 10 gigs shared (2 more than total before) unlimited talk and txt plus all 3 have hotspot now. New bill $280. I could drop $20 more by going back to 8 gigs. New plans work for me.


By semiconshawn on 8/21/2012 2:07:28 AM , Rating: 2
Stupi double post. Wanted to change one word.


By Rukkian on 8/22/2012 10:02:25 AM , Rating: 2
I am sure there are times it would make sense, but I am on the same 1400 minute plan (with unlimited txt) with 2 smartphones (one unlimited, one with 4gb), and 2 "dumb" phones (about to add another). Right now our bill is $220 after our business credit, but on the new plan, we would go up to $280 for 6gb (which would probably cover it) and get less.

I do not want unlimited calling, as we only use ~500 minutes that count per month. I do not like them forcing us to go to that model. While unlimited may be good for some people, I would think most do not need it, especially at that kind of price.


By jnemesh on 8/21/2012 11:02:55 AM , Rating: 2
That's why I am with Sprint, even though they are currently lagging both AT&T and VZW in deploying LTE (although due to their upgrades, they should be FIRST deploying LTE-Advanced!). Sprint is the ONLY wireless carrier of the "Big 4" that has no ambitions beyond being a "dumb pipe". CEO Dan Hesse stated as much in an interview not too long ago (sorry, dont have a link). My money is going to the ONLY company offering TRUE unlimited data and has NO intentions of being an "internet gatekeeper"!


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