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Print 30 comment(s) - last by wolrah.. on Aug 23 at 11:31 PM

AT&T claims it didn't violate any FCC rules and that it doesn't HAVE to make any preloaded apps available

Rumors recently started circulating that AT&T may have violated Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules by limiting FaceTime availability on Apple's iOS 6. AT&T, likely feeling threatened by possible issues with the feds, has finally responded to these concerns.
 
Here's a little backstory for those who haven't been keeping up: AT&T recently announced that it would restrict video chat application FaceTime, which is preloaded onto Apple's iPhone, to 3G/4G Mobile Share data plans only for the next-generation iPhone. Those with older tiered or unlimited data plans will be excluded. However, all users, no matter the data plan, can use FaceTime over Wi-Fi. This angered customers and watchdog groups, who claimed that AT&T was limiting FaceTime because it was direct competition with its own voice or video telephony services. This was seen as a violation FCC rules (even thought the FCC hasn't declared this yet).
 
Now, AT&T has offered an explanation. It said that FaceTime has been used over Wi-Fi for years. The company believed it was expanding FaceTime's availability by now offering it on AT&T Mobile Share data plans in addition to Wi-Fi, and mentioned that no FCC rules regulate availability of preloaded apps to customers. 
 
AT&T added that there are only two FCC rules for carriers: make business practices and information transparent, and don't block applications that may compete with their own. According to AT&T, it has violated neither. 
 
"AT&T's plans for FaceTime will not violate either requirement," said the company in a statement. "Our policies regarding FaceTime will be fully transparent to all consumers, and no one has argued to the contrary. There is no transparency issue here.
 
"Nor is there a blocking issue. The FCC's net neutrality rules do not regulate the availability to customers of applications that are preloaded on phones. Indeed, the rules do not require that providers make available any preloaded apps. Rather, they address whether customers are able to download apps that compete with our voice or video telephony services. AT&T does not restrict customers from downloading any such lawful applications, and there are several video chat apps available in the several app stores serving particular operating systems.
 
"I won't name any of them for fear that I will be accused by these same groups of discriminating in favor of those apps. But just go to your app store on your device and type 'video chat.'"
 
AT&T further added that it does not have a competing video chat service; hence that was not the reason for limiting FaceTime to Mobile Share data plans. The real reason, according to the carrier, is that the expansion of FaceTime to data plans instead of just Wi-Fi could strain the network, so it just limited to the Mobile Share data plans. 
 
However, this will likely still upset customers who are paying for data and expect that AT&T won't restrict what they access when paying for such services. If you're paying a pretty penny each month for data (and we all know data isn't cheap), it doesn't seem unreasonable to expect the carrier to build up its network to handle additional bandwidth. 

Source: AT&T



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RE: Alternative apps?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2012 10:27:33 AM , Rating: 2
Who doesn't have biases? Obviously I'm a completely flawed person, sure. But who isn't?

quote:
You make a lot of good, objective points at times, but it's rare.


Well I strongly disagree. Rare? Come on! Right nobody has opinions, everyone is just purely "objective", I'm the crazy one.

quote:
At least you aren't Tony Swash, macdevdude, etc... who are clearly trolls.


No no, they give trolls a bad name.


RE: Alternative apps?
By amanojaku on 8/23/2012 11:46:41 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone has bias, but you should be open to new ideas. If someone says something you don't like you tend to label that person as a commie, socialist, moron, idiot, tard, etc... You could just say you disagree, state your case, and leave off the insults. If someone replies with a statement that makes sense then at least consider it. It's up to you to accept what's being said, but I get the feeling that you never want to hear anything that contradicts your point of view.

For example, I used to be against nuclear power because I believed all the FUD. Then I read articles that provided compelling facts, and now I am a staunch advocate of nuclear power. I'm a tree-hugger, and I support nuclear power. That's what I mean by being objective. My personal feelings don't prevent me from hearing other points of view. Granted, a lot of people on this site make poor arguments, including me.
quote:
Well I strongly disagree. Rare? Come on! Right nobody has opinions, everyone is just purely "objective", I'm the crazy one.
If you made more responses like this I think you'd have a better reputation. You disagreed, but you didn't insult me, and you pointed out a fact: most people have difficulty being objective.

Regarding Tony and Co, I try not to insult them, even though they are clearly trolls (insult) . Instead, I like to provide facts and statistics that refute their claims, not for them, but for other people who will actually read the information. I like to think of this site as a place to share ideas so that we can all benefit.

/naive optimist


RE: Alternative apps?
By senecarr on 8/23/2012 1:01:47 PM , Rating: 1
Honestly, the labeling that's obviously inflammatory is what kept the whole line of comments from being a good, valid exchange.
If Reclaimer hadn't put out "appletards" and "fuck that ecosystem", he'd probably get a lot more people considering Skype, as is, he did the cardinal sin of promoting ideas: alienate your own audience.
Tayb didn't do any better. He could have simply stated the easy of FT and how a lot of iPhone users don't have it, and would have made a good point. He unfortunately had include the phrase "idiotic comment" in reference to Skype having been on the iPhone for years.


RE: Alternative apps?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2012 1:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
he'd probably get a lot more people considering Skype, as is, he did the cardinal sin of promoting ideas: alienate your own audience.


But we don't have a Pro-Apple audience. We WANT them to be alienated, that's the point. As is we only have maybe 3 or 4 Apple fans left on Daily Tech, and hopefully soon even less.


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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