Print 23 comment(s) - last by Onipyro.. on Sep 21 at 4:40 AM

Advocacies take their case to federal regulators arguing that AT&T is violating current Congressional-empowered mandates

AT&T, Inc. (T) created a mighty brouhaha when it cut off 3G/4G FaceTime use for Apple, Inc. (AAPL) iPhone owners on older contracts, including its grandfathered unlimited plans.  AT&T was the only major carrier to do so.

Rumor had it that the policy might be in violation of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet mandate, which blocks mobile carriers from denying new mobile applications access to their networks.  Indeed, that complaint has come courtesy of an advocacy trio -- Free PressPublic Knowledge, and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute.

Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood remarked in a press release, "AT&T’s decision to block FaceTime unless a customer pays for voice and text minutes she doesn’t need is a clear violation of the FCC’s Open Internet rules.  It’s particularly outrageous that AT&T is requiring this for iPad users, given that this device isn’t even capable of making voice calls. AT&T's actions are incredibly harmful to all of its customers, including the deaf, immigrant families and others with relatives overseas, who depend on mobile video apps to communicate with friends and family."

While net-neutrality remains a contentious mandate -- particularly among Republicans who argue that the FCC's regulation hurts the free market -- it does appear that AT&T violated the current rules, passed back in 2010.

AT&T's FaceTime ban has been challenged in a federal complaint. [Image Source: Apple]

Public Knowledge Senior Staff Attorney John Bergmayer comments, "By blocking FaceTime, AT&T is harming its users and holding back mobile innovation.  What’s more, its behavior is illegal. When the FCC adopted its Open Internet rules, it guaranteed that mobile users would be protected from such behavior. Public Knowledge intends to follow the process the FCC established to make sure AT&T follows the law."

The filing puts AT&T in a bind, as it may eventually be forced to cave in a precedent-setting reversal.

AT&T, of course, is expected to give a response in the next few days, but there's little it can do at this point to avoid the growing storm of negative publicity.

Source: Public Knowledge [PR]

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RE: Good
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 9/18/2012 5:57:47 PM , Rating: 1
Meh, if you don't like it, don't be a customer of ATT.

Me, I ditched those fucks years ago, and am still very happy to have done so.

RE: Good
By tayb on 9/19/2012 10:29:15 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry. My tax dollars went to work helping AT&T build that network. The "free market" response is ridiculous. Net neutrality rules don't regulate the internet, they deregulate it. They stop monopolistic anti-consumer companies such as AT&T from regulating the internet that the CITIZENS helped build. AT&T doesn't own the lines, they have the privilege of using them.

If AT&T would like to control the flow of information and treat the internet like a television service they can go ahead and start building their own lines or satellite service with their own capital. Until such a time AT&T can blow it out their ass.

RE: Good
By Onipyro on 9/21/2012 4:35:54 AM , Rating: 1
O god sounds like the obama force is strong inside you. You didnt build that if your successful. If there is a road in front of you big government did it. NO NO NO NO, bullshit.
now on American telegraph and telephone i have to agree that yes goverment did build alot for Bell and also made Bell a monoply which seems to have come back under Bells long Distance provider called american telegraph and telephone At&t. time to break them up again. Big goverment is bad kids. But even a conservative can see that some stuff need regulations to stop abuse.

RE: Good
By Onipyro on 9/21/2012 4:40:13 AM , Rating: 2
on a second note , att owns alot of the infrastructure it uses. Government didnt build it all. So YOUR tax money <that is if you are a positive tax payer> doesnt own the network.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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