AT&T Nailed With FCC Net Neutrality Complaint for FaceTime Data Ban
September 18, 2012 2:13 PM
comment(s) - last by
Advocacies take their case to federal regulators arguing that AT&T is violating current Congressional-empowered mandates
AT&T, Inc. (
) created a mighty brouhaha when it
cut off 3G/4G FaceTime use
for Apple, Inc. (
) 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
U.S. Federal Communications Commission
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 --
, 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.
Public Knowledge [PR]
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
9/18/2012 7:50:10 PM
Most people have to pay an ~350 dollar ETF to leave a contract. Given that, most will not readily jump from carrier to carrier, which is what would be needed for free market. Like what you are suggesting. Unhappy with AT&T, switch to Verizon. Oh wait, that'll cost you 350 dollars, plus another 200 for a new phone. Thus, the customer sticks with AT&T and continues paying their monthly bill.
And all the while, innovative and new services/applications are stifled or killed because they're blocked by the carrier.
I can sort of see AT&T's stance with blocking video chat on their old Unlimited plans though. There's potential for abuse, certainly.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
Odd Man Out? Verizon, Sprint Won't Charge Extra for FaceTime Over 3G/LTE
September 12, 2012, 9:18 PM
AT&T's FaceTime Limitations Might Cause Trouble with FCC Rules
August 20, 2012, 11:06 PM
AT&T Enables FaceTime Over 3G/4G, Limits It to Mobile Share Data Plans
August 18, 2012, 1:52 AM
Tudor Brown Retiring After Propelling ARM to the Top of Mobile Market
November 12, 2011, 1:00 AM
FCC Gives Internet Firms the Gift of Net Neutrality
December 25, 2010, 3:20 PM
Man Who Shot Father for Texting During Movie Previews Was Also Texting
March 14, 2014, 2:25 PM
Sony's PS4 Outsells Microsoft's Xbox One for February
March 14, 2014, 12:36 PM
Skrillex Releases Free Album Inside App, But Crashes Torture Fans
March 13, 2014, 8:04 PM
Microsoft Waives Windows Phone OS Licensing Fees for Two Hardware Makers in India
March 13, 2014, 1:07 PM
Huawei Says Windows Phone is "Low Priority", Relegates It to Dual OS
March 13, 2014, 11:21 AM
$1,200 Nikon 1 V3 Mirrorless Camera Offers 120fps Slow Motion Capture
March 13, 2014, 9:04 AM
Most Popular Articles
Bitcoin King Pt. II: Mt. Gox's Dictator Karpelès Proves Tragically Flawed
March 7, 2014, 1:12 PM
Hack Reveals Fallen Bitcoin CEO's Posh Tokyo Penthouse
March 10, 2014, 4:28 PM
Tesla Motors Calls New Jersey Out on New Rule Against Its Direct Sales Model
March 11, 2014, 12:01 PM
NASA Considering SpaceX "Red Dragon" for Returning Mars Samples to Earth
March 10, 2014, 2:43 PM
India Could Rock Google With Its Biggest Antitrust Fine Yet -- $5B USD
March 10, 2014, 8:12 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information