updated 01:45 pm EDT, Fri April 3, 2009
AT&T restricting 3G video
AT&T has taken steps to severely limit the kinds of video applications that can be used with its cellular data network, reports note. Terms of service for AT&T Wireless have been changed to block "downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, customer initiated redirection of television or other video or audio signals via any technology from a fixed location to a mobile device, web broadcasting, and/or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition devices."
The difficulty is that such terms may not only restrict the likes of BitTorrent clients, but also mainstream video applications, such as CBS' TV.com app for the iPhone. The wording of the terms also appear to be directly targeted at Sling Media's SlingPlayer app, which relays broadcasts from a person's TV and also enables control of DVR functions. The app is currently available for several phone platforms, such as BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, though not the iPhone.
Also new in the terms of service agreement is the phrasing used for overage charges, which now amount to $0.00048 per kilobit for subscribers on the carrier's 5GB DataConnect plan. With the 200MB DataConnect option, overage forces customers to pay $10 for an extra 100MB. Unused data cannot be transferred from month to month.