updated 08:00 pm EDT, Fri April 3, 2009
ATT Retracts Cell TOS
AT&T tonight has quickly backtracked on its controversial new terms of service for cellphones that would ban video on 3G and the rest of its cellular network. In a statement delivered to Electronista, the company claims that the posting was made "in error" and that it has since been removed in favor of an earlier agreement. No mention was made as to whether any of the terms were likely to return in the future.
While the motivation behind the quick retraction is unclear, the policies had already triggered a hostile reaction from critics. The new agreement was ostensibly made to bar illegal video streams over peer-to-peer or to rebroadcast a live feed of commercial TV, but its wording would have effectively banned the use of Slingbox media hubs used to view a customer's own TV and would theoretically have barred viewing legal video sites using fixed sources, like Hulu or TV.com.
Video is already partly regulated on the network, as devices like the iPhone are often required to stream certain video services on Wi-Fi or else to reduce the bitrate.