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AT&T attempts to defend FaceTime 3G restrictions

updated 10:23 am EDT, Wed August 22, 2012

Claims limitations don't violate net neutrality rules

AT&T has posted an official response to complaints about the carrier's new FaceTime policy, which restricts 3G use of the app to people with a Mobile Share plan. Wi-Fi use is still unhindered. "The FCC's net neutrality rules do not regulate the availability to customers of applications that are preloaded on phones," an AT&T blogger claims.

"Indeed, the rules do not require that providers make available any preloaded apps," the post goes on. "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 various 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.") Therefore, there is no net neutrality violation."

AT&T may be worried less about competition than the bandwidth video calling consumes; if cellular FaceTime becomes popular, it could force the carrier to upgrade its network to accommodate traffic. The issue could intensify after the launch of the next-generation iPhone, which is expected to support LTE as on the third-generation iPad; although LTE might in theory ease network congestion, it could also make FaceTime popular enough that it would still set AT&T back.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. johnpford

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-04-10

    Seriously?? Thats just a company looking for a loophole. As a person who switched to AT&T because they had the iPhone(3g and every model newer). Unless you change your policy just walk me walk. I'm a single subscriber, why on earth would I buy a share plan??

  1. myramoki

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-22-04

    Simple solution: Remove FaceTime as a default app. Seriously, I know that Apple wants to provide a consistent out of the box experience for their customers, but if AT&T is going to play this kind of technical loophole bullshit, than Apple could do the same.

  1. bluedog

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 08-10-00

    You could "share" your data allotment across multiple devices like your phone, tablet, etc. Although I agree with you, AT&T isn't allowing for a plan that has data for a single device any longer.

  1. TheGreatButcher

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 06-11-00

    So with this logic, does this mean broadband ISPs can block and charge extra to use Facetime on my Mac because it came preinstalled on OS X?

    AT&T, you're a joke. I hope you crash and burn. I won't be subscribing to your carrier when I return to the US.

  1. StevenFR8

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-25-11

    First of all Net neutrality is not about what Application you can have... It is about the traffic from an application across the network. Secondly, what happened to obeying the spirit of a law not just the letter! Obviously AT&T has realized that the Justice department has become the tool of whoever wants to spend the most money.

  1. digitalguy222

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-20-12

    yep att wont let me use facetime on 3g either . i pay for data att let me use it ! so unfair to its customers. i filed a complaint with the fcc already at fcc.gov and found the patition that is going around if you want to help stop att from restricting facetime sign this and pass it along to as many places and people as you can . http://act.freepress.net/sign/facetime we pay for the data att let us use facetime !!!!!

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