The complaint will follow the release of Apple's latest operating system, iOS 6, which enables customers to use FaceTime over mobile networks. Previously, FaceTime use was limited to Wi-Fi connections. AT&T has indicated that it will block customers from using FaceTime via mobile devices unless they subscribe to one of its new "Mobile Share" plans.
"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," said Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood. "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."
Under the Open Internet rules the FCC passed in 2010, AT&T cannot block apps that compete with the company's traditional voice-calling service.
"By blocking FaceTime, AT&T is harming its users and holding back mobile innovation," said Public Knowledge Senior Staff Attorney John Bergmayer. "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."
AT&T customers have also protested the limitations put in place by the company, starting an online petition. Here is AT&T's response.