Net Neutrality Complaint Will Be Filed Against AT&T Over FaceTime Limitations

Net Neutrality Complaint Will Be Filed Against AT&T Over FaceTime Limitations

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On Tuesday, Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute notified AT&T of their intent to file a formal complaint against the company. In the complaint, the three organizations will assert that AT&T is violating Net Neutrality by blocking the popular video-conferencing application FaceTime. The groups will file the complaint with the Federal Communications Commission in the coming weeks. Under the agency's Open Internet rules, which prohibit companies from blocking such applications on their mobile networks, anyone filing a formal complaint must give at least 10 days' notice of their intent to file.

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.

[via GigaOm]

Net Neutrality Complaint Will Be Filed Against AT&T Over FaceTime Limitations
Justabrake - September 18, 2012 at 4:58pm
No not exactly AT&T has a lot of unlimited people on their service that don't want to give that up plus it's the only multitasking provider out their where you can call and talk and surf at the same time and if I went anywhere else I'd be paying a lot more $$$ then I'm paying now
Justabrake - September 18, 2012 at 4:21pm
I just signed the petition and I think everyone on AT&T should do the same and even if your not you should participate
Weeeew - September 18, 2012 at 4:13pm
I hate att. They throttle my unlimited plan. Then they dont let me upgrade to new iphone yearly..... Now no facetime. When will it end? Please someone split this company up or get iphone to t mobile. I hate att but have to stay cause unlimted data grandfathered in. N sprint sucks so no other choice. Wish t mobile got new iphone even tho they dont have there network up. Ide still go there.
steve jobs - September 18, 2012 at 3:56pm
Enough of such injustice so we will end down bureaucracy lest go and take down At&t on the court!!!
NoGoodNick - September 18, 2012 at 3:55pm
And yet, after continually demonstrating that they dislike both Apple and their iOS customers, they still receive record sales of the device, even as they try to discourage people from buying them.