AT&T Responds to Net Neutrality Concerns Regarding FaceTime Usage Policy

Late last week, AT&T announced that it will be restricting usage of Apple's FaceTime over Cellular feature in iOS 6 to customers on its new Mobile Share plans officially launching tomorrow. Beyond a backlash from consumers who do not wish to change their current service plans, the policy has also raised net neutrality concerns.

AT&T has now issued a lengthy response to those concerns, stating that the move will not violate either of the two basic net neutrality provisions regarding transparency or the blocking of competing services.

AT&T’s plans for FaceTime will not violate either requirement. Our policies regarding FaceTime will be fully transparent to all consumers, and no one has argued to the contrary. There is no transparency issue here.

Nor is there a blocking issue. The FCC’s net neutrality rules do not regulate the availability to customers of applications that are preloaded on phones. Indeed, the rules do not require that providers make available any preloaded apps. 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.

AT&T argues that its move is expanding access to FaceTime, which has until now been limited to Wi-Fi usage only, and the carrier says that it is limiting the feature's cellular access to Mobile Share customers "out of an overriding concern for the impact this expansion may have on our network and the overall customer experience. "

Top Rated Comments

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107 months ago
AT&T sucks. That's all.
Score: 71 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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107 months ago

Props to AT&T. No one should be using heaving video streaming on wireless connections anyway. Just use your home internet. Problem solved.


The 90s called. They want their ignorance back.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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107 months ago

AT&T sucks. That's all.


Apple sucks for handing AT&T the ability to disable FaceTime over cellular.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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107 months ago
I posted this in another thread (https://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/17/att-ceo-acknowledges-rumors-of-cellular-facetime-charges-says-too-early-to-discuss/) not long ago, but it bears repeating again in this thread.

AT&T argues that its move is expanding access to FaceTime, which has until now been limited to Wi-Fi usage only, and the carrier says that it is limiting the feature's cellular access to Mobile Share customers "out of an overriding concern for the impact this expansion may have on our network and the overall customer experience."


^^^That is total BS!

From my other post earlier...

This whole US cellular market of data usage is a bunch of bunk. 1GB, 3GB or unlimited, it's all irrelevant. The quantity of data a person uses has no affect on the network of AT&T, Verizon, et al. What matters and affects the network and it's users is the number of people on the network at a given time, in a given area and how many it can support. That's where the slow downs occur and congestion takes over. This is true whether a person uses 1MB or 10GB; it's all the same.

Imagine a highway with 2 lanes and 100 cars on it driving 55mph. Traffic should run fairly well. Now triple the amount of cars on the same road and traffic is going to get congested and the speed overall is going to drop significantly. If you widen the same road by 1 or 2 lanes, those 300 cars should be able to drive 55mph again and be fine. This is the same principle of the way the networks work.

The bottom line is the cellular companies are taking us for a ride and not a high speed one. They're cashing in on these "data plans" and restricting us the use of the road. We're only allowed to drive 3 miles on the unlimited length of the road each month. That is without regard to how many lanes are available and the amount of cars on the road. You could be the only car on a 3 lane road, but you're only allowed to drive 3 miles per month, or they're going to penalize you for driving further.

Then there is the text messages. Texting costs them next to nothing to accommodate as they insert that data in between regular telephone calls on the same network. Again, charging us all this money for these plans is uncalled for.

They are bringing in the cash hand over fist, yet their networks lag behind in capacity and speed. What are they doing with all this money? Perhaps they need to streamline their corporate & company structure and become more cost-effective.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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107 months ago
If Apple were to make FaceTime a downloadable app, problem solved! :D


/doubts this will ever happen :(
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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107 months ago
So they are going for the "technicality" argument... Facetime is preloaded so doesn't apply to the same rules?? Give me a break.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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