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

facetime ios iconLate 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

Compile 'em all Avatar
148 months ago
AT&T sucks. That's all.
Score: 71 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mnsportsgeek Avatar
148 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)
profets Avatar
148 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)
SandboxGeneral Avatar
148 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)
troop231 Avatar
148 months ago
If Apple were to make FaceTime a downloadable app, problem solved! :D


/doubts this will ever happen :(
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scarred Avatar
148 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)

Popular Stories

iOS 16 4 Web Push

Apple Confirms Governments Using Push Notifications to Surveil Users

Wednesday December 6, 2023 5:06 am PST by
Unidentified governments are surveilling smartphone users by tracking push notifications that move through Google's and Apple's servers, a US senator warned on Wednesday (via Reuters). In a letter to the Department of Justice, Senator Ron Wyden said foreign officials were demanding the data from the tech giants to track smartphones. The traffic flowing from apps that send push notifications...
best buy snowflakes

Best Buy's New Weekend Sale Has Record Low Prices on MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

Friday December 8, 2023 7:37 am PST by
Best Buy's month-long holiday sale continues this weekend with multiple all-time low prices on Apple's line of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air computers. In addition to Apple notebooks, Best Buy's event has discounts sitewide on home appliances, TVs, video games, and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive...
iOS 17

iOS 17.2 Will Add These 12 New Features to Your iPhone

Friday December 1, 2023 12:19 pm PST by
iOS 17.2 has been in beta testing for over a month, and it should be released to all users in a few more weeks. The software update includes many new features and changes for iPhones, including the dozen that we have highlighted below. iOS 17.2 is expected to be released to the public in mid-December. To learn about even more features coming in the update, check out our full list. Journal ...
beeper mini

Apple Puts a Stop to Beeper Mini's iMessage for Android Feature

Friday December 8, 2023 2:24 pm PST by
Apple appears to have closed the loophole that Beeper Mini used to bring iMessage to Android, putting a stop to blue bubbles from Android devices. Beeper Mini quit working earlier today, with users receiving "failed to lookup on server: lookup request timed out" error messages. Beeper said on Twitter that it is investigating the issue, but Beeper CEO Eric Migicovsky told TechCrunch that "all ...
maxresdefault

Review: Two Months With the iPhone 15 Pro Max

Thursday December 7, 2023 12:04 pm PST by
Apple's iPhone 15 lineup came out in September, and while most reviews are done shortly after a new device launches, we like to follow up with a longer term review that gives us an opportunity to provide a deeper dive into what it's like using these phones on a day to day basis for months. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera has been...
apple watch black friday

Apple Watch Ultra 2 Hits New Record Low Price of $699, Alongside Series 9 and SE Sales

Friday December 8, 2023 8:55 am PST by
Amazon has a few big discounts on Apple Watch today, headlined by a new all-time low price on the Apple Watch Ultra 2. Many of these watches can be delivered by Christmas, with delivery dates around the middle of next week for most models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site ...
iphone se 4 modified flag edges

iPhone SE 4 May Reuse Existing iPhone 14 Battery

Wednesday December 6, 2023 1:17 pm PST by
Recently, MacRumors has received details on the battery currently being tested on the upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE, and the information corroborates previous findings in relation to the device. The iPhone SE 4, known by its device identifier D59, is expected to use the exact same battery found in the base model iPhone 14. Partially assembled prototypes of the next iPhone SE have been ...
iOS 17

35 Things Your iPhone Can Do in iOS 17.2 Coming Next Week

Wednesday December 6, 2023 5:57 am PST by
Apple made the first beta of iOS 17.2 available to developers in October. Since then we've seen three more betas, and with each iteration Apple continues to add more new features and changes, many of which users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 35 new things that are coming to your iPhone when the finalized version is publicly released in mid-December. 1....