AT&T to Face Net Neutrality Complaint Regarding FaceTime Over Cellular Limitation
Late last month, we noted that net neutrality organization Public Knowledge had accused AT&T of violating Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules in limiting use of the forthcoming FaceTime over Cellular feature in iOS 6 to customers on the carrier's new Mobile Share plans. AT&T responded to note that it was within its rights to block FaceTime over Cellular for customers on other plans because net neutrality regulations do not apply to apps that are preloaded on devices as seen with Apple's FaceTime app.
GigaOM now notes that Public Knowledge has banded together with Free Press and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute to notify AT&T that they will indeed be filing a net neutrality complaint with the FCC over the issue.
“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."
The press release is a required 10-day advance notice of the intended action, with the group saying that the complaint will be filed "in the coming weeks".