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

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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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. "

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

Raftysworld

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2011
287
0
Props to AT&T. No one should be using heaving video streaming on wireless connections anyway. Just use your home internet. Problem solved.
 

WannaGoMac

macrumors 68020
Feb 11, 2007
2,337
2,963
Definitely going to a prepaid carrier once my att contract is done. Had enough of the BS and the crazy cost of ATT service.
 

scarred

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
516
1
So they are going for the "technicality" argument... Facetime is preloaded so doesn't apply to the same rules?? Give me a break.
 

WhoDaKat

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2006
339
462
Save us Apple! We need you to be a cell provider! They screw YOUR customers, they refuse to push YOUR phone, how much more are you going to take before you throw us a life line?

(Wouldn't it be awesome if Apple said, ok, now Facetime is a downloadable app! lol)
 

troop231

macrumors 603
Jan 20, 2010
5,505
190
If Apple were to make FaceTime a downloadable app, problem solved! :D


/doubts this will ever happen :(
 

JForestZ34

macrumors 6502a
Nov 18, 2007
824
111
This is such bs. They tell you they don't want to tax their network but it's ok I'd you pay them more. Like paying more money to use the service is going to ease the network congestion or use.


James
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
25,746
8,687
Detroit
I posted this in another thread 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.
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,817
1,304
Falls Church, VA
Honestly, I feel sometimes people complain about AT&T just to complain about AT&T. This is hardly a draconian move by them.. Remember that Verizon is FORCING people to use shared data plans and not even keeping the original plans around.

Of course, Sprint is being the nicest of them all and just saying "whatev", but I wouldn't switch to Sprint in any situation because of their abysmal network (at least in the DC area - yes, MUCH worse than AT&T)
 

rmatthewware

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2009
493
113
ATT, go eff yourself. How is this hurting your data? If you have a limited plan, the data will be used faster and you'll make more money. It you have unlimited data, you'll be throttled after 3 gb anyway. What's the difference from me using Facetime, which is an included app, or Skype, which isn't being restricted?
 

DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
1,766
2,267
NYC
They may not technically be violating net neutrality principles, but they certainly are violating the spirit of those principles. Data is data; if a customer is on a limited data plan, they should be allowed to use that data any way they like. I can see the concern for grandfathered unlimited customers, but for people who are limited, it's ridiculous to restrict FaceTime to "mobile share" customers.
 

auero

macrumors 65816
Sep 15, 2006
1,358
94
Props to AT&T. No one should be using heaving video streaming on wireless connections anyway. Just use your home internet. Problem solved.
Just like years ago many said viewing the internet through their phone was pointless and to just use their computer?

:rolleyes: