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  • AT&T Accused of Violating FCC Rules over FaceTime over Cellular Restriction


    The digital advocacy organization, Public Knowledge, has accused AT&T of violating FCC rules on net neutrality with its new policy regarding the use of FaceTime over Cellular. Just last week, AT&T had announced that it will only allow users on its new Mobile Share data plans to use the new FaceTime over Cellular service in iOS 6. A senior staff lawyer for Public Knowledge told the New York Times that it felt AT&T was violating FCC rules which state that service providers would not “block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services.”

    John Bergmayer, the lawyer for the organization, noted that “there is no technical reason why one data plan should be able to access FaceTime and another not.” An argument like this one could also be made for tethering the iPhone to a laptop though, however, it isn’t clear what AT&T service Public Knowledge feels FaceTime is competing with. The rule in question is designed to prevent ISP’s from blocking things such as VoIP apps or Netflix that compete with their own products.

    An AT&T spokesperson responded to the allegations with the following statement:

    FaceTime is available to all of our customers today over Wi-Fi, and we’re now expanding its availability even further as an added benefit of our new Mobile Share data plans.
    As of right now, the FCC has no comment about the matter. In the meantime, iPhone owners will remain unaffected by the policy until FaceTime over Cellular is enabled in iOS 6 later this year. Those who use jailbreak tweaks to currently use FaceTime over Cellular should also be careful once the iOS 6 rolls out, as this feature might be picked up on by AT&T, similar to how tethering can be detected by AT&T as well (presumably).

    Source: New York Times
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Accused of Violating FCC Rules over FaceTime over Cellular Restriction started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 44 Comments
    1. Sfarijo's Avatar
      Sfarijo -
      Everything was ok when AT&T offered the unlimited plan with the first generation iPhone because the first generation was slow.
      Unlimited basically meant nothing then but now that it's beneficial to us, they're trying their best to take it away for every available reason.
    1. bmwraw8482's Avatar
      bmwraw8482 -
      Quote Originally Posted by teej1410 View Post
      What's wrong with just a phone call?
      Or even just MMS. Not to undermine FaceTime, I use it over 3G all the time. Heck, even my 3yr old thinks every call should be FaceTime!
    1. iPhonePutz's Avatar
      iPhonePutz -
      Quote Originally Posted by trek-life View Post

      My daughter and her grandparents, aunts & cousin in Hawaii talk via Facetime often. She only gets to see them once maybe twice a year and misses them, so Facetime provides the ability for them to see her grow and stay close. Fact of the matter is, it's simple for all involved.
      This is a great example of why FaceTime is a valuable tool, BUT it's also a perfect example of something that should be done in the privacy of your own home over wifi. The only thing worse than listening to a d-bag blabbing into his phone in public is having to listen to both sides of that d-bags FaceTime call.

      If AT&T's attorneys were smart, they would prevent FaceTime over cellular data and cite the reason as social etiquette, not bandwidth.
    1. Germanese's Avatar
      Germanese -
      Quote Originally Posted by scroogelives View Post
      Apple never lied!! Apple said it would be available via 3G but the networks are free to either allow or block it! Although I don't see what the big deal is!! FaceTime is a nice toy and nothing more!
      Facetime is not a nice toy.
      It is my primary source to be able to communicated with my fiancé when i am send out of country.
      I can use Skype and other programs but Facetime makes it so much easier !!! It is integrated hence preferred.

      I am sure i am not the only one that is using facetime on a daily basis.

      What i think a toy is ,.... Siri thats something that comes and goes.
    1. rcm's Avatar
      rcm -
      let's face it AT&T is trying to squeeze every drop of change from the iphone since ever since the iphone 4 came out more companys have the phone, they are desperate and are willing to brake any rules (like they have never done before) just to make an extra buck or two. Fact is that there is a chance that tmobile might finally get the iphone next year and when that happens AT&T will have to charge even for the amount of time the phone is on the network even when you're not using it just to make money.
    1. wolverinemarky's Avatar
      wolverinemarky -
      Glad to see someone fighting an looking out for us AT&T is probably screwed once the FCC gets involved
    1. dannyrocket's Avatar
      dannyrocket -
      Quote Originally Posted by ohthatguyagain View Post
      Nice toy?? Dude... Imagine this scenario.

      Wife says: go to store, pick up Garnier Fructis Conditioner in gel form with added minerals. Man hears: slave, go to store and buy me more hair crap.
      Man goes to store. Gets to hair section. What did wife say? *scratches head* so hard to remember... Ah, but wait, he has FaceTime over 3G. Man gets wife on FaceTime, flips camera around, tells wife to pick it out herself.
      Man comes home with correct product. Wife happy at lack of apparent failure. Man slightly less perturbed at wife's happiness.
      The end.
      LOL. Yea it is a toy and nothing more. Phone call or damn just write it down in you're notes section.
      Simple, done.


      Apple never lied Because JB IPhones have been able to use 3G unrestrictor from the beginning so obviously FT has been compatible over 3G from the start.
    1. trek-life's Avatar
      trek-life -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhonePutz View Post
      This is a great example of why FaceTime is a valuable tool, BUT it's also a perfect example of something that should be done in the privacy of your own home over wifi. The only thing worse than listening to a d-bag blabbing into his phone in public is having to listen to both sides of that d-bags FaceTime call.

      If AT&T's attorneys were smart, they would prevent FaceTime over cellular data and cite the reason as social etiquette, not bandwidth.
      lol...I pay little do no attention to what other people are doing next to me. Only thing that bothers me is people doing foolish things while driving.

      Fact of the matter is, rude inconsiderate people are going to be that way no matter what. Technology isn't going to change them. I was just happy that they were able to call me via Facetime from the beach when I was overseas on tour. I couldn't care less who was bothered by that at the beach.

      LOL at the police report that would have to be filled out if someone said something to my daughter for talking via Facetime to her family. Violence would immediately ensue.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by teej1410 View Post
      What's wrong with just a phone call?
      I like the fact that this response completely missed the humor in the original reply! LOL - WTH?!?!
    1. Airwaves182's Avatar
      Airwaves182 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iDeadman View Post
      Probably because you can't see through a phone call?
      You know you can describe what it looks like and say the brand name! So you actually don't need to see it.
    1. iPhonePutz's Avatar
      iPhonePutz -
      Quote Originally Posted by trek-life View Post
      LOL at the police report that would have to be filled out if someone said something to my daughter for talking via Facetime to her family. Violence would immediately ensue.
      Really? For a minute there I was thinking there was actually a real discussion taking place on MMI and then you added the last bit. Bummer.
    1. trek-life's Avatar
      trek-life -
      Quote Originally Posted by iPhonePutz View Post
      Really? For a minute there I was thinking there was actually a real discussion taking place on MMI and then you added the last bit. Bummer.
      Meh, I love my family enough to not allow them to be disrespected. I'm sure you love your family as well. Atleast i'd hope you do.

      That being said, worrying about "douchebags" is far from a great starting point for a discussion #kanyeshrug
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by trek-life View Post
      Meh, I love my family enough to not allow them to be disrespected. I'm sure you love your family as well. Atleast i'd hope you do.

      That being said, worrying about "douchebags" is far from a great starting point for a discussion #kanyeshrug
      You love your family enough to teach them that violence is acceptable?
    1. jeepshots's Avatar
      jeepshots -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      You love your family enough to teach them that violence is acceptable?
      Violence is acceptable when its appropriate. If i'm protecting my family, you bet your sweet candy *** i'm going to be violent. I want the fight to be as unfair as possible in my favor and I will use whatever means necessary to make that happen. Not sure how all this pertains to the facetime discussion tho...
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I'm so glad I live in a civilised country where violence is not acceptable.

      I would hate to live in a country where beating children is still allowed and violence is considered acceptable.
    1. jeepshots's Avatar
      jeepshots -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      I'm so glad I live in a civilised country where violence is not acceptable.

      I would hate to live in a country where beating children is still allowed and violence is considered acceptable.
      Ah - you are not an American. My apologies... We were discussing cultural differences, and I wasn't aware of that distinction. To someone outside the American culture, I can see how we come across as a violent society. Much in the same manner that ndia comes across with child labor to us - when in fact, it's a way of life for them.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I apologise if it came across as being personal, it was not.
    1. iPhonePutz's Avatar
      iPhonePutz -
      If your family is in danger if physical harm, I could see violence being acceptable. Beating the crap out of someone (or attempting to) just because they "disrespected" your daughter by asking her to not make. FaceTime call is straight out of the Jersey Shore. It's no wonder American's have a bad rep. Of course the guy that posted violence would ensue is full of it. Being arrested for assault for a BS reason is far more disrespectful and embarrassing to your family.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I can't imagine my family being in physical danger. Violence is unacceptable so doesnt happen where I live.

      If you think violence is acceptable then you will always live in fear of it.
    1. jeepshots's Avatar
      jeepshots -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      I can't imagine my family being in physical danger. Violence is unacceptable so doesnt happen where I live.

      If you think violence is acceptable then you will always live in fear of it.
      We don't live in fear of it any more than we might worry about having a car accident. You buy car insurance, and wear your seat belt. Thus, you're prepared - just in case. In a similar manner, we do not worry about violence. While the chances of a violent encounter with someone is very low (much lower than a car wreck), some of us still prepare for it mentally and physically - but expectation is that we will not encounter any violence, much in the same manner that we get in the car with the expectation that we will not have a wreck. It's a very low risk in actuality. But worth preparing for, because the results can be disastrous if you're not ready.

      There's a great analogy put forth by Dave Grossman. Read his webpage here. He categorizes people into three broad categories: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. 98% of people are sheep - they are calm easy-going pacifists. Couldn't hurt each other even if they tried; it's not in their nature to do so, and can't understand why some people heinous acts against their fellow humans. If you're part of this group, that's great! Almost everyone else is too. But then you have the wolves of the world. These are the people who are loners with the desire to harm their fellow humans. The psychopaths, the sociopaths, and the other malcontents that seemingly enjoy to hurt other people and feed off of their pain. The world can do without them. Until that happens tho, we will have sheepdogs. Now sheepdogs are a funny breed. They love sheep. They want to do everything they can to protect them. But they also realize that the wolves are out there, which makes the sheepdogs suspicious by nature. Sheepdogs are always checking things out and being cautious. The sheep do not care much for the sheepdogs either. The sheepdogs teeth remind them of the wolves. And the sheepdog's stare is disconcerting. But you let a wolf get into the fold, and you'll suddenly have 75 sheep trying to hide behind one sheepdog. And that sheepdog will take on a pack of wolves to protect the sheep. For no other reason than they know that the sheep cannot protect themselves.

      Dave goes on to explain that there's a wide range of sheepdogs. You have the father, determined to protect his family, at one end, and the professional soldier/police at the other end. I am a sheepdog. I have a family that God has given the responsibility of protecting to me. I take that responsibility seriously. I am also a member of my sheriffs office emergency rescue squad. I care for my fellow humans. I will do what I can to protect them, and help them during difficult times. It's part of my nature; the nature of a sheepdog.