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  • AT&T: We Are Allowed to Block FaceTime Over Cellular


    In all of the recent criticisms against AT&T for choosing to limit FaceTime over cellular networks to those in AT&Tís shared data plans, AT&T has finally come forward with a response to those complaining about the decision in their blog. AT&T claims that because FaceTime is a pre-installed application on Appleís devices, AT&T is allowed to block FaceTime over cellular from whomever they want, to their heartís content:

    Quote Originally Posted by AT&T
    The FCCís 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. (I wonít name any of them for fear that I will be accused by these same groups of discriminating in favor of those apps. But just go to your app store on your device and type ďvideo chat.Ē) Therefore, there is no net neutrality violation.
    Since FaceTime is an application that is already on mobile devices from the factory, AT&T claims that it is different from any third party services that can be downloaded from the App Store and similarly used to obtain video calling features over the cellular network. AT&T also openly states that they cannot and will not limit the activity of users with third party video calling applications such as Skype, Tango, ooVoo, and many others, although AT&T refused to name any specific applications out of fear of being accused for being favorable.

    While AT&T may be playing along with the rules in their book, it doesnít take a rocket scientist to realize that the company is doing this purposely with no real reasoning besides money. Several other comparable iPhone carriers will be allowing users to use the FaceTime over cellular feature without blocking it from certain users without specific data plans or charging extra to use the feature. For this, some people may move over to different companies.

    Even though AT&T plans to block FaceTime over cellular for certain subscribers, jailbreak tweaks can allow the feature to be used on jailbroken devices. Additionally, users can always connect to a Wi-Fi network to use FaceTime, as AT&T cannot control what you do over Wi-Fi.

    According to AT&Tís blog, AT&T plans to monitor the usage of FaceTime over cellular to learn about the impacts of the feature on their cellular network. We have a feeling it wonít be much and even after AT&T finally learns this, they will probably still block most of us from it for the fun of having control over things.

    Sources: AT&T blog via 9to5Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T: We Are Allowed to Block FaceTime Over Cellular started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 47 Comments
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Can we stop with the "I'm going to switch to X now because Y did this" already?! Please, just switch. Don't make threats, just do it. Go ahead, switch to Verizon over this. In 3 months, you'll be threatening to switch to AT&T or T-Mobile. Then 3 months later you'll be doing it again. And when you all leave AT&T, they will be forced to make it better to keep me. Likewise, when you all leave Verizon, they will be forced to make it better to keep someone else.

      I wish you'd all just go already, but unfortunately 99% of you are all talk and won't do jack. So please just stop with the empty threats on a forum that nobody at AT&T, Verizon, or any other wireless provider give a crap about. If you want to be heard by someone that matters, talk with your wallet.
    1. mmaboi21's Avatar
      mmaboi21 -
      Feel better?^
      I always feel better after a good rant...
    1. taylorcampinc's Avatar
      taylorcampinc -
      Apple will have it's own cellular network soon enough...
    1. zoltan1600's Avatar
      zoltan1600 -
      One word: StraightTalk
    1. RoloDiva13's Avatar
      RoloDiva13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rokesomesmeefer View Post
      Can we stop with the "I'm going to switch to X now because Y did this" already?! Please, just switch. Don't make threats, just do it. Go ahead, switch to Verizon over this. In 3 months, you'll be threatening to switch to AT&T or T-Mobile. Then 3 months later you'll be doing it again. And when you all leave AT&T, they will be forced to make it better to keep me. Likewise, when you all leave Verizon, they will be forced to make it better to keep someone else.

      I wish you'd all just go already, but unfortunately 99% of you are all talk and won't do jack. So please just stop with the empty threats on a forum that nobody at AT&T, Verizon, or any other wireless provider give a crap about. If you want to be heard by someone that matters, talk with your wallet.
      +infinity. Couldn't have said it better.
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      I'm not sure the FCC will agree with AT&T's posturing on this. What if AT&T were to block Skype or Tango?
      (AT&T wouldn't stop you downloading the app, because that would violate net neutrality rules - they'll just stop you using it over their network. But AT&T would still generously allow you to use that app over WiFi).

      Somebody high up at AT&T has a gift for making stupid-*** decisions that piss off their existing customer base. Even folks that don't use FaceTime are going to be annoyed at this. Yet again AT&T tells you what you can and can't do with the (limited - for EVERYONE) amount of data they provide.
    1. kyphur's Avatar
      kyphur -
      I just want to add this thought:

      If at&t says they can't limit it how I used my dataplan via installed apps but they can restrict features that are built-in to the OS Then I guess...

      I'm legit using MyWi to tether since I purchased and installed the app on my iDevice!

      It's nice to know they can't 'catch' me tethering with my installed app and try to punish me for it!