iPad Video Downsampled or Blocked over 3G
Owners of new WiFi + 3G iPads are noticing that apps are displaying significantly downsampled video or none at all over 3G data connections. Users have found much poorer video quality on the YouTube app and that ABC's TV viewer completely blocks video when it doesn't detect a WiFi connection. AT&T is so far referring all questions to Apple, and Apple is silent.
AT&T has been implicated in blocking or restricting video apps on the iPhone in times past: as one example, the SlingPlayer app was prevented from operating over 3G until it was "optimized."
AT&T was contacted by TechCrunch's MG Siegler earlier today
, but the carrier neither acknowledged or denied responsibility, saying only "thatís something you need to ask Apple." Follow-up inquiries seeking further information were met with the helpful clarification "itís just a question for Apple." According to Electronista
, ABC is claiming
that the reason why streaming over 3G is prohibited is a result of licensing and digital rights issues, not carrier restrictions.
Back in February, the US Federal Communications Commission reacted to the iPad announcement by expressing concern about wireless broadband congestion
, saying that 3G networks were already "reminiscent of the congestion dialup users experienced following AOLís 1996 decision to allow unlimited internet use." As a result, the agency's director for scenario planning declare that " we must ensure that network congestion doesnít choke off a service that consumers clearly find so appealing or frustrate mobile broadbandís ability to keep us competitive in the global broadband economy."