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AT&T Won't Charge Extra for Facetime
Will Require Users Have Shared Data Plans
by Karl Bode 10:40AM Monday Aug 20 2012
Last month changes within iOS 6 made it apparent that AT&T was at least considering charging users an extra toll to use Facetime on the iPhone, something that immediately raised the hackles of consumer advocates for obvious reasons. Now AT&T has announced that while they won't be technically charging an extra fee, they will be forcing anybody who wants to use Facetime to upgrade to AT&T's new shared family data plans, which the company only-just recently revealed:
quote:
"AT&T will offer FaceTime over Cellular as an added benefit of our new Mobile Share data plans, which were created to meet customers’ growing data needs at a great value," the company said on Friday afternoon. "With Mobile Share, the more data you use, the more you save. FaceTime will continue to be available over Wi-Fi for all our customers."
Users on shared data plans will of course pay $15 per gigabyte overages. While not as bad as a direct troll toll AT&T is restricting the outright use of an application unless a user signs up for a particular plan, something consumer groups still aren't responding well to -- consumer group Public Knowledge calling the idea "unreasonable discrimination" that could still violate open Internet rules.

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bnceo

join:2007-10-11
Bel Air, MD

Bad Boys AT&T Is

For someone like myself who is on a 5GB plan (gf is on 2GB plan), why do I need to switch to mobile share data for this? I'm not even unlimited, but I still need to switch again?

I can sorta see this for the unlimited users, but to do this for the legit single user data limit customers is just perplexing and wrong.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Bad Boys AT&T Is

Why? Because this is another carrot they are putting in front of your face trying to get you to move over to their ridiculous" bucket plans.

There is absolutely no other reason or incentive they have to put this restriction on this app.
en103

join:2011-05-02
AT&T is not charging (directly) for Facetime... but by having an effective pay to play for an app, they're forcing people to typically more expensive plans which in a way is charging for FaceTime.

gigahurtz
Premium
join:2001-10-20
Palm Coast, FL

AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

AT&T seems to find more and more ways to encourage jailbreaking your device. This is yet another reason to do it.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

Hopefully in October the copyright office will renew the clarification that JBing a phone doesn't violate the DMCA.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

said by skeechan:

Hopefully in October the copyright office will renew the clarification that JBing a phone doesn't violate the DMCA.

Isn't this messed up? You modifying a piece of property you own and paid for is now a crime, unless the government says it isn't.

Crazy.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Re: AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

said by pnh102:

said by skeechan:

Hopefully in October the copyright office will renew the clarification that JBing a phone doesn't violate the DMCA.

Isn't this messed up? You modifying a piece of property you own and paid for is now a crime, unless the government says it isn't.

Crazy.

That's the case with a lot of things, actually.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
What is messed up is the copyright office needs to point out the obvious; JBing a phone doesn't violate copyright provisions of Title 17.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

said by skeechan:

What is messed up is the copyright office needs to point out the obvious; JBing a phone doesn't violate copyright provisions of Title 17.

It shouldn't even get that far. The principles of the Doctrine of First Sale, which is possibly as old as modern humanity itself, should trump any claim made by anything else.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

That's what happen when lobbyists are the ones writing the laws in the United States.
en103

join:2011-05-02
How different is this from

a) Copying A CD/DVD/Blu Ray ?
b) Modifying a telecommunications device (unlocking a cable modem, phreaking, spoofing)

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Re: AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

said by en103:

How different is this from

a) Copying A CD/DVD/Blu Ray ?
b) Modifying a telecommunications device (unlocking a cable modem, phreaking, spoofing)

b shouldn't be illegal unless you use it to steal service.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS

Re: AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

Exactly. Title 17 is protection from copyright infringement. Circumventing DRM for the purpose of copyright infringement IS illegal. Circumventing phone DRM to add software is not infringing so sayith the copyright office.

The 5th Circuit ruled similarly on a separate DRM issue (about dongles and some power system). Circumventing DRM itself is not an illegal act.
clone

join:2000-12-11
Portage, IN

1 recommendation

Does anyone actually care if it DOES violate the DMCA?? What a non-issue.

I bought it, I own it, end of story, come and get me.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Re: AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

said by clone:

Does anyone actually care if it DOES violate the DMCA?? What a non-issue.

I bought it, I own it, end of story, come and get me.

Yeah I don't think the DMCA and hardware should be the issue at all.

Violating your terms of service on the AT&T network (which you do not own) by using data should be the issue here.

I don't really oppose people j/bing their devices, but I think that's just encouraging carriers to get more strict with policies. Time to attack the problem at its root, and that's the carriers' policies. Verizon did a very good thing by allowing tethering on iPads gratis, for example. I'm sure it helped a few sales.

gigahurtz
Premium
join:2001-10-20
Palm Coast, FL
Reviews:
·Bright House

Re: AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

Do you honestly believe that carriers would be less strict if we didn't jailbreak our phones? Regardless of whether or not my phone is jailbroken or not, I still do not avoid paying overages if I go over my allotment of 2 GB of data which I pay $25 a month for.

How I use my data should not be of any concern to AT&T (unless of course, I'm doing something deemed illegal like child porn, etc). If I would like to facetime using 3G and I go over my data, I'm responsible for that overage. Please give me one good reason that AT&T would have to require someone to be on their shared data plan rather than a standard limited data plan. I do understand the argument for those who are on grandfathered unlimited data plans, but anyone else there is no logical reason.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Clear Wireless
·Cox HSI
·Verizon FiOS

Re: AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

said by gigahurtz:

Please give me one good reason that AT&T would have to require someone to be on their shared data plan rather than a standard limited data plan.

Because it means even higher profits and angrier customers...the two goals of AT&T!

gigahurtz
Premium
join:2001-10-20
Palm Coast, FL

Re: AT&T: Rethink Jailbreak

Exactly!

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2
It's one thing if you can JB it on your own...quite another if you are a company relying on it being legal like Firecore does with ATV.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Jailbreak

Takes 5 minutes.

Problem solved.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

They already have data caps

C-ya AT&T. Been a customer since Cingular but I'm taking my biz elsewhere.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: They already have data caps

said by skeechan:

C-ya AT&T. Been a customer since Cingular but I'm taking my biz elsewhere.

Where you gong to go, Verizon? Sorry they make you take share plans too. Oooops.

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Re: They already have data caps

Sprint, T-Mobile, back to a dumb phone....AT&T and VZW aren't the only to mobile providers in my neck of the woods.

Gbcue
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:8
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Re: They already have data caps

said by skeechan:

Sprint, T-Mobile, back to a dumb phone....AT&T and VZW aren't the only to mobile providers in my neck of the woods.

Get a Galaxy Nexus from the Play store, and the $30/month prepaid (100 minutes, unlimited text, 5gb of HSPA+ data) on T-Mobile.
en103

join:2011-05-02

Re: They already have data caps

That's a pretty good deal.
Expand your moderator at work

gigahurtz
Premium
join:2001-10-20
Palm Coast, FL
Reviews:
·Bright House
said by 88615298:

said by skeechan:

C-ya AT&T. Been a customer since Cingular but I'm taking my biz elsewhere.

Where you gong to go, Verizon? Sorry they make you take share plans too. Oooops.

Sprint is the only other option for those looking to switch, since they're the only carrier still offering unlimited. The problem with Sprint of course is their coverage.

a333
A hot cup of integrals please

join:2007-06-12
Rego Park, NY
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US

Re: They already have data caps

I'm pretty sure Sprint's coverage is at least better than T-mobile's, due to their spectrum and general focus as opposed to T-mobile's urban-heavy coverage focus. Also, to supplement the T-mobile service, one could just get a phone from Ting. (referring to GBcue's suggestion about the Galaxy Nexus + T-mobile) Ting operates on Sprint's network, and also roams onto US Cellular and Verizon IIRC, and their plans are pretty decent especially for voice and text.
--
Physics: Will you break the laws of physics, or will the laws of physics break you?
If physicists stand on each other's shoulders, computer scientists stand on each other's toes, and computer programmers dig each other's graves.

skj
Welcome to the far side of reality
Premium,Mod
join:2002-04-04
Gone South
kudos:1
said by skeechan:

C-ya AT&T. Been a customer since Cingular but I'm taking my biz elsewhere.

This remains to be seen, but according to »9to5mac.com/page/2/, "Verizon is being forced not to mess with it because of a Net Neutrality promise."
--


Reality is the leading cause of stress among those who are in touch with it.--Jane Wagner

SHoTTa35

@optonline.net

Sometimes they do deserve the bad rep "they" get...

I'm not one of those Net Neutrality nutjobs but this is clearly where it's needed.

If they were a technical limitation of old plans or so, say they limited you to 2G speeds as a result of the cost then fine. This is just simply trying to push more money into their pockets (which of-course is the point of a business).

What's next, charging extra for cnn.com or yahoo.com? Facetime doesn't use any AT&T tech, it's not like they had to setup server like they did for Visual Voicemail, so therefore no extra costs to them. They are simply routing packets to Apple's servers. The purposely block it on older plans and allow it on newer ones just to drive up costs.

"they" = all money grubbing companies that just all want to rape their paying customers!
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Here's what FaceTime costs...

Let's assume that your average rate is $10 per GB. That might actually be low for AT&T but let's go with that for the moment.

Let's also assume that FaceTime pushes a mere megabit of data in each direction (it might be more, but I'm not sure whether AT&T's network could handle it...it might be less, but I doubt it and I don't have an iPhone or iTouch to test with).

So data costs a penny per megabyte, and FaceTime uses 250KB/s, or 15MB/minute, you'll be paying 15¢ per minute in data fees for a aceTime over cellular call. You do get per-second billing of course, since only the data transferred is being billed. However it's still expensive when you look at it...and AT&T's cheapest per-gigabyte plan (the 20GB for $150 per month one) only cuts your costs from this figure by 25%.

Now Apple may elect to offer lower bitrates over cellular than over WiFi to ameliorate this issue, but as it stands video calling, even if it's not charged directly per-minute, is pretty darned expensive and is an excellent substitute for dying voice revenues, from AT&T's perspective.

drew
Radiant
Premium
join:2002-07-10
Port Orchard, WA
kudos:6

What a bunch of

horseshit.

AT&T: there is absolutely nothing that is OK with this plan.
TWCcdman

join:2002-04-14
Kernersville, NC

Hope they don't take unlimited plans

Just hope with the release of the iPhone 5 at hand, I just hope At$t doesn't take the unlimited data plan from those of us that have them to upgrade to the IPhone since its supposedly LTE. I won't change from the Death Star cause I don't like CDMA and sprint sucks even worse here. I don't use but 1-2 go per month but it doesnt pay to goto the shared plans for us. Maybe it'd time to break up AT&T again like in the 80s. They are too big and powerful.
georgeglass5

join:2010-06-07
New York, NY

As I've said in the past

**** AT&T, if you have to use them because you have, no other choice, I feel for you. But otherwise, this has to be the demonic of demonic wireless companies. I'd sooner pay the $600 deposit verizon wants to start a new contact, than go back to at&t. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, they still don't realize they aren't the only game in town. They can strong arm all they want, but in the end, you can't get blood out of a rock.

Kara

@comcast.net

as i said before

AT&T can kiss my butt I not deal with them ever, last time 8 yrs ago. So kiss it.

Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit

So basically they are charging extra for Facetime

That's kind of like saying they aren't charging extra for Tethering, if you switch to the shared data plans. That's because the price of tethering is built into said plans.

I can't wait for the first lawsuit on this that AT&T is violating the very FCC network neutrality laws that they themselves helped create.

»bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/2···ime-fcc/

--
The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.
en103

join:2011-05-02
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: So basically they are charging extra for Facetime

Sad part that I may expect... Tethering should legally allow FaceTime (lets say I tether my iPad or Laptop). Violation of this would be against AT&T's own terms of tethering plans (blocking FaceTime on my Laptop through blocking FaceTime on my cellphone)

Selenia
I love Debian
Premium
join:2006-09-22
Fort Smith, AR
kudos:2

Nothing new here

Consumers getting raped as always. AT&T has blocked SIP in the last year.(r
It registers but rings and voice connections fail, as of one day last year and on, when it used to work. TWC just outright blocks the standard control port. Using Tor and TCP control ports or just using a vpn solves it, leaving sip in a working state. I prefer the Tor route as it seems to obfuscate the control port but still passes udp voice packets directly over the network, resulting in less jitter and latency than passing everything over most free vpn providers. My guess is it's hard for their equipment to tell what udp traffic belongs to. Only thing is the tor route requires a rooted phone with busybox and iptables. Trivial for many of us, but not typical users. For the anally restricted wifi, pptp over tor with port restrictions works(usually 80 and/or 443). I can see free wifi protecting itself and I don't abuse it, using the Speex codec at 11kbps. If you need a provider to use tcp with, become friends with the free pbxes. They allow a wide range of ports and work fantastic, if setup right. Just sad I suddenly needed to use those measures :'( NAT is not the issue, btw. It used to work with the same settings, plus tor or vpn still leaves you behind NAT. Same settings still work on vzw. Too bad they have crap data speeds around here, along with a few illogical coverage gaps.
--
A fool thinks they know everything.

A wise person knows enough to know they couldn't possibly know everything.

There are zealots for every OS, like every religion. They do not represent the majority of users for either.