dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
FCC Boss: 'We Will Act' On AT&T Facetime Complaints
Assuming Good Faith Negotiations Fail
by Karl Bode 09:16AM Wednesday Sep 26 2012 Tipped by en103 See Profile
Consumer groups have been hitting AT&T hard recently for their decision to block Facetime over cellular unless users sign up for one of their new shared data plans (complete with $15 per gigabyte overage fees), claiming the move violates the FCC's new loophole-filled network neutrality rules. For what it's worth, FCC boss Julius Genachowski yesterday stated that once a proper complaint from consumer groups has been filed, and if good faith negotiations "doesn't lead to a resolution and a complaint is filed, we will exercise our responsibilities and we will act." AT&T had originally claimed that that meddling with the app did not violate net neutrality because it came pre-loaded on the device. Since then however the normally-chatty-on-policy-issues AT&T has been dead quiet, suggesting that maybe their excuse isn't quite the solid legal bedrock they had originally hoped.

view:
topics flat nest 

IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

Like the sound of that....

Thank you Chairman G... For all we know, the Chairman is a grandfathered "unlimited" data customer and doesn't like being forced to get the new mobile share plans for FaceTime over cellular.

SHoTTa35

@optonline.net

Never was a real reason....

Thank you FCC. Not that it matters to me since I don't use an iPhone but still it was very wrong of them to say,

"OH the old data plan using the same network can't support Facetime but this new plan will - Switch now to get your Facetime on!"

Just didn't make no sense. I'd understand if the older plans could ONLY use the 3G/2G network which are still strained or something but that's not the case, they can work on LTE (if available) just fine which isn't as stressed yet. So no reason it can't work, other than "gotta raise those rates to please stockholders" issues.

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

I'm glad the FCC is interested, but ...

I don't see how this is any different than the tethering feature that has been in iOS for years. Apple provides AT&T with an on/off switch, and AT&T exercises it depending on the service level. Grandfathered unlimited customers can't get tethering, either.

Apple also won't approve app store apps that AT&T wouldn't like. Many apps are limited when using cellular data.

As sleazy as AT&T's being about FaceTime, I don't think it's anything new. There is definitely a problem, but this issue is more complex than just FaceTime.
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: I'm glad the FCC is interested, but ...

And Genachowski said virtually nothing. All he said was he will look in to it. No promises of any action.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

Utter criminal activity

ATT offers IPhone with Facetime functionality on it yet says you can't use it unless you pony up more money. Sounds to me like they are violating laws. Facetime uses the internet to transmit "Data" so if a clients contract supports the amount of data usage Facetime requires then AT&T has no right to say that a client can't use the app to transmit data and receive data.
END OF STORY

Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1

Older models

It's interesting with AT&T's attempted grab that Apple didn't enable non-wifi Facetime on older models. That's a big reason to give people a reason to JB.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

FCC and Internet

Regardless of this being on a Cellular network or not, the FCC still has no power to regulate the Internet. Which this is what it uses.

Sorry FCC, your out of boundry and AT&T will be happy to show you to the court room.

The FCC is just luckey they don't have to pay everytime they lose a court case, the country would be more broke than it is currently.
wingrider01

join:2006-07-25
Saint Louis, MO

Re: FCC and Internet

besides if the fcc does try and do anything, all the carrier will do is sunset the plan just like verzion did with their unlimited plan. A grandfathered plan can be canceled at any time by the carrier. The everyone loses

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

Worried Randall says....

Did someone not deliver my gift baskets to FCC?


--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"
georgeglass5

join:2010-06-07
New York, NY

At&t

is really, some piece of work.

NOCTech75
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Marietta, GA

I suppose this will be settled eventually

Just in time for iPhone 8 to be released.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

AT&T: posterchild for all that is wrong in American Telecomm

Time and time again they engage in anti-competitive behavior and act in bad faith repeatedly to try and bend consumers over in every way possible. They'd clearly love to monopolize the entire nation and remove all regulation and go to by-the-byte billing at massively over-inflated rates.

Unfortunately, the FCC does very little to stop this, let's hope they at least make an effort.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

C0deZer0
Oc'D To Rhythm And Police
Premium
join:2001-10-03
Tempe, AZ

Emphasis on 'act'

3700 pages of complaint form documentation, and a couple of under the table contributions later, AT&T will still block it anyway. The same way Sony promised to leave Linux on PS3's intact but removed it anyway, retroactively.

--
Because, f*ck Sony
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Why is this different than tethering?

A few years back when the iPhone/AT&T (not sure who had to update/permit what) finally started offering tethering, I had to give up my unlimited plan because I wanted tethering. I still have that plan and the 4GB, use-it-any-way-I-want-to, monthly limit.

Facetime and tethering probably have similar bandwidth appetites so I'm not sure why anyone believes the Facetime debacle is different than tethering.

Now what I do think is ridiculous is if those with tethering packages cannot use Facetime on their phone when they could do so on their tethered MacBook Pro/Air devices. That's insanity.

I don't know if cellular data app size download limits still apply but that restriction is equally ridiculous. In the Summer of 2011, I wanted to download a Yellowstone park map app and I couldn't over cellular data because the app was over 20MB. However, I had three kids with iPod Touch devices tethered to my phone. I had one of them download it which, of course, was permitted because the HotSpot looks like wireless to another device.
Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23

Re: Why is this different than tethering?

said by rradina:

A few years back when the iPhone/AT&T (not sure who had to update/permit what) finally started offering tethering, I had to give up my unlimited plan because I wanted tethering. I still have that plan and the 4GB, use-it-any-way-I-want-to, monthly limit.

Facetime and tethering probably have similar bandwidth appetites so I'm not sure why anyone believes the Facetime debacle is different than tethering.

Now what I do think is ridiculous is if those with tethering packages cannot use Facetime on their phone when they could do so on their tethered MacBook Pro/Air devices. That's insanity.

I don't know if cellular data app size download limits still apply but that restriction is equally ridiculous. In the Summer of 2011, I wanted to download a Yellowstone park map app and I couldn't over cellular data because the app was over 20MB. However, I had three kids with iPod Touch devices tethered to my phone. I had one of them download it which, of course, was permitted because the HotSpot looks like wireless to another device.

its not, its all data either way you look at it, they want you to pay more for it and the plan, in other words AT$T is doing the old saying (double dip)
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Mediacom

one more thing - att navigator (from telenev)

also requires subscription annual or monthly - $10/m even though all what it uses is data. Though there are plenty of free or lower cost alternatives from App Store/Google Play.

How is that different from Facetime that has alternatives like Skype? Till this day, default Map apps on iphone did not have built in navigation until iphone 5 came out which totally replaced Google Map with Apple version due to their fight with Android.