AT&T's FaceTime Blocking Leads to FCC Complaint
Three interest groups announced their intent to file a complaint with the FCC against AT&T, after the carrier said it would block Apple's FaceTime from its cellular data service unless customers signed up for a particular plan.
[More from Mashable: Twitter’s iOS Upgrades Are Awkward, Helpful [REVIEW]]
Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology notified (PDF) AT&T Tuesday of their intent to file a complaint with the FCC about “AT&T Inc.’s decision to block certain users from accessing the FaceTime application over AT&T’s mobile networks,” which the groups allege is a violation of Net Neutrality laws.
FCC rules require notification of intent 10 days prior to the actual filing of a complaint.
[More from Mashable: Everything You Need to Know About the New Twitter]
"AT&T’s decision to block FaceTime unless a customer pays for voice and text minutes she doesn’t need is a clear violation of the FCC’s Open Internet rules,” Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood said in a statement.
Currently, the iPhone FaceTime app can only be used over Wi-Fi, though there are plans to expand this feature to cellular networks when iOS 6 is released -- which will naturally increase data usage.
AT&T announced in August that a Mobile Share plan, which offers monthly tiered plans for data use across devices, would be required to use FaceTime on its cellular data service.
Bob Quinn, AT&T's senior vice president of regulatory affairs, responded to complaints made by Free Press last month over FaceTime blocking by saying the groups "rushed to judgment." AT&T has not returned a request for comment.