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Open Internet groups to file FCC complaint over AT&T's FaceTime blocking

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
A trio of digital rights advocacy groups have indicated to AT&T they will file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission over the carrier's decision to block FaceTime calls over cellular data networks for some customers.

AT&T sparked dissatisfaction when it announced in August that it will require subscribers to switch to its new Mobile Share data plans to allow FaceTime calls over cellular 3G and 4G LTE data connections. FaceTime over cellular will be available to iPhone 4S and new iPad owners with the launch of iOS 6 on Wednesday, as well as those who buy the iPhone 5 on Friday.

The carrier's decision to block FaceTime calls over cellular data networks has prompted Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute to inform AT&T that they intend to file a complaint with the FCC, GigaOm reported on Tuesday.

"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," said Matt Wood, policy director with Free Press.

"It?s particularly outrageous that AT&T is requiring this for iPad users, given that this device isn?t even capable of making voice calls. AT&T?s actions are incredibly harmful to all of its customers, including the deaf, immigrant families and others with relatives overseas, who depend on mobile video apps to communicate with friends and family."

>AT&T


For its part, AT&T has said that its decision to block 3G FaceTime calls for non-Mobile Share customers is in compliance with the FCC's net neutrality rules because AT&T does not offer its own competing preloaded video chat application. The carrier said backlash to the decision was a "knee jerk reaction" in which some people "rushed to judgment."

"We are broadening our customers' ability to use the preloaded version of FaceTime but limiting it in this manner to our newly developed AT&T Mobile Share data plans out of an overriding concern for the impact this expansion may have on our network and the overall customer experience," AT&T representative Bob Quinn said last month.

AT&T's Mobile Share plans launched in August, and start at a monthly price of $45 per smartphone, plus $40 for 1 gigabyte of data. The more data a subscriber adds to their plan, the less the cost per gigabyte and the cost per additional smartphone. For example, a 4-gigabyte plan with unlimited talk and text has a base price of $70, plus $40 for each smartphone.

In contrast, AT&T's chief competitor, Verizon, has announced that it will allow FaceTime video calls over cellular across all iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and new iPad data plans, without requiring customers to upgrade to its new shared plans.
post #2 of 82

One again, Verizon > AT&T

 

Coupled with my grandfathered Unlimited plan, couldn't be happier.

I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #3 of 82
As a non-American, can you confirm it's $40 (1 Gig) $45 (1 phone) $10 (iPad tethering)

Really $95 / month for the most basic package?
post #4 of 82

Did these same groups complain that Apple never released the specification of this so-called open protocol?

post #5 of 82
Meanwhile here in the little UK, I get unlimited data with Giffgaff for £10/$15 a month with no contract! That includes FaceTime! When it comes to telecoms, the USA is a rip off :/
post #6 of 82
Well I hope they win and AT
post #7 of 82

What is Apple waiting for? Why haven't they released the specification for this. It's been two years already. What are they waiting for? 

post #8 of 82

Hmmmmm, I agree with their stance, not understanding how AT&T can justify categorizing the data I have already paid for.  For the first time in years I am considering another carrier.

post #9 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

One again, Verizon > AT&T

 

Coupled with my grandfathered Unlimited plan, couldn't be happier.

Except that you cannot do internet (not even maps!) while making a voice call - so the whole ">" is nonsense.

 

Fact is the iPhone was supposed to be the whole internet - not just the ports that ATT like. This is only ATT lame attempt to take back those grandfathered unlimited plans.

 

The problem is seems with ATT contracts (and other carriers) is that they are NOT contracts - ATT can bend its obligations however it sees fit.

post #10 of 82
Is AT&T the only provider in the US that offers an iPhone that is capable of doing FaceTime over 3G/4G networks when iOS 6 goes live?
post #11 of 82
HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AI PLEASE FIX THIS CRAP MY POST ARE GETTING TRUNCATED WTF.??...
post #12 of 82
Quote:
"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," 

 

I am on the 550 minutes family plan (2 iPhones with 2GB of data each) and I have more than 4000 rollover minutes. I don't want unlimited voice and I don't use SMS. Why should I pay $40 more for the same 4GB of data I have right now and more minutes that I don't need just to get FaceTime?! AT&T logic is ridiculous.

post #13 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

Except that you cannot do internet (not even maps!) while making a voice call - so the whole ">" is nonsense.

 

That's an Apple problem or deliberate decision, not a Verizon network issue; that's been hashed out plenty. Everyone's different but considering I'm on a voice call less than 10% of the time i use my iPhone and 50% of that is within Wifi, I don't see it being an issue. So yes, with a larger network in general, way more LTE, and the grandfathered $30 unlimited internet plan with a 19% discount, for me it's > by a wide margin. YMMV

I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #14 of 82
I don't know why AT


... edit. AI comment system doesn't seem to want to post the rest of what I said. Nice. Not typing it up again, sorry.
post #15 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

Except that you cannot do internet (not even maps!) while making a voice call - so the whole ">" is nonsense.

 

Fact is the iPhone was supposed to be the whole internet - not just the ports that ATT like. This is only ATT lame attempt to take back those grandfathered unlimited plans.

 

The problem is seems with ATT contracts (and other carriers) is that they are NOT contracts - ATT can bend its obligations however it sees fit.

On the other hand, I still haven't seen Apple update their iTunes to show a "rent for life" button. they only have a "buy" button, whereas the ToS clearly explain it's a rent for life. Big companies can actually force any condition they want on you, all you can do is refuse to buy. And you can't even really always do so, due to lack of competition, which is eliminated through liberalism.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Is AT&T the only provider in the US that offers an iPhone that is capable of doing FaceTime over 3G/4G networks when iOS 6 goes live?

Sprint and Verizon are able to.  

post #17 of 82
Originally Posted by bitzandbitez View Post
HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AI PLEASE FIX THIS CRAP MY POST ARE GETTING TRUNCATED WTF.??...
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post
I don't know why AT
... edit. AI comment system doesn't seem to want to post the rest of what I said. Nice. Not typing it up again, sorry.

 

From where are you guys posting? Appleinsider.com or forums.appleinsider.com?

 

It's the ampersand you're typing that the site catches as an "intrusion". 

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #18 of 82
Not being able to use voice and data together has been my reason for not switching to Verizon until now, but I'm not willing to go down the road of AT&T deciding when and where I can use my data, so I'm paying an early termination fee and switching to Verizon. By jumping onto my roommates' Share Everything plan we'll all be saving money anyway.
post #19 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Sprint and Verizon are able to.  

Well hell! There's a solution without nagging the FCC. For a second there I thought we didn't have any competition in mobile space; that every provider had the exact same plans, prices, features, pluses and minuses.
post #20 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

From where are you guys posting? Appleinsider.com or forums.appleinsider.com?

 

It's the ampersand you're typing that the site catches as an "intrusion". 

 

Tallest... this is from the main page (with the new theme) aka appleinsider.com.

 

I guess the ampersand is thought to be injected code? The home page does not have a toolbar for adding rich text, why not just interpret everything as plain text?

post #21 of 82

Sure it would be nice to have FaceTime over the cellular, but let be honest ... really honest with ourselves and ask your self this question ... would you really use face time?  Sure its pretty cool and all, but there is no way I would drop my AT&T unlimited plan and pay extra for a feature that I would only use once or twice every six months.  

Lets face it, when your in public, do you really want to have a conversation over FaceTime for everybody to hear?  No, so where is the one place you would feel comfortable making a FaceTime call ... at home, where most everybody has wi-fi. 

If they go ahead and reverse their decision ... great, if not ... no really big loss.  With that said, I do agree that while you are paying for DATA already, for AT&T to charge you just for the ability to use a feature that is already on your phone is not right.  You paid for your bucket of DATA and should be able to use it how you see fit ... period.  

post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanl View Post

Did these same groups complain that Apple never released the specification of this so-called open protocol?

 

Probably not since the 2 issues have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

What is Apple waiting for? Why haven't they released the specification for this. It's been two years already. What are they waiting for? 

 

They are waiting for Google to actually release Android as open source. Not that linux/android thing that isn't actually Android, but Android itself. Oh, what's that, Google is never going to open source Android, just pretend that they did? That's what I thought.

post #23 of 82
Originally Posted by enjourni View Post
Tallest... this is from the main page (with the new theme) aka appleinsider.com. Went to the bottom under "Add your Comment", typed in 3-4 lines and hit submit. Only a portion of the 1st line showed up.


Thanks for that. I think that's actually the problem here; typing an ampersand from there instead of the forum proper. 

 

I'm not a fan of that comment section myself… 

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #24 of 82
Any word if AT&T will change its throttling policy for the LTE iPhone 5 or keep the same 3GB limits
post #25 of 82

TEST POST:

This is a sentencejQuery18108677812677342445_1347987703126!! This is another sentence. (Tested here was the use of two question marks in a row. "??")

AT [sentence cut off] (Tested here was the use of an ampersand. "&")

EDIT: Yep, that's exactly the problem. I'll tell the other mods, but there's nothing we can do to fix it other than tell the people who can.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #26 of 82
Originally Posted by iButterfingers View Post
Sorry, my computer froze and I kept hitting submit and didn't know it kept posting it.  I don't know how to delete the extra ones. 

 

I only see one. So that's good. Maybe. lol.gif

 

Don't worry about it; we're having all sorts of glitches lately.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #27 of 82
Eh what do I care? I use Skype anyway, and AT&T just bumped my unlimited-before-throttling threshold from 2 gigs to 5, so I'm pretty happy with my unlimited data plan right now. Now if they win their argument, I'll smile at their victory as a matter of principle, but again, not gonna affect me either way since I've not used FaceTime once since the day it was announced.
post #28 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I only see one. So that's good. Maybe. lol.gif

 

Don't worry about it; we're having all sorts of glitches lately.

His previous one shows up 4 or 5 times

post #29 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryuk View Post

Any word if AT&T will change its throttling policy for the LTE iPhone 5 or keep the same 3GB limits

They already did. Throttling on unlimited plan for iPhone 5 users now begins at 5 gigs, up from previous 2.
post #30 of 82
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post
His previous one shows up 4 or 5 times

 

… On forums.appleinsider.com, or appleinsider.com? That's not the case for me in either place. 

 

And IN that case, that's absolutely horrible. How am I supposed to clean that up if it's not even pushed to me?!

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #31 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falkirk81 View Post

Meanwhile here in the little UK, I get unlimited data with Giffgaff for £10/$15 a month with no contract! That includes FaceTime! When it comes to telecoms, the USA is a rip off :/

 

Exactly, most other places have competition.  Here, Congress let the companies merge back into effectively 3-4 carriers total, and clearly that's not fostering much in the way of customer value. And the best part is that they're doing this using public spectrum that already effectively gives them a monopoly  - and then pumping up fat profits.

 

I paid for my data, so let me f*&*^(*&ing use it. And if they don't like it because 'well, if our customers actually use the bandwidth they paid for it will bring down our network!",  then give me a refund my unused data every month since apparently I'm not really supposed to use it.

 

Just total a-holes.

 

Edit: Just wanted to say I hope that the advocacy groups are successful, and this is one of those things where I'm going to go look for their sites and see if I can donate. Somebody has to look out for our rights, it isn't going to be companies, and if our elected 'leaders' won't do it then it's worth supporting someone who will. Crazy.

post #32 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

AT [sentence cut off] (Tested here was the use of an ampersand. "&")

So THAT'S the "AT" that everyone's been posting?. I thought it was just some new acronym that I wasn't hip to.
post #33 of 82

"Shared" data. What a joke. As someone posted here earlier, it's as if the water company charged your per faucet. How does AT&T get away with this? What a gouging of  the marketplace....

post #34 of 82
So to get Cellular FaceTime, I have to go from a cheap plan with phone minutes to an expensive plan with "unlimited" minutes, in order to use a feature that makes phone minutes irrelevant, since I can mute the video and use FaceTime just a phone call. The face that FaceTime provides additional features doesn't mean that AT
post #35 of 82
Quote:

"We are broadening our customers' ability to use the preloaded version of FaceTime but limiting it in this manner to our newly developed AT&T Mobile Share data plans out of an overriding concern for the impact this expansion may have on our network and the overall customer experience," AT&T representative Bob Quinn said last month.

 

 

I can currently stream YouTube or Netflix videos over 3G until my 200 MB of data is used up, how does my using FaceTime trigger "Overriding concern" about their network? AT&T's FaceTime policy is a transparent attempt to strong-arm conservative users of data into more expensive plans and consumers are justified in their anger. The very second a viable alternative exists millions will jump on it.

 

Apple, when will you have the confidence to offer a VOIP solution that gives cellular providers no choice but to accept their inevitable role as data utilities?

post #36 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Is AT&T the only provider in the US that offers an iPhone that is capable of doing FaceTime over 3G/4G networks when iOS 6 goes live?

Sure. Straight Talk allows it - and you're even using the ATT network, so there's no need to change phones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Probably not since the 2 issues have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

They are waiting for Google to actually release Android as open source. Not that linux/android thing that isn't actually Android, but Android itself. Oh, what's that, Google is never going to open source Android, just pretend that they did? That's what I thought.

Maybe, but Apple did state when they introduced Facetime that they would make its specs open so that anyone could use it. I wish they had done so as promised. It would be nice to have a single videoconferencing standard that everyone used.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #37 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

… On forums.appleinsider.com, or appleinsider.com? That's not the case for me in either place. 

 

And IN that case, that's absolutely horrible. How am I supposed to clean that up if it's not even pushed to me?!

forums.appleinsider.com

 

one before your test post, one before your "thanks for that" post and two before an annonymous post where he quotes 2 people

post #38 of 82
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post
Sure. Straight Talk allows it - and you're even using the ATT network, so there's no need to change phones.

 

Do you know of any Straight Talk plans to support LTE of either the Verizon or AT&T bands?


Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post
forums.appleinsider.com

 

one before your test post, one before your "thanks for that" post and two before an annonymous post where he quotes 2 people

 

Thanks. And suddenly, once the thread had two pages, I was able to go back to page one and see his duplicate posts. Should be fixed now. 

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #39 of 82
Let me see if I understand you correctly...you are going to pay a hefty fee, to, cancel with one wireless carrier (because they are "forcing you" to switch to a Mobile Share plan) to a different wireless carriers Mobile Share plan? And your "New" wireless carrier ALSO forces you to switch to a Mobile Share plan?
post #40 of 82
Testing AT

I seriously doubt it is intrusion detection otherwise they would not post the message at all. I think it is probably unfinished programming to blame. But confirmed you cannot type an '&' on the main website message form.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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