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Net Neutrality Groups Warn AT&T They'll Fight for FaceTime Freedom

Illustration for article titled Net Neutrality Groups Warn ATT Theyll Fight for FaceTime Freedom

Today three net neutrality groups—Free Press, Public Knowledge and the New American Foundation's Open Technology Institute—together released a written statement to AT&T (see below), alerting the iPhone carrier of their intentions to file a formal complaint with the FCC.

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What has them so hot and bothered? AT&T's announcement last month that only users who subscribe to the carrier's new Mobile Share data plan will be able to use FaceTime, the popular voice-and-video chat app, over cellular.

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To wit:

"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. 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." — Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood.

(Emphasis added.)

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[TechRadar, SlashDot]

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DISCUSSION

While I'm most certainly rooting for these guys, I find this whole situation silly considering you can download a "universal" app such as Skype and easily enjoy video chat with your friends regardless of platform or carrier.

On a side note: My friends and I definitely used Facetime for a mere 2 days after the iPhone 4 was released and never used it again... I supposed the inconvenience of making sure you look presentable for a phone call was too much for us to muster :P