kpix-7-2013-masthead kcbs 7-2013-masthead

Tech Report: Lawsuit Planned Against AT&T Over Apple FaceTime Restriction

View Comments
Apple iPhone 5. (CBS News)

Apple iPhone 5. (CBS News)

LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
Read More

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Three public interest groups plan to file a lawsuit against AT&T over claims the mobile carrier won’t be offering Apple’s FaceTime video chat app without a subscription to a specific data plan.

The app is a part of the iPhone, iPad, iPod operating system, which will get upgraded on Wednesday when the new iOS comes out.

Right now the app only works over a Wi-Fi connection, enabling you to video chat. With the new iOS you’ll be able to have face time (feasibly) through your cell-phone providers.

The AT&T plan that would allow FaceTime would likely cost more than the basic plan. CNET reports Free Press, Public Knowledge and The New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute are the interest groups involved.

KCBS Tech Report:

The organizations are set to argue in their suit that that this violates network neutrality. The FCC has said that data is data and that you can restrict how much data somebody has, but you can’t tell them, the customer, what kind of product they run.

Sprint and Verizon by comparison would simply allow it and treat the app as data. You may wind up paying for this as video does take up a lot of data. So if you have a limited data plan and you go over it you will end up paying for it, but you can use your data any way you want. You can download music, watch movies on Netflix, chat on FaceTime, etc. But what AT&T is proposing is that you can only have those FaceTime conversations if you have a particular data plan.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus