Last week, AT&T announced that it was going to be opening up FaceTime over cellular to all tiered data plans. This is the latest in a string of policy changes made by the carrier to appease the Net Neutrality groups.
But it doesn’t look like the groups were very impressed. In response to AT&T’s decision to continue to exclude the feature from those on grandfathered unlimited data plans, the Free Press has setup a petition site…
As you can see in the image above, the site’s title reads “AT&T: Your World. Blocked.” And it asks “What do YOU think of AT&T?” Here, users can submit their name and email address, and leave the carrier a comment.
The group claims that not only is AT&T “still blocking FaceTime and violating Net Neutrality,” but it also “wants to get rid of any rules that protect our freedom to connect.” And apparently a lot of people agree. At the time of this writing, the page was approaching 10,000 comments.
AT&T was first charged with violating the FCC’s net neutrality rules back in September, when it unveiled its original guidelines regarding FaceTime over cellular. At the time, the feature was restricted to Shared data plans.
Here was AT&T’s response:
“The FCC’s net neutrality rules do not regulate the availability to customers of applications that are preloaded on phones. Indeed, the rules do not require that providers make available any preloaded apps. Rather, they address whether customers are able to download apps that compete with our voice or video telephony services.
AT&T does not restrict customers from downloading any such lawful applications, and there are several video chat apps available in the various appstores serving particular operating systems.”
The carrier sounded pretty confident back then, but given the fact that it has since revised its policy regarding FaceTime multiple times, it would seem that it doesn’t want to involve the Federal Communications Commission.
That’s because the FCC’s not afraid to go after anyone, especially when consumers are crying foul. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how this all plays out. If you’d like to sign the petition, you can find it by clicking here.