AT&T's FaceTime Blocking: There's a Complaint for That

Last week, Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 and with it, its updated mobile operating system, iOS 6. While Apple fans were busy inhaling details like the new screen size, better camera lens and thinner body, Free Press made sure people knew about another feature: AT&T’s intent to block mobile FaceTime for iPhone and iPad users.

There’s a ton wrong with AT&T’s scheme, which involves blocking the video calling app over 3G and 4G networks unless customers pay for a more expensive voice-and-text plan (we’ve got all the info here). And as Brendan Gramer has noted, AT&T’s plan particularly hurts deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers.

But legally speaking, the biggest problem is that AT&T’s action violates the Net Neutrality rules the Federal Communications Commission passed in 2010. Those rules should be stronger, but they still protect consumers from the kind of application blocking AT&T has proposed here.

That’s why today, Free Press joined with Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute to notify AT&T of our intent to file a formal complaint against the company.

The FCC’s rules dictate that anyone filing a formal Net Neutrality complaint must give at least 10 days’ notice of their intent. We will file our official complaint in the coming weeks.

You can still make your voice heard by demanding that AT&T stop blocking FaceTime. Take action here and we’ll include your signature when we file our complaint with the FCC.