Free Press CEO Takes AT&T to Task Over FaceTime App

A scathing editorial on Huffington Post from Craig Aaron, CEO and President of online rights advocacy group Free Press, calls AT&T out for its handling of the FaceTime app and for violating Net Neutrality rules. The editorial is in response to AT&T's restrictions on using Apple's FaceTime app for iOS devices, which Aaron calls a "clear violation of Net Neutrality."

AT&T recently announced that FaceTime users could still use the application but would have to switch from their old usage plans to new shared data plans. They can still use it without restriction using a Wi-Fi network. Naturally these new plans cost considerably more a month…

The basic premise of Aaron's editorial is that once you buy a product or service from a company it should be yours to do with as you please within the bounds of the law… Here's why what AT&T is doing with FaceTime is wrong, according to Aaron:

"Say an AT&T iPhone customer today pays AT&T $70 each month for three gigabytes (3 GB) of data and 450 voice minutes. When Apple's iOS6 operating system is publicly released later this month, this same customer won't be able to use a portion of that 3GB of data they're already paying for to have one of those tear-jerking FaceTime conversations you've seen in the commercials.

No, to make FaceTime work, this user instead would need to pay AT&T at least $95 a month for a plan that includes just 1 GB of data, along with unlimited text and voice minutes that they didn't want or need in the first place.

Got it? To use your phone to make video telephone calls, which could reduce the amount of voice minutes you need to buy from AT&T, you'll first need to pay AT&T more money for less data and unlimited voice minutes.

What if you actually need more data? Get out your wallet, sucker."

He goes on to talk about the lack of competition and providers' continued efforts to avoid following the very basic tenants of Net Neutrality rules put in place by the FCC. He ends the editorial by comparing AT&T customers to a frog being boiled:

"You know the story about boiling a frog. If you put it in the pot and slowly turn up the heat, the frog won't know it's being cooked. That's exactly what AT&T's doing here. Only the amphibians in question are its customers.

If you're one of them, look out. The water is starting to bubble."

Source: Huffington Post

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