AT&T Says They Can Block FaceTime Since It Is A Pre-Installed App

Posted Aug 22, 2012

Yesterday Washington D.C. interest group Public Knowledge claimed that AT&T’s decision to limit FaceTime may violate FCC rules.  Now AT&T has written a response to Public Knowledge saying that they are not bound to the FCC Net Neutrality laws on FaceTime since it is a pre-installed app and can be disabled at the carrier’s liking.  If FaceTime was a downloadable app, then AT&T would be forced by FCC Net Neutrality laws to allow the app to work properly.  Check out the excerpt from AT&T’s response below:

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 app stores serving particular operating systems. (I won?t name any of them for fear that I will be accused by these same groups of discriminating in favor of those apps.  But just go to your app store on your device and type ?video chat.?)  Therefore, there is no net neutrality violation.