According to Washington D.C. interest group Public Knowledge, AT&T’s decision to limit FaceTime over 3G connections may violate the FCC’s Open Internet rules. Apple announced that FaceTime would be able to work over 3G connections when iOS 6 is released. Below is a statement from senior staff attorney John Bergmayer:
By blocking FaceTime for many of its customers, AT&T is violating the FCC’s Open Internet rules. These rules state that mobile providers shall not ‘block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services.’ Although carriers are permitted to engage in ‘reasonable network management,’ there is no technical reason why one data plan should be able to access FaceTime, and another not.
‘Over-the-top’ communications services like FaceTime are a threat to carriers’ revenue, but they should respond by competing with these services and not by engaging in discriminatory behavior.