AT&T Inc. (T) Getting Heat Over FaceTime App Restrictions

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has been getting a lot of flak in the news lately over its recent policy that said the popular FaceTime video-call smartphone application would only available to AT&T customers who subscribe to certain data plans. There are some criticism about general fairness, while there are others who are claiming this policy goes so far as to break FCC regulations.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is under fire for violating an FCC regulation regarding net neutrality. FaceTime rival applications like Skype and Google+ are freely available to all AT&T data plan subscribers, but FaceTime is limited to subscribers to have higher-end data plans – thus the alleged violation. However, AT&T has been trying to defend its policy, claiming that the net neutrality does not apply because AT&T does not have its own video-call application. The writer of this article, however, isn’t so much caught up about the FCC regulation – it likely isn’t, the writer note s- but he considers AT&T’s move to be a form of extortion.

He writes, “AT&T recognizes that iPhone users have been anxiously anticipating being able to use the FaceTime app over a cellular connection, and AT&T is choosing to use it as leverage to extort customers to adopt the new “Mobile Share” data plans.”

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) recently announced a “Mobile Share” data plan that would be available to customers with multiple devices on one account – and those plans would have access to FaceTime. That, in conjunction with offering the application on pre-installed iOS 6 iPhones when they come out in the fall has received criticism that AT&T is leveraging FaceTime as an incentive to draw subscribers to its new Mobile Share data plans. However, the company says the app is not blocked from everyone. “FaceTime is available to all of our customers today over Wi-Fi, and we’re now expanding its availability even further as an added benefit of our new Mobile Share data plans,” said  spokesman Mark Siegel.