SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Gary Audin | February 22, 2013 |

 
   

A Partial Win for Net Neutrality

A Partial Win for Net Neutrality AT&T removes some restrictions on FaceTime traffic.

AT&T removes some restrictions on FaceTime traffic.

My definition of Net Neutrality is equal access and transport for all. Not every communications provider adheres to this definition. There have been and will continue to be battles between the FCC plus consumers and the communications providers.

AT&T announced on January 16, 2013 in its Consumer Blog, in a post entitled "FaceTime Update" that they would remove the restrictions on access to Apple's FaceTime voice and video application over their wireless network.

The blog stated, "When FaceTime over Cellular launched in September 2012, we explained that we wanted to roll it out gradually to ensure the service had minimal impact on the mobile experience for all of our customers. As a result of ongoing testing, we're announcing AT&T will enable FaceTime over Cellular at no extra charge for customers with any tiered data plan using a compatible iOS device. This means iPhone 4S customers with tiered plans will be able to make FaceTime calls over the AT&T cellular network. AT&T previously made FaceTime over Cellular available to customers with a Mobile Share plan and those with an LTE device on tiered plans."

When AT&T limited access to FaceTime, they were discriminating against a specific application. This is counter to the concept of Net Neutrality. A customer expects to have access to any application that the wireless device can support. In allowing iPhone users to use FaceTime, AT&T is admitting its default position was not open access to all applications.

The reduction of the restriction, however, is not complete. AT&T is still blocking FaceTime for some users. Those with tiered plans--that is, those with unlimited data plans, are still blocked from the use of FaceTime. This violates the Open Internet principle. AT&T's testing, by their own admission, demonstrates that there was no impact to the network when running this application.

AT&T still allows existing unlimited data plan customers who upgrade their phones to continue with these plans. New customers cannot subscribe to unlimited plans. This policy should not give AT&T free rein to prevent customers from using any applications.

AT&T was prompted by Public Knowledge, Free Press, and the Open Technology Institute of New America Foundation, when they all threatened to submit a formal complaint to the FCC against AT&T. The goal was to open all applications on AT&T's network, which has only been partially accomplished. AT&T is still blocking some users.

The mission statement of Public Knowledge is to "preserve the openness of the Internet and the public's access to knowledge; promote creativity through balanced copyright; and uphold and protect the rights of consumers to use innovative technology lawfully." It is an organization worth following for coverage of Internet issues and protecting users and customers from restrictive limitations imposed by the providers.

This continued blocking action by AT&T demonstrates that we are not truly in a competitive environment. AT&T's partial blocking of FaceTime traffic while allowing an exemption from wired data caps for their own traffic is another violation of the principle of Net Neutrality. We can't allow providers to select what to allow and what not to allow to flow over their networks.

There are other blogs on Net Neutrality at NoJitter including: Net Neutrality Collision Course: U.S. and Europe?, Quick Review of Net Neutrality Challenges, Fluentstream, Part 2: Net Neutrality and the Cloud, Net Neutrality Matters, and The FCC Net Neutrality Framework: Ready for Prime Time?





COMMENTS



July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.