AT&T on Wednesday claimed it would not be breaching so-called net neutrality rules by limiting the iPhone's FaceTime video calling on cellular networks to users with new, shared data plans. The second largest mobile carrier in US will make the video-chat service available on its cellular network for those with generally more expensive, shared data plans, which the company unveiled last month.
In a blog post, AT&T's senior vice president Bob Quinn stating the main reason why there is no breach of the Federal Communications Commission's net-neutrality rules is because the FaceTime application comes pre-installed. He said "The FCC's net neutrality rules do not regulate the availability to customers of applications that are preloaded on phones," adding that AT&T is not blocking the app, but reserves the right to enforce reasonable restrictions in order to manage traffic congestion of data-hogging app. AT&T shared data plans allow customers to share as much as 20 gigabytes of data use among multiple devices, and include unlimited texting and talking. Quinn added that "customers will continue to be able to use FaceTime over Wi-Fi" regardless of their data plans. "We are broadening our customers' ability to use the preloaded version of FaceTime but limiting it in this manner to our newly developed AT&T Mobile Share data plans out of an overriding concern for the impact this expansion may have on our network and the overall customer experience."