If you’re an iPhone customer with AT&T be prepared to become very happy. Previously, you were unable to make FaceTime calls over your cellular signal unless you paid an outragous monthly fee to activate it. Although people are very happy about this, you shouldn’t be thanking AT&T, no you should be angry and dissatisfied at AT&T for making you pay for something they shouldn’t have charged for.
In fact, this is all because of a court case against AT&T from two front runner companies, FreePress and Public Knowledge have been fighting to get the block removed.
In a lengthy statement from Free Press’s Policy Director Matt Wood, it about sums up everything they’re doing:
“AT&T cannot block FaceTime based on claims of potential congestion. There’s nothing even remotely reasonable about that approach. AT&T simply can’t justify blocking an app that competes with its voice and texting services unless customers purchase a more expensive monthly plan that includes an unlimited amount of those very same services. AT&T’s course correction is a move in the right direction, but until the company makes FaceTime available to all of its customers it is still in violation of the FCC’s rules and the broader principles of Net Neutrality.
If you weren’t aware the spectrum, that thing floating around us that is used for communications like cellphone signals, is actually owned by the citizens and not these communication companies. Providers like AT&T, Verizon, and others only license the spectrum from the FCC. It has been said many times that it is up to the carriers to utilize their frequency to the maximum extent but providers like AT&T aren’t doing that and we can’t rely on the FCC to police that. That’s why it’s up to these private companies to call out companies after doing their own tests.
It’s great that AT&T is finally letting users use FaceTime for LTE and 3G, but that should have been a feature given to us a long time ago and not a pity attempt to make extra money. While you should be happy for it to be coming back, which should take up to eight weeks to fully transfer over, you should also be quite angry with AT&T for blocking it in the first place.