AT&T Blocking FaceTime

In late 2012, AT&T announced that it would cripple the FaceTime video calling app on its customers’ iPhones unless they subscribed to a more expensive text-and-voice plan. This action was a clear violation of Net Neutrality.

Thanks to enormous public pressure — including Free Press' threat to file a complaint at the Federal Communications Commission — AT&T is starting to relent. In early 2013, it announced it would allow more customers to use FaceTime over its network. But more isn’t good enough.

AT&T is still blocking FaceTime for all customers with unlimited data plans. That’s a lot of people.

Let’s be clear: Data is data. AT&T has no right to decide how its customers use it.

Click here to tell AT&T what you think about its Net Neutrality violation.

Blog Posts

  • 2013: The Year in Internet Freedom

    December 16, 2013
    To say that 2013 was just another year in the struggle to protect our online rights is quite the understatement. When the history of the Internet is written, 2013 will be considered one epic year.
  • AT&T, Verizon and the NSA: Suspicious Silence

    July 24, 2013
    UPDATE: Rep. Justin Amash's amendment to the defense appropriations bill, which would have cut funding for the National Security Agency's phone-record-collection program, just lost by a vote of 217–205. Don't be upset — this is an AMAZING moment.
  • The Series of Tubes: AT&T's Up to Its Old Tricks

    May 17, 2013
    AT&T is at it again, blocking the open Internet and finding devious new ways to stomp on innovation, nickel-and-dime its customers and add to its ever-growing profits.
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Actions

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Press Releases

  • Consumers Win: Sprint Drops T-Mobile Takeover Bid

    August 5, 2014
    WASHINGTON — According to press reports, Sprint is dropping its bid to acquire competitor T-Mobile, scuttling a long-rumored $32 billon deal that would have consolidated the country’s third- and fourth-largest mobile providers.
  • AT&T Will Allow FaceTime on Some Data Plans, Still Blocking Unlimited

    January 16, 2013

    WASHINGTON -- On Wednesday, AT&T announced the continuation of its phased rollout of mobile FaceTime, the popular Apple video-calling application. AT&T confirmed that it will no longer block the application on its cellular network for customers on tiered data plans.

  • AT&T Reverses Course on FaceTime Blocking

    November 8, 2012
    Public interest groups are prepared to file a complaint at the Federal Communications Commission if AT&T fails to make FaceTime available to all customers in a timely manner.
More »

Resources

  • The Facts about AT&T's FaceTime Blocking

    It's harmful to consumers, competition, innovation and investment.

    September 20, 2012
  • Letter Notifying AT&T of Intent to File Formal Net Neutrality Complaint

    Free Press, Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute notified AT&T of their intent to file a formal complaint against the company. In the complaint, the three organizations will assert that AT&T is violating Net Neutrality by blocking the popular video-conferencing application FaceTime. The groups will file the complaint with the Federal Communications Commission in the coming weeks.

    September 18, 2012
More »

News from Around the Web

  • FaceTime on AT&T Extended to 3G Users -- But Still Not Everyone

    NBC News
    January 17, 2013

    When Apple's FaceTime was made available to iPhone users on AT&T, the carrier only allowed the video-chatting service to be used over Wi-Fi, severely reducing its usefulness. After opening it up to 4G users late last year, they're now letting 3G, tiered-data customers have FaceTime as well -- but a few are still left out in the cold.

  • AT&T Continues Chipping at FaceTime Over Cellular Policy

    Ars Technica
    January 17, 2013

    AT&T announced that it would again expand access to FaceTime over cellular on its mobile network. Now any compatible iOS device using any tiered data plan can make FaceTime calls over cellular connections, LTE or otherwise. Those with grandfathered unlimited data plans are still left in the lurch, however.

  • AT&T Staves Off Net Neutrality Complaint by Giving Another Inch, but It's Not Fooling Anyone

    The Verge
    January 17, 2013

    AT&T announced that it would be gracious enough to let more of its users -- including those without LTE -- enjoy FaceTime over cellular, as the spirit of Net Neutrality rules require. But it's just the latest half-measure the company has taken to rectify a problem that groups like Public Knowledge and Free Press have argued all along: AT&T simply has no right to arbitrarily decide how its customers use the data they pay for from an ISP.

Learn More

  • Net Neutrality

    On Jan. 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order.

    And on May 15, the FCC voted to propose a new “open Internet” rule that may let Internet service providers charge content companies for priority treatment, relegating other content to a slower tier of service.

    Under these rules, telecom giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to pick winners and losers online and discriminate against online content and applications. 

  • Mobile

    Nearly half of all Americans own smartphones. By 2015, most of us will use mobile devices to access the Internet. Wireless technology is revolutionizing the very nature of how we communicate, organize and innovate. 

  • Right to Record

    The First Amendment has come under assault on the streets of America. Since the Occupy Wall Street movement began, police have arrested dozens of journalists and activists simply for attempting to document political protests in public spaces.

    The ubiquity of camera-ready smartphones has spawned legions of new journalists who can be found at every large-scale protest streaming and photographing close-up accounts of police actions and arrests. It's a new form of reporting that's open to anyone with a mobile phone and the resolve to get close to police and protesters.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good