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

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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.
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  • 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
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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, a federal court of appeals struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order, which was designed to prevent internet service providers from blocking or slowing users’ connections to online content. The court didn’t comment on the validity of these rules but simply said that the FCC had used the wrong legal foundation to justify them.

    In response, on May 15 FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released flawed internet rules that would have let ISPs charge content companies for priority treatment — relegating all other content to a slower tier of service.

  • Mobile

    A 2015 Pew Research Center study found that 64 percent of all Americans own smartphones. Wireless technology has revolutionized how we communicate, organize and innovate. 

    Yet the free speech rights of mobile device users are at risk. Private corporations and governments have unprecedented control over the information we access and share via mobile networks, and too often this information is exploited. Police forces acquire data without warrants, phone carriers block or slow down internet access, and companies lose or voluntarily give away our most sensitive information. 

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good