According to Free Press, AT&T’s decision of blocking FaceTime for users who aren’t paying for voice minutes and text messages is in complete violation of FCC’s Open Internet Rules. “AT&T’s decision to block FaceTime unless a customer pays for voice and text minutes she doesn’t need is a clear violation of the FCC’s Open Internet rules”, the Free Press stated in its release.
The Free Press also said that AT&T’s actions are harming users with iPad; users who with hearing impairment and “immigrant families and others with relatives overseas.” In a letter the advocacy groups have requested AT&T to reconsider its decision. The letter [PDF] read, “We respectfully request that AT&T reconsider its behavior and the impact that blocking FaceTime will have on its customers, particularly the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as all who use this application to communicate with family and friends over the Internet.”
Ma Bell hasn’t been apologetic in its initial response. According to the company, the groups have rushed to judgment and that users will be able to use FaceTime over Wi-Fi no matter what plan they are on. Another thing that AT&T pointed to was that the net neutrality rules apply to downloaded apps only and “the rules do not require that providers make available any preloaded apps.”