Net Neutrality Advocates Exult Over FCC's 'Arm-Twisting' of AT&T

Broadband Updates, Net Neutrality October 7th, 2009


Net neutrality fans on Wednesay praised the decision by AT&T to reverse course and allow customers to use broadband voice services on the service plans they have that use the Apple iPhone. The decision followed a Federal Communications Commission investigation into the practices of wireless broadband industry.

Markham Erickson, executive director of the Open Internet Coalition said, “AT&T had originally said they had “every right” not to promote the services of companies like Skype; clearly, in the face of new movement at the FCC they rethought a position which restricted consumer choice and wireless innovation. We applaud its decision to reverse course,” he said, and urged the FCC to “recognize that consumer rights need to be protected on both wireline and wireless networks.”

Said Derek Turner, research director of the advocacy group Free Press, referring to voice-over-internet-protocol services, “after more than two years of blocking VoIP applications, the FCC has succeeded in getting AT&T to open their network to the applications consumers want.”

“The arm-twisting that led to AT&T’s belated announcement is a critical reminder of why we need the FCC walking the beat to protect consumers,” he said, adding that the agency “should not be distracted or delayed in efforts to protect Net Neutrality on all networks, to investigate the exclusive contracts that punish consumers, and to promote a truly competitive wireless market.”

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2 Responses to “Net Neutrality Advocates Exult Over FCC's 'Arm-Twisting' of AT&T”

  1. James Says:

    When they open up their network to all devices and not just the Iphone then I will be satisified that progress is being made. The fact that they just opened up for 1 device on their network shows the need for the FCC to lay down the rules of the road for every device and every application. This was just a last ditch effort to try to get the FCC off of AT&T’s back they are not going to get serious about net neutrality until formal rules are passed.

  2. Brett Glass Says:

    It actually seems doubtful that AT&T’s announcement is the result of FCC pressure. Cell phone companies can’t turn on a dime, so this announcement must have been in the works for some time and scheduled for the CTIA trade show — as a way of upstaging Verizon’s announcement of its Android phone. Also, remember: other phones have been able to do VoIP on AT&T’s network for a long time, so it is not as if AT&T suddenly allowed VoIP; it just did whatever was necessary to make it work on the iPhone.

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