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.”