We are no stranger to cellular carriers putting restrictions on their devices. It seems like every week a carrier somewhere is trying to limit how their customers use their devices. Of course, it seems like almost every week customers find a way around the silly, new restrictions. The latest one coming out of AT&T won't be so easy to hack around and it involves the iPhone and Facetime.
According to freepress.net, “AT&T has indicated that it will block customers from using FaceTime via mobile devices unless they subscribe to one of its new “Mobile Share” plans.” In other words, if you aren't using AT&T's new Mobile Share plan, no Facetime over a non-WiFi network for you. This includes iPads, which makes it particularly absurd because that means customers have to pay for cell service on a device that can't use it.
This has made a lot of people angry as customers don't believe they should have to switch their plan to a more expensive one to utilize Facetime over the data connection they pay for. Of course, they're absolutely right. It's their data, they should be allowed to do what they want with it. To counter AT&T, several public interest groups are filing formal complaints with the FCC to get this new policy overturned.
Inherently, it has nothing to do with Android. However, this is one of those rare occasions where Android fans should cheer for their iPhone nemesis. For now it's restrictions on Facetime. Tomorrow, it could be a new restriction for just Android devices. Imagine not being able to use Google Talk's video capabilities unless you're on a certain –and much more expensive– plan. Stopping the carriers at the border helps protect everyone's freedom to use their data as they see fit.
Do you think that these public interest groups have a chance at succeeding? Let us know in the comments!