AT&T Says It Will Cut Off P2P Wireless Users; But What About Pandora Users?
from the be-careful-on-that-iPhone dept
Now AT&T is admitting that if it discovers users of its wireless broadband 3G service are making use of P2P apps, it will cut them off completely, and claims that it makes this clear in the terms of service. It hasn't happened yet, but this bit of data will supposedly be used by a dissenting FCC commissioner this week to show that Comcast's traffic shaping is pretty tame compared to other "rules" out there on network usage (ignoring the very different nature of the networks in question, of course).
This raises a number of questions: If AT&T's biggest concern about P2P file sharing apps is clogging its 3G wireless network, why does it allow streaming apps to run on the iPhone? For example, one of the most popular apps on the iPhone is Pandora, whose customized streaming radio offering is super popular (and appears to work quite well). So is AT&T going to cut off users of one of the most popular apps on the iPhone? And how will AT&T respond when someone (inevitably, if they haven't already done so) develops an iPhone app for P2P file sharing as well? This really just seems like AT&T slipping an excuse into the terms of service to cut off anyone they don't like -- but in the long run it may backfire as people get pissed off at AT&T for limiting what new devices like the iPhone can do.