AT&T Bans Video Streaming, Tethering, Fun From Its Mobile Data Network

from the no-soup-for-you dept

AT&T has modified the terms of service for its mobile data network, banning "downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, customer initiated redirection of television or other video or audio signals via any technology from a fixed location to a mobile device, web broadcasting, and... any applications that tether the device... to Personal Computers or other equipment." So in addition to banning illegal movie downloads, AT&T's banned things like SlingPlayer that consumers can use to legally view content, services like Qik that let them show live video on the web from their phones. Why would it do such a thing? Well, either it's looking to protect its commercial interests by banning services for which it hopes to charge its customers, or its network isn't up to snuff and can't support all the things its customers would like to do with it. This sort of stuff, sadly, is par for the course for the mobile industry, home of the "unlimited" plan that's actually got lots of limits. In the end, the only ones who end up getting hurt by these things are the operators themselves. By seeking to limit what their customers can do with their phones, they're limiting how valuable they are to their users -- which means at some point, they won't be willing to pay as much for them.

Filed Under: mobile data, tethering, video streaming
Companies: at&t


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  1. identicon
    Felix Pleșoianu, 3 Apr 2009 @ 11:14pm

    Oh come on. This is the result of not enough competition. You have like, what, 3 major telcos in the entirety of the United States? We've got 4 in Romania alone, and the big cable providers also have telephony services, both land-based and mobile.

    And then there is this little thing known as "seeing where the money is". My telco is practically begging people to get streaming TV shows on their phones, and to the best of my knowledge so does the competition. Simple rule here: you want your customers to pay up? Give them something to buy!

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