AT&T's FaceTime policy triggers formal complaint

AT&T's (NYSE:T) decision to offer Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) FaceTime video calling feature over cellular at no extra charge only to its Mobile Share data plan customers has led one consumer to file a formal complaint with the FCC.

An AT&T customer who identified himself as an architect living in San Francisco told Business Insider that he filed a formal complaint because the unlimited data plan he has with AT&T prevents him and his wife from using their iPhone 5 for FaceTime video chats over the operator's network. The consumer, who asked that his name not be published, said he wanted to use FaceTime on the iPhone 5 to video chat with his family while traveling.

"I am one of those AT&T 'unlimited'-data customers who bought a plan when the iPhone first came out," he said. "I have paid a premium for the unlimited data plan even though I don't really use that much data, thinking that someday it would be useful to have."

AT&T implemented its new policy because Apple's iOS 6, used in the new iPhone 5, enables FaceTime use over cellular for the first time. Previously, the app was limited to use over Wi-Fi. AT&T has contended the app could generate massive amounts of traffic on its 3G and 4G networks.

The San Francisco-based consumer is urging other frustrated AT&T customers to also file formal FCC complaints if their service plans do not allow them to use FaceTime over cellular at no extra charge.

In September, public interest groups Free Press, Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute announced that they intend to file a formal complaint against AT&T because they feel the operator's FaceTime policy violates FCC's net neutrality rules. They apparently have not yet filed that complaint, however.

For more:
- see this Business Insider article

Related articles:
Maybe AT&T could monetize FaceTime
AT&T faces net neutrality complaint over FaceTime plans
iPhone 5 to drive 4G adoption, Wi-Fi offloading
FaceTime's impact looms over operators
AT&T: FaceTime data plan restrictions do not violate net neutrality
AT&T to offer FaceTime over cellular for free - for Mobile Share customers