Free Press: FCC Tear Down AT&T's Skype Wall!

Open internet access group, Free Press, is petitioning the US Federal Communications Commission on the issue of Apple, at AT&T's mandate, restricting Skype and other App Store VoIP applications from running over the 3G network.

Currently, apps like the million downloaded Skype can only run on WiFi, which limits their usefulness as on-the-go communication tools (not everywhere has available WiFi connections, and they don't switch gracefully as you move from point to point).

While I personally long for the days when telcos and ISP's become like power utilities -- dumb pipes pumping unrestricted bits that we can do what we want with, no matter where we are within their territory -- WSJ presents the "counter argument":

Wireless providers, such as Clearwire Corp., have successfully argued they should be able to prevent customers from using some bandwidth-hogging Internet services, like file-sharing, because their wireless networks have capacity issues.

Sure, networks need to protect their cash flow enough that they can maintain their current infrastructure, develop and deploy future generations of technology, and earn a fair profit doing both. But surely that can be balanced by opening up traffic on those networks to any legitimate use, within purchased limits, at fair prices for consumers?

Or don't we think SlingPlayer should be allowed to stream, or Skype should be allowed to run over 3G?


Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Free Press: FCC Tear Down AT&T's Skype Wall!

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Easy solution - just install VOIPover3G from Cydia and then add Skype's bundle identifier to the MobileSubstrate library.
Then Skype will think you're using WiFi even if you're using 3G.

So should the power company be allowed to dictate what you can plug into your wall socket? As long as telco's offer services, it's a bit of a conflict of interest, no?

Except everything I plug into my socket, the power campany supplies the power, and in turn, I pay for whatever is plugged in. Not the case with Skype over 3g.
On the flip side, like someone else mentioned, an ISP can't really put a restriction on what you use your Internet for. Both sides of the argument are right and just, so what happens next?

@Andrew: I heard jailbreaks were having trouble with the Skype app. Has that been resolved?

Skype crashed like crazy for me too, double check that everything is up to date in cydia and make sure you are getting skype v. 1.0.1 because it works great for me. I just got off of a voice call on EDGE!

Apparently if you are jailbroken you need to update MobileSubstrate, and that fixes the crashes.

Regarding the Skype app...
Telcos do not want Skype running over 3G since users skyping with each other generate no income at all for the Telco. A telco want users to talk over the phone or send SMSs, instead of sending instant chat messages or talking directly with each other using Skype.
The crashes was caused by a bug in an early version of MobileSubstrate (a library used in jailbroken iPhones). This bug has been fixed. So ensure you are up2date.
Skype running on a jailbroken device with VoipOver3G and Backgrounder is a fantastic app!

T-mobile in the netherlands has just publicly stated that they dont have any issue with skype running on their 3g network, but it's up to apple to let skype do that, not them.


Except everything I plug into my socket, the power campany supplies the power, and in turn, I pay for whatever is plugged in. Not the case with Skype over 3g.

I beg your pardon?!!
I'm paying ATT 30 bucks per month PER LINE OF SERVICE for that bandwidth. That's more than I pay my ISP for something like ten times the speed.
Where did you get the Idea that the 3G network was a GIFT from ATT to you?
You pay for every byte of it, and because the speed is so slow you pay thru the nose.

I'm using 3 network in uk and they let u use skype over 3g it's because of this I brought the phone.. And on there tariff.. So because they the opened up skype they have generated more income.. Why can't iPhone see this.

I have no issues with skype on my jailbroken iphone so far. Just follow what andrew said and it should work fine

@frog.. Well, the telcos were built with government subsidies. so technically, it's our network.

I had given up on my o2 carrier in the UK long ago..I use SIAX app on cydia store which allows calls via any sip provider... My favourite sip provider is intervoip...The call rates are unbelievably low!!!
Thanks to SIAX I no longer use the rip off o2 in UK! (o2 is the AT&T equivalent)
Now to make things better I use skype on the go on my jailbroken iphone and talk for hours with my frienz based abroad.
For all those who wanna know how to run skype on 3g, run the app in the background and other tweaks.