AT&T's recent announcement that they'd be blocking FaceTime over cellular unless you're on one of their new mobile share plans has put them at odds with many of their customers. They are now facing a net neutrality complaint as a result.
Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute will be filing a complaint with the FCC in regards to AT&T blocking FaceTime over cellular to customers that aren't on a specific data plan on the grounds that it violates net neutrality. AT&T released a statement recently that argued they weren't in violation since net neutrality only covered third party apps and not built-in apps.
Policy director Matt Wood from Free Press issued the following statement in regards to the suit:
“AT&T’s decision to block FaceTime unless a customer pays for voice and text minutes she doesn’t need is a clear violation of the FCC’s Open Internet rules. It’s particularly outrageous that AT&T is requiring this for iPad users, given that this device isn’t even capable of making voice calls. AT&T’s actions are incredibly harmful to all of its customers, including the deaf, immigrant families and others with relatives overseas, who depend on mobile video apps to communicate with friends and family.”
While Apple could easily release FaceTime as a standalone App Store app in order to circumvent the situation, it would probably put them at odds with the carrier. Either way, if you're on a tiered data plan you pay for data just the same and this seems like a move on AT&T's part to push people towards their more pricier data plans whether they want or need them.
Source: Giga Om