2009

FCC to Investigate AT&T and Apple Over Skype Blockage

fcc

The Skype vs. Telcos situation is rapidly coming to a head, both in Europe and now in the US. The Wall St. Journal reports:

The open-Internet advocacy group Free Press asked the Federal Communications Commission Friday to investigate whether Apple Inc. and AT&T Inc. are violating federal rules by blocking the use of a new low-cost Skype voice service on Apple iPhones that use AT&T’s 3G network…

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.

But does Apple really care?Perhaps they won’t be able to get the kind of subsidy money from AT&T that they currently enjoy? If no one wants to pay $50 month for voice when they can get the same service from Skype for about a tenth of the price, AT&T is going to lose some revenue. But that is the lone downside. There are many upsides.