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AT&T moves to restrict video freedom on cellphones

updated 01:45 pm EDT, Fri April 3, 2009

AT&T restricting 3G video

AT&T has taken steps to severely limit the kinds of video applications that can be used with its cellular data network, reports note. Terms of service for AT&T Wireless have been changed to block "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/or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition devices."

The difficulty is that such terms may not only restrict the likes of BitTorrent clients, but also mainstream video applications, such as CBS' app for the iPhone. The wording of the terms also appear to be directly targeted at Sling Media's SlingPlayer app, which relays broadcasts from a person's TV and also enables control of DVR functions. The app is currently available for several phone platforms, such as BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, though not the iPhone.

Also new in the terms of service agreement is the phrasing used for overage charges, which now amount to $0.00048 per kilobit for subscribers on the carrier's 5GB DataConnect plan. With the 200MB DataConnect option, overage forces customers to pay $10 for an extra 100MB. Unused data cannot be transferred from month to month.

by MacNN Staff



  1. sgirard

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They can't touch WiFi, can they?

  1. apple4ever

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Stupid, stupid ATT. What is the purpose of this:

    "and/or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition devices."

    ??? It has not bearing on their network.

  1. snork

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Well I guess that means if the Slingplayer app for iPhone does get approved it will be wifi only.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    find an alternative

    It is time to find an alternative to AT&T.

  1. Aeolius

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Time-Warner Also...

    And Time-Warner will begin capping your data use, soon... $55 for 40 GB of broadband per month, and $1/GB per usage over that.

  1. pt123

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The whole internet thing seems to be getting more restrictive.

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    nothing is free

    The internet is not free and unlimited. Get used to it. Bandwidth requirements are growing exponentially and the providers can't keep up with the demand. One of two things HAS to happen; either put a meter on it and make the high users pay extra, or control the use of the available bandwidth. Oh, and there's a third option. Raise prices for everybody. I say make the bandwidth hogs pay. You know the type. They keep their pipe saturated 24/7/365 with bit torrents and server applications on a residential line.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    P2P etc.

    You asked for it... you got it.
    Maybe some will get off the computer for awhile, get a breath of fresh air and do something constructive in their lives instead of trying to live off others work.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What the h*** happened

    to the Qwest dream of everything on demand at the speed of light? Users in S. Korea are seeing some huge bandwidth improvements while in the U.S. we're stumbling in supposedly the greatest country on Earth. People need jobs and what the government should do is to start laying fiber optic cables in every major city. It might not help people on mobile lines, but it sure would help the 24/7/365 users. There are plenty of users that complain about crappy P2P download speeds. I'm glad I'm still getting decent speeds.

    And anyway downloaders can still go out and play while their unattended computer continues downloading.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    to lkrupp

    P2P works while your away, like when your outside walking.

    Given that our fastest speeds are residental speeds in other parts of the world, and we are the supposed world leader, yeah I call BS on this.

    Upgrade the lines, create jobs doing so, but I'm not paying more for less.

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