updated 08:25 pm EDT, Tue May 12, 2009
SlingPlayer app statement
Following the announcement that Sling Media's SlingPlayer iPhone app will only be available without support for 3G data, AT&T has released a statement explaining the restriction. The company blames the decision on network strain, as the large volume of data could potentially cause congestion and create access problems for other customers.
Interestingly enough, the carrier references part of its terms of service that applies to TV signals routed to personal computers. "Applications like this, which redirect a TV signal to a personal computer, are specifically prohibited under our terms of service," the statement reads.
The company considers the iPhone and similar smartphones to be personal computers because they share the same "hardware and software attributes." Users can still access the content via Wi-Fi, or navigate to websites that provide streaming videos. "But what our terms and conditions prohibit is the transferring, or slinging, of a TV signal to their personal computer or smartphone."
AT&T concluded that the use of Wi-Fi is "good news" for its customers that get free access to its hotspot network. The SlingPlayer app will be available from the App Store for $30.