(Photo : Apple)
With the iPhone 5's release this Friday, users will be using the new Apple mobile operating system (OS) with FaceTime, however, AT&T customers will have to pay extra for the app.
The new OS, iOS 6, will use FaceTime and be used for free across several Apple devices instead of the previous charge of 99 cents. AT&T won't be offering it for free, offering the app through a charge from the Mobile Share plans.
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Sprint and Verizon, the other carriers selling the iPhone 5, will also offer FaceTime, and for free.
AT&T's decision to charge FaceTime has received negative attention leading to a formal complaint to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Groups issuing the complaint include Free Press, Public Knowledge, and New American Foundation's Open Technology Institute, and they have notified AT&T for the intention to file the complaint.
According to a statement issued by Free Press, "In the complaint, the three organizations will assert that AT&T is violating Net Neutrality by blocking the popular video-conferencing application FaceTime. The groups will file the complaint with the Federal Communications Commission in the coming weeks. Under the agency's Open Internet rules, which prohibit companies from blocking such applications on their mobile networks, anyone filing a formal complaint must give at least 10 days' notice of their intent to file."
"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," said Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood. "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."
The organizations believe AT&T's decision violated the FCC's Open Internet rules of 2010, referring to the decision as "illegal."
According to GigaOM, AT&T has said they are not violating the FCC rules and the decision is aimed to move users to the new shared data plans and to "conflate" Wi-Fi networks.
A petition has been made as well against AT&T's decision, which can be seen here.