Later today, Apple will unveil the latest iPhone for its fans to drool over, and its detractors to mock.
Most agree we'll see a bunch of new features, like 4G LTE speeds and a thinner, bigger
AT&T plans to block customers from using the iPhone's video calling feature on mobile networks unless they shell out big bucks for unlimited voice and texting plans — which have nothing to do with making video calls!
This blocking is especially frustrating to me because I am profoundly deaf. Mobile FaceTime offers me and my family the promise of a seamless, one-touch communications solution that will allow us to communicate in American Sign Language (ASL).1
It's ridiculous that AT&T is telling me and all other deaf and hard-of-hearing customers that we have to buy unlimited voice minute plans to use FaceTime on our iPhones.
In a normal market, consumers could vote with their wallets and go to a competitor. But the wireless market is anything but normal, and carriers make switching prohibitively expensive. This blocking is just the beginning of the major mobile carriers' push to squeeze consumers even more and hurt the open Internet.
The FCC needs to step in to protect users from AT&T's scheme. Please take action now and tell the agency to stop AT&T's anti-consumer behavior.
1. Brendan Gramer, "AT&T's FaceTime Blocking Hurts the Deaf;" Wired, Sept. 7, 2012. http://act.freepress.net/go/11891?t=6&akid=3831.9176860.jQKT8o
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