Network Neutrality, Apple, AT&T, and the iPhone
One expects little of AT&T. Moreover, one realizes that the iPhone data plan is priced differently from the plans for other phones that AT&T carries. One also realizes that, partly as a result of the design of the phone, partly as a result of the difference in pricing, iPhone customers use more data capacity than the owners of other phones.
Originally Posted by c0mpguru
On the other hand, it is the essence of "network neutrality" that IP traffic not be gated on the basis of origin, destination, or application, much less device or software. AT&T's argument has been that the iPhone apps, not AT&T, were gating the traffic. Until now, they have pretended that this was a coincidence, or a unilateral act on Apple's part, rather than the result of an "agreement in restraint of trade" with Apple.
Of course, AT&T and Apple also argue that we, the customers, consented to all of this in the fine print of our contracts with Apple and AT&T. We probably did. However, "agreements in restraint of trade" are illegal on their face and cannot be legitimized by our consent. The premise is that such contracts injure everyone, not just the customers.
All that said, I am glad to see that AT&T is reducing some of the arbitrary restrictions (MMS, and now VoIP) on the iPhone.
Next thing you know, they may even permit the Sling client to use the "broadband" network. I hope that Sling will take note of this decision and ask Apple and AT&T to treat their iPhone client the same way that it treats their Windows Mobile client.