Thursday, June 18, 2009

Foul Ball! AT

Think the iPhone is the free-flowing Internet in your pocket? Think again. AT&T, the sole wireless carrier for the iPhone, has decided to allow Major League Baseball to stream video live to the new iPhone, but is blocking other companies from doing the same.

The New York Times reports that Major League Baseball's live stream "will play regardless of whether an iPhone is connected to a WiFi network or a 3G network."

But you’ll strike out trying to do the same on 3G with the SlingPlayer Mobile iPhone application or other online video services.

Free Press has challenged the FCC to confirm that wireless networks must adhere to the agency’s Internet Policy Statement, which protects consumers against just this sort of discrimination. Given AT&T’s recent MLB play, the incoming FCC chair should put our challenge on deck.

"We are troubled that carriers like AT&T are playing gatekeeper to the next generation of wireless Internet applications,” Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott said. “No Internet service provider should be allowed to pick winners and losers online.”

AT&T has conceded that open Internet principles should govern wireless communications and that consumers expect unfettered mobile access. So why is AT&T deciding what online video its iPhone customers can and can’t watch?

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