Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute have announced plans to file a formal complaint with the FCC over AT&T's decision to block FaceTime for some customers. It's not a surprising move — Free Press, Public Knowledge, and other groups blasted AT&T over its new FaceTime policy last month, with Free Press claiming that the carrier'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." The group filing the complaint argues that AT&T's actions harm all its customers, particularly for "the deaf" and "immigrant families and others with relatives overseas."
AT&T's initial response to the claims was unapologetic and confident: the company said that advocacy groups "rushed to judgement" regarding possible infringement of the FCC's rules, and boasted that "customers will continue to be able to use FaceTime over Wi-FI irrespective of the data plan they choose." AT&T went further, suggesting that net neutrality rules only apply to downloaded apps, and that "the rules do not require that providers make available any preloaded apps." There's no guarantee the FCC will come down on AT&T for its behavior — the Open Internet rules are notoriously mild — but it's clear that advocates aren't going to sit still on the issue.