Monday, May 4, 2009

AT&T Reconsiders their Terms of Services: A Relief for iPhone Developers

Early this month, AT&T had announced to prohibit video streaming, file sharing or data tethering to personal computers or other devices. AT&T’s wireless terms of services created a lot of agitation among iPhone users, as it would seemingly restrict the usage of few applications that AT&T customers already enjoy. Later, due to the outcry of millions of people over the matter, the company decided on reconsidering their terms of services and explained that the changes that they made earlier were “in error”.

Surprising everybody, AT&T has made some changes in their TOS (Terms of Services) within the past few hours. According to the new rules the company will ban the place shifting activities that used the wireless network to stream data from Slingbox or any other similar devices to personal computers. The term states:

“While most common uses for Intranet browsing, e-mail, and Intranet access are permitted by your data plan, there are certain uses that cause extreme network capacity issues and interference with the network and are therefore prohibited. Examples of prohibited uses include, without limitation...downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, redirecting television signals for viewing on Personal Computers, Web broadcasting, and/or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices....”

By this AT&T clearly states that the company does not want their wireless network to get overwhelmed with heavy video use, which maybe logical to certain extent. But, it is quite surprising why the company is banging on such restriction when it is the ideal time for AT&T to grow. On the other hand, there is a rumor of Apple releasing a next generation iPhone with video capabilities sometime this summer, for which AT&T is performing a network upgrade in order to double the speed of download to 7Mbps and higher in the future.

However, for iPhone developer it is a relief that the new AT&T TOS does not fully prohibit video streaming, which would mean that apps like SlingPlayer can still be accessed from iPhones. But, whether or not the iPhone SlingPlayer application will be available in the iTunes App Store still remains uncertain.

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1 comment:

  1. Can you please post an eMail address at AT&T so we can start an eMail campaign to complain about them trying to slide another "whoops" by us. They insult our inteligence.