Advocacy group asks U.S. FCC to probe iPhone Skype restrictions

“The open-Internet advocacy group Free Press asked the Federal Communications Commission Friday to investigate whether Apple Inc. and AT&T Inc. are violating federal rules by blocking the use of a new low-cost Skype voice service on Apple iPhones that use AT&T’s 3G network,” Amy Schatz reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Since its release on Tuesday, Skype’s iPhone service has quickly become the most popular software application at Apple’s App Store. Skype users can call each other for free or can place calls to traditional landline and mobile phones for a small fee,” Schatz reports.

“Wireless providers, such as Clearwire Corp., have successfully argued they should be able to prevent customers from using some bandwidth-hogging Internet services, like file-sharing, because their wireless networks have capacity issues,” Schatz reports.

“Restrictions on the Skype voice service’s use by wireless carriers aren’t limited to the U.S. Deutsche Telekom AG, Apple’s exclusive network provider in Germany, said Thursday it may prevent its T-Mobile customers in Europe from using the Skype service on its iPhones – even on Wi-Fi networks,” Schatz reports.

“Even if Skype users could use AT&T’s 3G network, it wouldn’t necessarily save them much money, except on international calls. AT&T requires iPhone users to subscribe to bundled voice and data services, so the cost savings for customers using Skype would be limited,” Schatz reports.

More in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

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