10 Apr Skype's iPhone App May Force FCC Hand on Wireless Net Neutrality
Skype’s introduction of its VOIP service for the iPhone may well be the tipping point for wireless network neutrality. While the right of hardwired Internet users to use the applications and services of their choice has been established by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), network neutrality for wireless networks is still an unresolved issue.
Then came Skype’s March 31 announcement that it is offering a free app that adds Skype calling and instant messaging to iPhones and second generation iPod touches with a compatible headset and microphone. More than 1 million Skype apps were downloaded in the first two days after the announcement. The service only works with a Wi-Fi connection as AT&T, the exclusive network carrier for the iPhone, blocks the competing voice service on its 3G cellular network.
“Wireless broadband networks cannot become a safe haven for discrimination,” Chris Riley, policy counsel of Free Press, said in a statement. “The Internet in your pocket should be just as free and open as the Internet in your home. The FCC must make it crystal clear that a closed Internet will not be tolerated on any platform.”
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