The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jen Howard, Free Press, (202) 265-1490 x22

Free Press Questions AT&T's Mobile Video Gatekeeping


AT&T is allowing Major League Baseball to stream video live to
the iPhone on the carrier's 3G network, but is prohibiting other
companies like SlingPlayer Mobile from doing the same.

Last month, AT&T admitted to restricting the SlingPlayer Mobile
iPhone application from streaming live on its 3G network, claiming the
service would cause congestion. But now, 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."

This spring, Free Press sent a letter
to the FCC asking the agency to confirm that wireless networks must
adhere to the Internet Policy Statement, which protects consumers'
right to access any online content and services on any device of their

AT&T has voiced public support for this position. A Washington Post article
quoted AT&T's lead lobbyist Jim Cicconi as saying, "The same
principals [sic] should apply across the board. As people migrate to
the use of wireless devices to access the Internet, they...certainly
expect that we treat these services the same way."

Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, issued the following statement:

"We are troubled that carriers like AT&T are playing gatekeeper
to the next generation of wireless Internet applications. No Internet
service provider should be allowed to pick winners and losers online.

"AT&T has acknowledged that open Internet principles should
apply to wireless and that consumers expect unfettered mobile access.
So why is AT&T deciding what online video its iPhone customers can
watch and what they can't?

"This is exactly the kind of arbitrary intervention in the open
Internet marketplace that consumers should fear in an industry
dominated by powerful network owners. We hope to see AT&T reverse
course and provide consumers with the same access to any online video
service of their choice."

For more information on Free Press' push for wireless freedom, visit

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what's actually happening in their communities.

(202) 265-1490