Stuff I Say

Why Has Twitter Been Overlooked By the Evil Eye of AT&T?

Posted in Apple, Gadgetry, internet, software by 51future on June 13, 2008

Twitterific won best iPhone Social Networking App at the 2008 Apple Design Awards and I’m really, well… confused.

How is posting something to Twitter any different from sending an SMS message. Apple has explicitly forbid VOIP applications, or at least seems to. We know for sure that they won’t allow VOIP on carrier(s)’ data networks, but a few different companies seem to be skirting the edge and allowing users to sneak VOIP calls through Safari or over WiFi.

Now, from a business perspective, I understand why AT&T doesn’t want any of this vile, vile software on their gorgeous little baby. They’ve set a price for data access ($30 for unlimited data) and otherwise sell minutes, a somewhat outdated analog business model that should have been eliminated around the time that VOIP started to emerge in the marketplace. AT&T tells us that for $30, we can have unlimited bandwidth on their network with which to make VOIP calls, and yet, they also explicitly prohibit us from using that bandwidth for one special type of data: VOIP data.

I understand all this, but my question is, how is a Twitter application any different.

Aren’t SMS texts one of the most lucrative services they’ve got their dirty little fingers in? Do they think the FCC would crack down on them if they started restricting these sorts of Apps? Or are they worried about the way it might fill in the gaps in the bigger picture?

If anyone needs any convincing argument as to whether we need net neutrality, I say they need only look at our phone companies. Everyone could have unlimited calling for $30 a month, if only that data was as neutral as any other.


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