AT&T reversed course and decided to allow Sling Media’s iPhone app to run on its network. The app was previously viewed as a congestion hog, but Sling (under the supervision of AT&T) tweaked its software to lower bandwidth consumption. iCall, Fring, Skype, and now Sling. It appears that AT&T is lowering the drawbridge.
What gives? You can read Skype’s petition filed with the FCC in 2007 asking it to enforce.. the Carterfone decision! Old timers will recall that this was the landmark FCC ruling breaking open the old Ma Bell voice network, ultimately giving the public the power to buy wired phones–bless me– made by other, non-AT&T companies. This replay of recent history involves a wireless network, but unlike before, AT&T is partly relenting. The smart money is saying that it’s really a quid pro quo to get the FCC to respond favorably to AT&Ts request to drop copper-based landline voice service.