Data is Data

by jscariati

Word on the street is that AT&T will be charging extra to enable FaceTime over 3G in iOS 6:

The following error message appears for AT&T customers in iOS 6 when trying to activate FaceTime over cellular networks…similar to one given to AT&T customers who wish to enable data tethering under iOS. AT&T requires users to pay for a separate tethering data plan to enable that feature.

I don’t understand how this practice isn’t illegal. Quite simply, AT&T is charging you twice for the same data: once to simply have the data, and then again depending on how you actually use it. It’s akin to a gas station selling you gas for your car, but charging you an additional fee if you want to use that gas to drive on the highway in addition to local roads.

The funny thing is, if AT&T didn’t charge twice for features like tethering and FaceTime, they’d probably more than make up the difference in overage fees. For example, if I could use FaceTime over 3G on my existing data plan for “free,” I’d be more likely to surpass my monthly cap and incur an overage charge. But since they plan to charge separately for it, I simply won’t pay for it and won’t use it.