This is a quick final post on the Apple iPhone developer license agreement regarding the FCC’s investigation into Apple’s rejection of the Google Voice application. According to the FCC chairman, the FCC “has a mission to foster a competitive wireless marketplace, protect and empower consumers, and promote innovation and investment.” (link) So to further this mission, the FCC requested that AT&T, Apple, and Google all respond with their version of the events with respect to the rejection of the Google Voice application. Their responses can be read here.
Everything that can be said about this has already been said by others when the event was ongoing, but did the investigation yield any results? Well, it did help one of my favorite apps, Sling Player. For those of you that don’t know, Sling Player is a box that hooks up to a cable box and the Internet and allows users to watch and control their television anywhere they can get an Internet connection. When Sling Player submitted their iPhone app to Apple, it was initially rejected. Sling was told that their app could not work over the AT&T cellular network. So Sling resubmitted the app with a modification that only allowed it to work over wireless connections and not the cellular connections.
Then the FCC investigation happened. So in February, AT&T announced that they had been working with the Sling Player developers to optimize the app for their cellular network and were pleased that Sling Player would now be allowed to work over the cellular network. Sounds all well and good right? Except for that Sling stated that they made no technical changes to their application and that AT&T never discussed any specific requirements with them.
So, did the FCC’s investigation have any impact? Maybe. Maybe not. But it does show that regulatory agencies are looking at Apple and AT&T’s conduct. And more importantly, I can now watch my TV anywhere I go. And in the end, isn’t that what is really important?