Shawn Fanning, the former Northeastern University student who created Napster and popularized peer-to-peer sharing, could never have imagined all the fuss the technology would create nearly a decade later. Comcast earlier this year drew ire over throttling Bittorrent traffic, and now AT&T is taking a hard lined stance against its wireless customers engaging in P2P activities.
FCC Republican Robert McDowell asked AT&T about its policy regarding P2P traffic over its wireless network, and in a letter, Robert Quinn, AT&T senior VP for regulatory affairs, said in no uncertain terms that its customers are strictly forbidden from usng P2P services.
"AT&T's terms of service for mobile wireless broadband customers prohibit all uses that may cause extreme network capacity issues, and explicitly identify P2P file sharing applications as such a use," Quinn wrote.
Unlike Comcast, who drew criticism both for throttling internet traffic and for initially denying it was doing so, Quinn also wrote in his letter that AT&T does not use network management tools to block the use of P2P applications, and that its customers are warned in writing that they could have their service terminated if caught violating the policy.