AT&T: 'Slinging' violates ToS; barred on all devices

Do you like your Slingbox?You're not the only one.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Do you like your Slingbox?

You're not the only one. But AT&T says Sling Media's new iPhone application, which allows users to stream live television to their handset, won't run on AT&T 3G.

In fact, the $29.99 application is only allowed to run on Wi-Fi, and that's a deliberate move by AT&T, according to an AT&T spokesman via SiliconBeat.

Company spokesman Mark Siegel explained to SiliconBeat's Troy Wolverton that AT&T considers the streaming of television signals to any device over its wireless data network to be a violation of its terms of service -- iPhone or otherwise.

"It doesn't just apply to the iPhone,” Siegel said. "The key here is not (which) device is enabled for (the SlingPlayer). This is not an application that is permissible to use on AT&T's network."

The reason? AT&T has concerns that mass slinging will tax its 3G network to the point that other customers won't be able to place calls or use data applications.

Earlier, AT&T took the "violation of terms of service" route, arguing that its terms specifically prohibit "redirecting television signals for viewing on personal computers." According to AT&T (up until now), the iPhone is a PC.

Now it's just a matter of quality of service.

Siegel didn't indicate in his interview with SiliconBeat whether AT&T would make moves to block or choke Slinging on its network, but obviously a violation of the company's ToS gives it some backing to take action.

Is AT&T discriminating against Sling Media? Or did that company just invent the wrong product for the wrong network? Tell us in TalkBack.

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