AT&T will jettison wireless users that engage in P2P file-sharing over its network, the company said Friday in a letter PDF filed at the FCC. Senior lobbyist Robert Quinn answered a question posed at hearing last week by Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell about the company’s policies of managing P2P network traffic on its broadband wireless platform.
Quinn said that AT&T’s terms of service (as well as the TOS for most other carriers) bars the use of P2P applications on the wireless platform. “Use of a P2P file sharing application would constitute a material breach of contract for which the user’s service could be terminated,” he said.
Because P2P file sharing applications typically engage in continuous (rather than bursty) transmissions at high data rates, a small number of users of P2P file sharing applications served by a particular cell site could severely degrade the service quality enjoyed by all customers served by that site.
AT&T hasn’t yet booted anybody off the network for using P2P, Quinn said.