Quietly, last night, AT&T revised its wireless plans. In the latest changes to the service terms, it looks like AT&T is trying to exempt its own video services but prohibiting services like the Slingbox or other video web sites. See, this change (changes emphasized):
This means, by way of example only, that checking email, surfing the Internet, downloading legally acquired songs, and/or visiting corporate intranets is permitted, but downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, customer initiated redirection of television or other video or audio signals via any technology from a fixed location to a mobile device, web broadcasting, and/or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition devices is prohibited.
The following language was also added to AT&T's wireless TOS:
On the 5GB DataConnect Plan, once you exceed your 5GB allowance you will be automatically charged $0.00048 per Kb for any data used. On the 200MB Data Connect Plan, once you exceed your 200MB allowance, you will be automatically charged $10 for an additional 100MB. Unused data from either your initial allowance or any overage allowance (e.g., the 100MB) will not be carried over to the next billing period; all data allowances must be used in the billing period in which the allowance is provided. On other plans with a monthly megabyte or gigabyte allowance, once you exceed your allowance you will be automatically charged overage as specified in the applicable rate plan information.
(The remainder of the above paragraph was essentially pre-existing.)
All of these changes probably have something to do with the recent $28,000 PR disaster covered at http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2009/02/24/man-28000-att-wireless-card-bill/ where a Chicago-based AT&T subscriber was charged international rates for viewing a football game over the service, generating a bill of $28,000. It should be noted that this was an error since the consumer was in Miami and not at sea, yet AT&T responds as if the billing was justified and now starts revising the TOS to prohibit the activity! (AT&T finally backed down once the newspaper's consumer reporter injected the power of his pen into the dispute.)
TOS language aside, it's not very “Internet” when the ISP is picking and choosing what legal activities you may and may not do with your Internet connection.