Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / January 23rd, 2008

Nice Try, AT&T

The marketing execs over at AT&T must’ve read my last post.  How else do you explain this story?

AT&T Expanding Free Wi-Fi Offer
AT&T Inc. said Wednesday it will make its 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots free to nearly all of its broadband Internet customers starting early next week.

Only subscribers to AT&T’s premium broadband services previously had free access to its hotspots, leaving out the majority of high-speed users, who have the 1.5-Mbps service.

Now, more than 10 million broadband customers, most of AT&T’s high-speed Internet subscribers, will be able to use the hotspots free of charge.

Who wouldn’t want to try to change the story in the media just before the 6 o’clock news comes out on a day where your CEO announced your company plans to monitor and filter internet traffic?  Well we see through your smokescreen, American Telephone & Telegraph.  You just want to monitor us wirelessly now, is that it?

I should note that AT&T isn’t the only one talking about filtering your net traffic.  Comcast has taken an even more ignorant approach:

Comcast Corp., the second largest U.S. Internet provider after AT&T, has chosen another way to deal with the congestion caused by file-sharers, by hampering some peer-to-peer traffic regardless of whether the content is legal.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said earlier this month it would investigate complaints from consumer groups and legal scholars that Comcast’s practice violates the open access principles of the Internet.