Since its release on Tuesday, Skype for iPhone has been downloaded more than a million times—that’s a rate of six downloads a second, according to the company. All this despite the fact the software only works via the iPhone’s Wi-Fi connection, and not AT&T’s 3G network.
That restriction has angered some, who have argued that the practice is anti-competitive. Those allegations have been turned up a notch now, as the Wall Street Journal reports that an Internet advocacy group called Free Press has asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate whether or not the restriction is in violation of federal law.
The letter cites the FCC’s Internet Policy Statement (PDF link) which states that “consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice” in order to “preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet.”
And if Apple gets off by saying a 3G network is not an Internet network but rather a digital telephony network through which the Internet can be tunneled, expect other providers like cable and DSL to make similar declarations to justify restricting what their users can put through their television delivery and wired analog telephony networks.