The website Adaptive Glass, recently ran an article that detailed AT&T’s intentions to charge Google Glass users for tethering their Google Glass devices to their smartphones via Bluetooth in order to be able to use it.
Since then, AT&T has responded to their claims stating that, ?It?s incorrect to suggest that AT&T has made any statement about Google Glass.?
While it is somewhat interesting that AT&T has responded to something that they consider untrue, it is also interesting that Adaptive Glass stands 100% behind their story. Normally, if we believe something to be true 100% we will do the same and back it up until the end of days. Now, what we find interesting is that Adaptive Glass didn’t simply throw out some arbitrary figures, but instead quoted specific quotes and made allusions to AT&T’s own existing plans and how the device would be treated.
Adaptive Glass used this quote in their article, but didn’t attribute it to a specific AT&T representative, ?If it?s using our network then it?s reasonable to expect to be charged as if was any other device such as a tablet or laptop tethered to a phone. We don?t expect consumers to take offense at this. If someone plugged into our network now with Google Glass, they should be expected to use the DataConnect 250MB Gaming plan.?
In my opinion, no carrier should have the right to charge any user for using a 3rd party device that interfaces with their phone. This includes tethering your laptop to your smartphone, a worrying trend that has almost become an industry standard practice. Even the most liberal of carriers, T-Mobile, now forces their customers to pay $15 a month on top of their data plans in order to be able to do Wi-Fi or USB tethering. As such, considering the fact that Google Glass would likely connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 it could be treated as a wireless data consumption device. Carriers would have the ability to charge you to use your own devices on your own phone even though you are already paying for the data.
This slippery slope has already occurred and now there’s a grave chance that consumers will continue to slip and pay for their willingness to bend to the will of the carriers. There’s a good chance that future technologies that interface with your smartphone and tablet and use those data connections could also be used as revenue opportunities by carriers. Needless to say, we need people to stand up to the carriers and fight the injustices against consumers and by extension society as a whole. What really disturbs us about this whole episode is that AT&T hasn’t denied that they will be charging consumers to tether Google Glass to their phones, but rather that they claim that they haven’t made any statements about it. The carriers are becoming the biggest barriers to innovation, first we had them slow the pace of NFC (still not adopted) and now we’re seeing them interfere with Google Glass. What’s next?