One Thing AT&T's Done Well and One They've Done Wrong

Last Updated Jan 24, 2008 4:38 PM EST

AT&T Manhole Cover image by Eddie~S [cc, 2.0]Two pieces of news have been bouncing around the web as of late. The first made me giddy: AT&T was going to offer public wireless access as part of their high-speed internet service. Yay!, I exclaimed. Today, I sighed. The bad news is that AT&T is looking at monitoring their traffic to stop the transfer of copyrighted content.

Now, I'm not saying that stopping internet fiends from downloading proprietary content is bad per se; I just think it's a REALLY bad business move. And with all the promise of their recent offer of public wireless to all customers (I can see new iPhone users in droves), I was kind of hoping their business model would make a nudge in the right direction.

In this case, though, it looks like another instance of one-step-forward-two-steps-back. Much of the broadband-using public would balk at the idea of their traffic being monitored, especially considering AT&T's long-running lawsuit with the EFF. But to add insult to injury, AT&T is going to lose droves of customers who still download illegal content.

AT&T Manhole Cover image by Eddie~S [cc, 2.0]