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FCC commissioner calls for investigation into Apple’s killing of Beeper

The death of Beeper Mini all but killed the dream of iMessage for Android, and now an FCC commissioner is calling for an investigation into Apple’s actions in pulling the plug.

Beeper Mini, in short, used a reverse engineering method to access iMessage to give Android users the ability to send “blue bubble” messages from their Android devices, including using the phone number. phone on this device. At launch, it might even work without an Apple ID. But, despite Beeper’s confidence, Apple could not kill the system, Apple did so a few days later. After weeks of back and forth, Beeper threw in the towel with one final bridge, which has also been disabled since Apple began banning customers’ Macs from using Beeper.

It’s a crazy story and one that’s gotten a lot of attention.

In mid-December, a bipartisan letter asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether or not Apple violated antitrust laws by shutting down Beeper Mini. Today, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr is calling on the FCC to investigate the matter.

Carr spoke on the issue at the State of the Net conference, with an excerpt of the request posted to Twitter/X. Carr focuses specifically on whether or not Apple violated Part 14 of the FCC rules. As The edge Note, this section sets out the requirements for any “advanced communications service”. Specifically, it refers to requirements relating to “access for persons with disabilities to advanced communications services and equipment.”

While it’s unclear how Apple’s actions may have violated Part 14, the company’s choice to ban users can crossed a line. A notable quote from the rules says that “no person shall be liable for any violation of the requirements of the rules of this part with respect to advanced communications services or equipment used to provide or access advanced communications services” and specifically highlights that this includes “transient storage of communications made available through the provision of advanced communications services by a third party.” »

Another part of the rules invoked by Carr states that vendors, such as Apple, “shall not install any network features, functions, or capabilities that impede accessibility or usability” and cites that Apple user colors for messages Green bubble SMS (especially low contrast) “makes it difficult to receive these messages for people who are visually impaired or have difficulty seeing.”

Carr’s full discussion, nearly 6 minutes long, can be viewed below, but the FCC has not yet officially launched an investigation into the matter.

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