BlackBerry CEO John Chen has a new plan for enforcing net neutrality in the US, and it involves forcing Apple and Android app developers to build apps for BlackBerry devices. While he named iMessage and Netflix specifically, Chen appears to believe that it should apply to all content in the mobile space.
The company had recently opened the once exclusive BBM messaging service to both Android and iOS, and now apparently thinks that other platforms should return the favour. Chen wrote, “unlike BlackBerry, which allows iPhone users to download and use our BBM service, Apple does not allow BlackBerry or Android users to download Apple’s iMessage messaging service.”
Streaming content provider Netflix was not spared either, as Chen claims it violates net neutrality by not providing the service to BlackBerry users through an app. Although he did not acknowledge that users can still sideload the Netflix Android app into their BlackBerries.
Net Neutrality is a huge issue in the US as carriers argue about treating all data the same. Essentially, some ISPs believe that they should be allowed to charge varying rates for traffic to and from certain websites. It would also charge to create an internet fast lane for corporations who pay more money for users to access their services.
Chen appears to have taken the idea that all data should be treated equally and applied it to access to apps. It doesn’t entirely sound like a terrible idea if all platforms received the same apps and services; but it could also potentially put small developers under a lot of pressure to port their work to at Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and every other mobile operating system in the market.