Image for FCC raises concerns about zero rated programs
Avatar image of Marie Aspiazu

FCC raises concerns about zero rated programs

Looks like AT&T is playing foul again when it comes to net neutrality.

If you've used or heard of programs such as T-Mobile's Binge On or Music Freedom, then you're familiar with an increasingly common business tactic known as zero rating: the decision by a cellphone carrier to let you stretch your data plan by exempting some services, such as Spotify or Netflix, from your monthly data cap.

But now, federal regulators are raising concerns about two such programs operated by AT&T and Verizon, saying that although they potentially help customers get more out of their plans, the programs pose “significant risks to consumers and competition” and may even violate a key part of the government's net neutrality rules.

The warning comes as part of a white paper published by the Federal Communications Commission, which finds that AT&T's Sponsored Data plan and Verizon's FreeBee Data program could choke off the rise of online video companies that are not owned by or affiliated with the telecom giants.

Take action now! Sign up to be in the loop Donate to support our work