FCC slams AT&T and Verizon over zero-rating offers2016-12-05 03:20 by Daniela
Tags: FCC, Verizon, AT&T
The FCC considers that Verizon and AT&T sponsored data plans are a threat to net neutrality. The commission is concerned AT&T and Verizon still have a cost advantage over rivals, since they provide the streaming service and own the networks. The services in question are "DirectTV" and "FreeBee Data 360". The commission sent letters to the two companies.
The FCC claims that AT&T's sponsored data program "strongly favors AT&T's own video offerings" while damaging the opportunity for other video services to compete.
"We have therefore reached the preliminary conclusion that these practices inhibit competition, harm consumers, and interfere with the 'virtuous cycle' needed to assure the continuing benefits of the Open Internet," FCC wireless bureau chief Jon Wilkins writes in the letter to AT&T, which requests a response from the company by December 15th.
AT&T insists that its service is a benefit to consumers.
"These are incredibly popular free services available to millions of customers," the company said in a statement. "Once again, we will provide the FCC with additional information on why the government should not take away a service that saves consumers money."
According to the FCC, Verizon's "FreeBee Data 360" program has largely benefited Go90 — an affiliated mobile video service of the company. Verizon Communications Inc. said its practices are good for consumers and comply with regulations.
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