Reports from several reliable sources indicate that the Federal Communications Commission has just given a big pass to both Verizon and AT&T. A recent statement made by the FCC says that they would end their investigation on the telecom companies who provided zero-rating offers to their customers.
The zero rating offering allowed telecom subscribers of Verizon and AT&T to access and watch video content from certain smartphone applications without it interfering with their monthly internet data caps. The telecom giant, AT&T allowed their wireless subscribers to access the contents of their latest online streaming service over its wireless network without counting this data against the customer’s monthly data caps. On the other hand, Verizon customers were allowed to stream their Go90 video service and they were not charged for their data usage for that.
This move by the FCC is actually a part of their new plan to dismiss the policies that were adopted by the Democrats during the previous Administration. The newly appointed FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai is determined to revoke some of the policies that were set by the Democrats.
The net neutrality rules of 2015 had received wide spread criticism from many telecom companies and experts. Reports indicate that the FCC is planning to ban this controversial law, which treated the telecom companies as a public utility.
In addition to that, FCC is also planning to remove some other controversial policies adopted by the earlier Democratic government including the expansion for the Lifeline program. This program provides subsidies for phone and broadband service to families with low income.
In a recent statement, Pai stated that the zero-rated plans offered by these telecom companies were highly greeted by their customers. “Going forward, the Federal Communications Commission will not focus on denying Americans free data. Instead, we will concentrate on expanding broadband deployment and encouraging innovative service offerings,” Pai said.
AT&T officials noted that this move from FCC is actually “a win for millions of consumers.” On the other hand, Verizon stated that they have always believed that the free data programs offered by the company benefited consumers and it is “very encouraged that the FCC agrees.”
The General Counsel for Public Knowledge, Ryan Clough said, “The FCC is saying that AT&T and Verizon are allowed to zero rate their own video services, and effectively charge customers more to access competing services. The 2015 net neutrality rules are still the law, but that doesn’t mean very much if the FCC refuses to enforce them.”