Some mobile providers offer customers free, “zero-rated” access to selected websites or services, like Spotify or ESPN, in addition to customers’ regular paid data usage. In under-served areas like the inner city or developing countries, zero-rating agreements like Facebook Zero or Wikipedia Zero encourage people to get online and enrich their lives with access to educational materials and social media. However, as TF’s Berin Szoka pointed out in a recent appearance on the Heartland Daily Podcast, net neutrality absolutists are stoking outrage to stop zero-rating:
“T-Mobile is the no. 4 provider in the US, right? It swallowed up MetroPCS back in 2012, in part because MetroPCS was hounded into giving up its zero-rating program by absolutists who alleged that it was a violation of the FCC’s new rules, even though it pretty clearly wasn’t. So let’s just consider today the example of T-Mobile. The idea that T-Mobile has some sort of market power as the distant no. 4 provider in the market, and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to offer Music Freedom to its customers, to distinguish itself from Verizon and AT&T, is insane.”
To listen to the whole podcast, click here.