AT&T Plays Chicken with FCC & Laughs at Net Neutrality

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Pretty much everyone knew that AT&T buying DirecTV was a bad idea for net-neutrality. However regulators gave them the benefit of the doubt. So much for that. The FCC has tried to have the best interest of the American people in mind. In to that end they have been pushed net-neutrality hard. One of the key pillars of net neutrality is that all data should be treated equally. Some companies like T-Mobile have worked around it while still being fair to customers. Others like AT&T have blatantly said F*ck it. The newest indicator of that is the DirecTV Now plan. The $35 TV plan gives AT&T customers unlimited mobile streaming. No other service gets this perk.  The FCC sent a letter letting AT&T know that it’s “zero rating” policy violates the principle of net neutrality. You might be wondering how is this different from T-Mobile’s “Binge On” policy? While T-Mobile does allow users to stream shows from services like Netflix and YouTube without it counting against data. T-Mobile makes the plan is free for content providers as long as that data is optimized for mobile streaming.

FCC concerns:

“We estimate for purposes of illustrating our concerns that an unaffiliated mobile video service provider would have to pay AT&T $16 a month to offer zero-rated service to a customer who uses just 10 minutes of LTE video per day, increasing to $47 for a customer using 30 minutes per day,” the FCC wrote. “These costs alone would represent 46 percent to 134 percent of DirecTV Now’s $35 retail price, against which third parties will be competing for AT&T Mobility customers, and would be borne in addition to all other costs of providing service by the unaffiliated provider.”

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So basically there is no way that DirecTV Now can possibly be paying the full wholesale price for data. The thing it won’t matter what current FCC says. When President-Elect Trump is in full control AT&T and others can do whatever they want because all his telecommunications advisers are strongly anti-net-neutrality. AT&T technically has until December 15th for the FCC to finalize its review so it will wait out the Obama administration.

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How can AT&T Plays Chicken with FCC & Laughs at Net Neutrality?

  • $35 DirecTV Now plan gives AT&T customers unlimited mobile streaming for Free.
  • No other service gets unlimited mobile streaming for Free
  • Net neutrality = all data should be treated equally
  • AT&T waiting for President-Elect Trump & anti-net-neutrality advisers to take over.