The FCC must stand up for Net Neutrality
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Net Neutrality rules are less than a year old, but some companies are already coming up with creative ways to sneak past them.
Some of the same companies that fought Net Neutrality now offer programs that exempt some services, but not others, from monthly caps on their customers’ broadband Internet usage.
These are backdoor attempts to undermine Net Neutrality by giving preference to some sources of content over others. The FCC needs to step in now and put a stop to them.
Tell the Federal Communications Commission: Stop the sneak attack on Net Neutrality.
Companies like AT&T,1 T-Mobile,2 Verizon3 and Comcast4 have all recently introduced programs that favor some online services over others by exempting them from their customers’ monthly data caps, a practice known as zero-rating. By discriminating against sources of content that aren’t exempted, zero-rating jeopardizes the free and open nature of the Internet.
Zero-rating isn’t just a threat to Net Neutrality in the United States. Just this week, India banned zero-rating after a long battle with Facebook over Facebook’s efforts to provide free access to Facebook.com and a small selection of other websites, which would have severely limited the Internet experience of hundreds of millions of people.5
Zero-rating gives a small number of corporations too much power to shape the Internet that is available to users, and it discourages innovation by making it more difficult for smaller players in the market to compete.
The FCC is looking into concerns about zero-rating right now and has requested information from some of the companies employing the practice,6 but it hasn’t yet taken action to stop to zero-rating. It took millions of us speaking out to win Net Neutrality protections. We can’t afford to let companies use zero-rating to undermine them.
Tell the Federal Communications Commission: Don’t let corporations undermine Net Neutrality.
- "T-Mobile, AT&T and others draw scrutiny with zero-rated data," FierceWireless, December 14, 2015.
- "T-Mobile’s Unlimited Video Raises Net Neutrality Concerns," Wired, November 11, 2015
- "Comcast May Have Found a Major Net Neutrality Loophole," Wired, November 20, 2015.
- "Verizon’s mobile video won’t count against data caps—but Netflix does," Ars Technica, February 5, 2016.
- "Facebook's Free Basics service has been banned in India," The Verge, February 8, 2016
- "F.C.C. Asks Comcast, AT&T and T-Mobile About ‘Zero-Rating’ Services," New York Times, December 17, 2015.