FCC Closes Zero Rating Inquiry

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has closed its inquiry into sponsored data and zero-rating practices in the mobile broadband market.

In so doing, the FCC also "sets aside and rescinds" an earlier FCC report that did raise issues
about zero rating. The Commission did not see a T-Mobile US offer, which zero rates all video streams, as problematic.

The FCC had raised more questions about zero rating of AT&T and Verizon offers that allowed data-cap-free access, but--the FCC argued--only to services owned by each firm. Both AT&T and Verizon say they make the same zero rating feature available, on the same terms used internally, to any companies that want to do the same.

The FCC originally had said it would cost a company, like a Netflix or Hulu about $47 a month per customer to offer 30 minutes of free video-streaming a day on AT&T's network, based on a wholesale charge of about $5 per gigabyte.
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