The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just announced that it would not pursue legal action against ISPs and mobilephone service providers for certain violations of Net Neutrality rules, a clear sign that the commission will be softer on regulations in the Trump era.
In separateto AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Comcast, the FCC confirmed it is dropping investigations into zero-rating, the practice of exempting certain kinds of content from a customer’s data cap. The commission that Verizon’s FreeBee data program and AT&T’s Sponsored Data violate the , a ruling that prohibits network operators from offering sponsored data to third-party content providers at less favorable terms than those they offer to their subsidiaries and affiliates.
“These free-data plans have proven to be popular among consumers, particularly low-income Americans and have enhanced competition in the wireless marketplace,” Pai said in a. “Going forward, the FCC will not focus on denying Americans free data.”
The Verizon and AT&T programs have received little attention compared to T-Mobile’s popularprogram. The FCC investigated Binge On but later cleared T-Mobile of any wrongdoing because the carrier doesn’t charge third parties to exempt their content and offers little content of its own.
Meanwhile, the FCC had not issued a determination on Comcast’s Stream TV service, a platform known for being the subject of a Net Neutralitythat the consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge filed last year.