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US: Trump’s FCC begins to roll back Obama-era internet data regulations

 |  February 6, 2017

Less than a month into Donald Trump’s presidency, the new administration’s Federal Communications Commission has been quick to set itself apart from its predecessor.

New FCC chairman Ajit Pai voiced support on Friday for “zero-rating,” or not counting the use of certain apps and services toward data caps, a practice criticized by the Obama-era FCC as recently as last month. The FCC will drop all investigations into zero-rating practices, the Commission announced in a news release.

“These free-data plans have proven to be popular among consumers, particularly low-income Americans, and have enhanced competition in the wireless marketplace,” said Mr. Pai in a statement. “Going forward, the Federal Communications Commission will not focus on denying Americans free data.”

“Free-data plans” have become increasingly popular as a strategy to promote certain streaming video or music services. Verizon customers are able to stream its Go90 video service without getting charged for data usage, and AT&T customers can stream its DirecTV video service over the AT&T wireless network without that data counting toward their monthly cap. Both companies praised the FCC’s recent decision, saying their zero-rating practices benefited consumers.

Full Content: New York Times

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