FCC Drops Inquiries On Free Data Service Provided By Verizon, AT&T
Under the new leadership, Federal Communications Commission has stopped its pursuit to wireless providers AT&T and Verizon for offering free data service. FCC will take more cordial action to wireless firms and ensuring competition in the wireless market.
The FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced the decision on Friday as reported by CNET. Previously, under the chairman Tom Wheeler, FCC forbid the practice by wireless providers to offer zero-rating services, targeting AT&T and Verizon. Such service allows customers of wireless providers to watch streaming video with certain applications from their mobile device without charges on their monthly data caps.
In his statement, Pai said that such service has been popular among the low-income Americans as the customers of wireless data service. Furthermore, the service has triggered competition in the wireless marketplace and giving more competitive data price.
“Going forward, the Federal Communications Commission will not focus on denying Americans free data,” Pai said in an official statement. He further stated that FCC will expand broadband data deployment to offer innovative service to customers.
Pai has been targeting the net neutrality rule which was taken by his predecessor under Obama administration. The net neutrality has been dubbed to provide similar treatment to all internet data traffic. The
However, FCC took further step in its net neutrality concept by creating classification of the internet service providers. Such classification has limited service offerings from cable, telecommunication and wireless providers such as AT&T and Verizon, classifying their broadband access as telecommunication service only.
The net neutrality implementation in United States has been under fire by telecommunication companies as it also specifically targeting AT&T and Verizon. The trade association of American telecommunication companies, United States Telecom Association filed a lawsuit against FCC in 2015. The association challenge net neutrality concept implemented by the FCC in two separate lawsuits.
Wheeler stepped down from his position on Jan. 20 and replaced by Pai. He has been opponent of the Wheeler’s approach in net neutrality. Pai overturned some decisions taken by Wheeler regarding the AT&T and Verizon. He vowed to focus on the innovative data service offerings to customers in America.
Watch the FCC insider report regarding expectation on the new leadership style from Pai below;