Sponsored Data, Net Neutrality, And The 1st Amendment

Law360, New York (April 7, 2016, 9:53 AM EDT) -- The Federal Communications Commission has recently turned its attention to the sponsored data services (or zero-rating) offered by Internet service providers. As the FCC explained in its Open Internet Order, these free data services allow ISPs to exclude certain content from their customers' usage allowances on usage-based plans. Although some have criticized sponsored data services as a form of harmful discrimination, others have explained the reasons why consumers benefit from free data services and how edge providers can differentiate themselves and encourage use of their services by sponsoring their customers' data charges.[1] Lost in this debate is the threshold question whether...

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