America’s telecom regulator called on AT&T to defend its wireless plan that exempts its own television streaming service from data caps days after Canada’s watchdog wrapped up a potentially precedent-setting hearing on the controversial form of Internet data pricing known as zero-rating.
The Federal Communications Commission sent AT&T a letter this week stating it has serious concerns that this favours AT&T’s content in ways that could present “significant anti-competitive effects.”
Stanford law professor Barbara van Schewick told CRTC commissioners they could “absolutely” set a precedent in other jurisdictions.
“I do believe there is precedential value,” said van Schewick, whose warmly received presentation argued against zero-rating especially when service providers own the content, stating it could harm innovation and competition.
“I talk to many regulators and there is sort of this interesting game of chicken where everybody looks at what other people are doing and then sort of tries to position themselves.”