AT&T has decided to extend its “sponsored data” program to include its prepaid customers. Earlier today, AT&T prepaid customers received a text message letting them know that their plan now includes sponsored data. Even those who are using the two cheaper prepaid AT&T plans are automatically able to access sponsored data. Prior to today’s announcement, the program used to be exclusive for postpaid customers.
The program gives users the chance to stream content from AT&T’s select partners without worrying about losing MBs for what they viewed or listened to. Since the content is from the carrier’s partners, streaming won’t affect their data cap.
Although this may come as an advantage to AT&T’s subscribers, it raises an issue with net neutrality. This is because the program gives preference to AT&T’s select partners over its competing apps and companies. Since users can access these without worrying about their data cap, they are more likely to use these over other services.
And when checking out the services available under AT&T’s sponsored data program, this is currently limited to DirecTV, Fullscreen, and U-verse. These are all three video services owned by AT&T. This means that AT&T has more control over the content that their subscribers can access, especially those who want to stream from a free service. Ever since the FCC decided to repeal net neutrality rules, AT&T is free to offer such services.
Are you an AT&T prepaid customer? Did you receive a text earlier already?
Source: The Verge