Mobile Future

Consumer Friendly Options Potentially Limited Under Title II

Tomorrow, the FCC will vote on new net neutrality rules that will reclassify broadband under Title II of the Communications Act.  As these drastic changes are adopted, we remain mindful of the harms that utility-style regulation may have on wireless services and consumers.

One consumer-friendly option offered by almost 45% of wireless providers around the world, that’s at risk from new net neutrality rules, waives mobile data caps for certain services and applications.  Called zero rating, these plans help low-income users access the Internet through a mobile device without incurring data charges.

Programs like these, that allow wireless providers to offer a diverse array of service plan options, are making great strides to connecting underserved consumers to the myriad benefits of Internet access.  A recent paper by Darrell West for the Brookings Institute shows that zero rating is positive for consumers and helps expand digital access.  Under Title II, these beneficial programs face even higher regulatory hurdles – to the detriment of consumers and the mobile future.

Check out the report, here.