Coming under a bit of heat after announcing its Sponsored Data program, AT&T has now come out trying to defend it. It is basically saying that it is quite confident that the scheme will pretty much survive the FCC‘s investigation unscathed.
At CES 2014, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler publicly said that the commission will look deeper into AT&T’s Sponsored Data scheme. It wants to find out if such an arrangement between a mobile carrier and some companies will screw up the Internet. In particular, it will try to see if there is basis for concerns that this will encourage anti-competitive abuses that will benefit companies that have more cash to throw around.
AT&T’s executive VP of External and Legislative Affairs Jim Ciccioni doesn’t think so. He claims that the program was made with its customers in mind, though one could probably wonder who the carrier’s real customers are. Furthermore, he says that the program is purely voluntary and that the company has to make the offer to pay for their customers’ surfing costs, not AT&T. They even made the video below to explain in layman’s terms what Sponsored Data is all about.
Of course, that probably won’t satisfy a lot of those raising questions about the program. Here it is being portrayed as a way for companies in the health and wellness industry to spread educational materials without charging users though it doesn’t really allay concerns. Lines have already been drawn and some believe that, as long as AT&T spins it as something that will save consumers some dollars, the FCC will be likely to buy it as well.
VIA: Droid Life