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AT&T lies about Calif. net neutrality law, claiming it bans “free data”

"California's net neutrality law doesn't ban all zero-rating; it bans anti-competitive forms of zero-rating," Stanford law professor Barbara van Schewick, who supported California in its court defense of the net neutrality law, told Ars today. "The law does ban AT&T's anti-competitive scheme where it counts almost everything people do on the Internet, including watching Twitch, Netflix, and their home security cameras, against users' data caps, but doesn't count the data from AT&T's own video services."
 
The law "does not ban AT&T from launching a program where it zero-rates all online video or all video chat/conferencing calls—which might be hugely popular in this pandemic. In that case, the California attorney general would retain the right to ensure such programs are actually open to all applications," van Schewick told us.
 
AT&T could also use zero-rating in different ways to help customers, van Schewick said. For example, AT&T would be allowed to let customers use unlimited data between 12 am and 6 am "when networks aren't busy and not count that data against users' caps," to help users back up their data and download videos and podcasts, she said.