FCC taking hard look at ‘free’ data for video services

"Earlier this year, Stanford Law Professor Barbara van Schewick wrote a report examining T-Mobile’s Binge On zero-rated program, which offers “unlimited” streaming of content from certain providers, like Netflix, Hulu and HBO.

In the report, van Schewick concluded that despite T-Mobile’s assurances that Binge On is open to any legal streaming provider at no cost, significant technical barriers to entry still work to discriminate against smaller streaming services.

Many smaller video providers “will have to invest time and resources to adapt their service to T-Mobile’s systems. The smaller the provider, the longer it will likely take for T-Mobile to get to it,” van Schewick wrote.

“Binge On allows some providers to join easily and creates lasting barriers for others, especially small players, non-commercial providers and start-ups. As such, the program harms competition, user choice, free expression and innovation,” she added."