Many Open Sponsored Data Investigations Closed By The FCC

The U.S. Federal Communication Commission has formally dropped all investigations into allegations of sponsored data. Trump's administration staffed the FCC with agents who made no secret of their opposition to net neutrality rules in their current form, and the FCC, under its new management, has made good on the word of its staffers by dropping the investigations about net neutrality against Verizon and AT&T, dropping an investigation into T-Mobile's Binge On, and an investigation into Comcast's Stream TV service option. All of these investigations were opened during the Obama administration under recently departed FCC head Tom Wheeler.

The investigation into T-Mobile's Binge On was opened due to allegations that the service actually throttled data speeds on supported video providers' network communications, which meant that the quality drop went hand in hand with a drop in data speed that not only could end up showing some users a loading screen when they would otherwise be watching a video, but stood in apparent violation of net neutrality principles. The Un-Carrier's Music Freedom program was somewhat similar, but raised less of an alarm because there was no drop in quality or speed, only free data. The investigations into AT&T and Verizon's practices largely mirrored one another, with both companies exempting certain services and sites from users' data caps. Comcast's Stream TV, meanwhile, was being investigated because the Comcast-owned service was excluded from customers' data caps on internet plans.

While these are the only net neutrality related cases being officially dismissed at the moment, it's quite clear that Trump's FCC, under new chairman Ajit Pai, will be far more relaxed about net neutrality if they choose to have a hand in enforcing it at all. United States law is somewhat ambiguous on the subject of net neutrality and how it should be enforced, and constant battles over how internet service providers and other such entities should be classified, which would change who they answer to over such matters, has not helped to make things any more clear. It should be noted that even under Tom Wheeler, the enforcement of net neutrality was often ambiguous, and was a common subject of debate.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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