Back in late 2015, the FCC said that it wanted to meet with T-Mobile regarding Binge On, and the agency later investigated AT&T and Verizon’s zero-rated services, too. Fast-forward to today and those investigations have come to a close.
The FCC today said that it has put an end into its investigation into the carriers’ zero-rating programs. Commissioner Michael O’Rielly issued an official statement on the situation, saying that carriers can continue developing their services without worrying about the FCC stepping in.
Here’s O’Rielly’s full statement:
“Today, the Commission finally puts an end to the past Commission’s zero-rating inquiries and recommits to permissionless innovation. While this is just a first step, these companies, and others, can now safely invest in and introduce highly popular products and services without fear of Commission intervention based on newly invented legal theories.”
T-Mobile’s zero-rating services never seemed to be in much danger from the FCC. Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler describing Binge On as “pro competition and pro innovation” as well as “highly innovative and highly competitive,” and the FCC described a meeting with T-Mobile about Binge On as “productive.” Still, I’m sure that T-Mo and other companies are pleased that the FCC is ending its investigations and telling them that they can continue to develop their services.
New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai also announced today that the agency is ending its investigation into wireless carriers’ free data programs.