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T-Mobile’s Zero-Rating of Pokémon GO Raises Questions for the Open Internet

Beginning yesterday, T-Mobile is offering a limited-time promotion tied to the wildly popular augmented reality game Pokémon GO, in which the mobile data used by the game will not count toward a customer’s data cap. This is yet another form of zero-rating, a practice that can raise serious concerns about competition policy, net neutrality, and consumer choice. Amidst a global Poké-craze, we shouldn’t lose sight of what this may portend for the future of the open internet. So we want to take the opportunity to raise a number of questions about this promotion which would also be important to answer for any other zero-rating service proposal. Before concluding anything about this promotion or any similar plans that may be proposed, it is important to better understand their potential dangers and benefits.

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With Data Caps on the Rise, the FCC Must Consider Competitive Implications

Many people have been “cutting the cord”–cancelling their cable TV subscriptions–and watching more video online. Usually, however, their broadband provider is the same company that used to be their TV provider. Cord-cutters tend to use broadband more than non-cord-cutters, so large cable companies that want cord-cutters to start paying them more again have hit on a solution: just charge more for broadband.

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Podcast

PK In The Know Podcast: Net Neutrality in the Appropriations Bill

PK In The Know Podcast: Net Neutrality in the Appropriations Bill

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Hey T-Mobile: 2007 Called and it Wants its Net Neutrality Complaint Back

Yesterday, the website TmoNews broke the story that T-Mobile is planning on throttling customers who use bittorrent on their wireless connections. The internal T-Mobile memo explains that these users will be throttled because their heavy use is “abusing” the network.

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Putting the Open Internet Transparency Rule to the Test

Today Public Knowledge sent letters to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon as the first step in the process of filing open internet complaints against each of them at the FCC. The letters address violations of the FCC’s transparency requirements, which are the only part of the open internet rules that survived court challenge.

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