Cost-sharing arrangement might help publishers engage consumers wary of high mobile data usage

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Issue Date: 
Feb 28 2012 - 11:35am

From Issue:

Think of it as "free shipping," or a toll-free phone number.

Companies that provide video, audio, and gaming mobile content have been grappling with the idea that consumers might be reluctant to access high-bandwidth mobile content for fear violating monthly limits and incurring high charges. Now, AT&T is saying they may introduce a system in which the provider of the mobile service (e.g. Pandora, YouTube, AccuRadio) would cover the data cost. The Wall Street Journal reported no response from content providers, so it's not clear if AT&T would even find any takers.

AT&T spokesman John Donovan told the paper, "What they're saying is, why don't we go create new revenue streams that don't exist today and find a way to split them." 

What's also unclear is whether such a system might have "net neutrality" implications. "Some consumer advocates reacted with dismay, arguing that AT&T could stifle competition and shift the playing field toward well-heeled app developers and content providers that have the financial capacity to subsidize mobile customers' data use," writes the paper. 

Read more here.

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I have to wonder why they are

I have to wonder why they are just not grappling with that idea. I know a lot of people who will not even consider using it because of what it might do to their monthly bill. It will be interesting to see how this all works our.

Old 'Net Neutrality' issue resurfaces.

So an old 'net neugrality' issue does resurface. AT&T did talk about this same thing as the 'net neutrality' proceeding was underway at the FCC a few years back.

But the FCC wisely didn't touch this issue, but said all providers, large or small, must be treated equally. In fact, it was probably this type of scenario that led to the net neutrality rules in my opinion.

But look deeper, and it looks like they want to knock out the smaller webcasters, smaller video providers, and other things out there that also consume bamdwidth, and thus leave only the larger players we know of in the field as those that would be accessible via smartphone wireless data plans. That would kill off a lot of OTA broadcasters who are also streaming online, and create extra costs for them, so many would probably either go offline, or prohibit their streams from going to mobile devices.

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