T-Mobile Exempting 'Pokemon Go' Data on Network, Sparking Concerns About Access

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Media Outlet: ABC News

Joshua Stager was quoted in ABC News about T-Mobile exempting Pokemon Go data on network:

But some experts don’t share his enthusiasm for the process known as “zero-rating” -– or exempting select services from counting against customers’ data caps.
While the exemption may appear to be a boon for customers, critics fear that it will harm consumer choice over the long run.
“When they say XYZ service is exempt from your data cap, we’ve seen that it changes consumer behavior,” said Josh Stager, Policy Counsel at the Open Technology Institute, told ABC News. “Consumers are going to gravitate to the one that doesn’t count.”
Stager said that he fears that this will make it harder for new apps and internet services to enter the market and challenge the popularity of established ones.
“What we’re really worried about are online startups –- will this create a new barrier to entry for them? Will they have to pay to get zero-rated?” he said.
For Stager, this changes a traditional concept of the internet -– that all services are treated equally. And this, he believes, could allow service providers to act “sort of like the gatekeepers on the internet.”

In the News:

Joshua Stager is policy counsel and government affairs lead at the Open Technology Institute, specializing in telecommunications law and policy.