As mobile carriers ramp up bribery program, Internet coalition says no to "zero rating"


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Tumblr has not signed this letter @doctorow


Also that letter is the version from March. This is May.


How similar is this to the role of Android and Chrome OS? If phones can be made cheaper by passively subsidizing the OS (giving it away for free), the vulnerable world will be at the hands of the OS’s creators and forced to use what they implement, tolerate what sucks, and work around what’s not commercially viable.

I’m a total Google mark, but this is a slippery slope for them. Seeing them in court in Europe is not surprising.


Let me get this straight. Companies want to provide for free something that they would normally charge for, and that’s a bad thing?


You didn’t get it straight.


Here’s an analogy.

You pay a company to rent a car. You’re allowed to go wherever you want in that car, but you’re not allowed to carry more than a certain total amount of weight in that car over a month’s time.

You have no idea why they put that restriction in effect, because, while it does have a small effect on the wear and tear on the car, it’s pretty negligible.

You try to get them to drop this ridiculous requirement, but they won’t do so, because there overage fees that they can charge people for going over their weight limit make them lots of money.

Now, though, they say, “Well, you can carry whatever weight you want — as long as it’s stuff you bought from Wal-Mart.” You don’t like Wal-Mart; you want to buy good-quality, local goods. But you can’t afford the overage fees, and so you (and everyone else) shop at Wal-Mart, and their local competition goes out of business, because they can’t afford to bribe the rental company to exempt them.

It’s not about getting something for free; it’s about charging exorbitant fees for something that costs them almost nothing, and exempting those who can pay, creating an unfair playing field for the smaller companies that can’t get “Zero Rated”.


Zero-rating, another delightful linguistic innovation from the department of truth


I thought T-mobile wasn’t charging the companies that are part of its zero-rating system? Or am I just conveniently ignoring the truth because I enjoy being able to listen to Spotify as much as I like without fear of exceeding my cap?

I understand the content is compressed and the quality is reduced but that’s not something I mind or even notice in the slightest.


Maybe the issue is more subtle than just whether content producers have to pay to participate. I suspect that’s the concern. If you give a pass to carriers to alter network data in a way you like, that will give them the leverage they need to alter data in a way you don’t like someday.


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