FCC to Keep a Close Eye on AT&T’s New Data Plan

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AT&T’s (NYSE:T) recently announced “sponsored data” plan has already drawn criticism from those who believe it represents a threat to the net neutrality standards that were put in place with the formation of the Internet to keep the Web a free and fair place for everyone. Now, the Federal Communications Commission is saying that while it doesn’t oppose the concept outright, the organization will be keeping a close eye on AT&T as it unrolls the option during the first quarter.

“It is not the sort of thing that should be prohibited out of hand,” FCC Chair Tom Wheeler said, per Re/code. “But, again, history instructs us that not all new proposals have been benign. There has to be some ability on the part of government to oversee, to assess, and, if warranted, to intervene.”

The plan will allow companies to pay to take on the data charges their websites and apps use, rather than charging consumers for accessing their content. If a company purchases a sponsored data plan from AT&T, then using that company’s app or site won’t pop up on your monthly wireless bill.

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