One of the features of AT&T’s new DirecTV Now streaming TV service is that using the service won’t count against AT&T wireless users’ data caps. AT&T also exempts mobile app usage for regular DirecTV customers on its wireless network. Now, the FCC says that feature violates net neutrality rules.
Allowing certain services to not count against data caps on mobile or wired internet connections is known as zero-rating, and it’s controversial amongst internet advocates who argue that the plans violate net neutrality laws. The FCC said it would look into zero-rating a few months ago in order to figure out if that is indeed the case. In some cases, the difference between network and content types mean that an operator isn’t violating net neutrality rules as they exist now.