Is Internet Provider’s “Zero Rating’ Really a Revenue Enhancer

The fight in the U.S. over net neutrality is far from over with each side claiming they are right.

In the meantime, the E.U. has required net neutrality since 2016 but has allowed individual countries to figure out how to implement it.  Some have implemented it by not doing anything, which gives us an opportunity to compare the effects.

In the U.S., the side against zero-rating (the opposite of net neutrality), which allows a carrier to exempt particular content from data usage fees – typically their own or from a third party that paid the carrier a lot of money – says that it is just a way for carriers to make people use a service that makes them more money, but, apparently, it is worse than that.

Non-profit studied wireless data prices in 30 European countries and found that the cost of wireless data plans were significantly more expensive in countries that didn’t implement net neutrality and allowed zero-rating.

According to the study, those countries that implemented net neutrality and did not allow zero-rating saw a double digit price decline in wireless data prices over a one year period, while countries that did the opposite saw a price increase.

Again, according to the study, carriers that allowed zero-rating jacked up prices to make their content (the zero-rated content) seem cheaper by comparison.

In the U.S. the fight over net neutrality is in the courts at this point, so we probably won’t know the outcome for years.

What does seem to be the case is that U.S. consumers already pay way more for wireless data than do their European counterparts and that is not likely to improve anytime soon.  Source: Motherboard.



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