Content providers to pay for data usage?

John Moe Feb 28, 2012

Think of it like an 800 number, says AT&T executive John Donovan, speculating that in the near future, apps could be made that would pay for the cost of the data you use while you’re on them. So you subscribe to, say, a sports app that shows you highlights and live scores over a data network. Maybe you pay up front for the app, maybe you subscribe, maybe the app is just packed with ads. But then the app maker makes payments to AT&T for what you’re watching and you don’t have to mess with that increasingly stingy data limit.

But the Wall Street Journal reports:

Some consumer advocates reacted with dismay, arguing that AT&T could stifle competition and shift the playing field toward well-heeled app developers and content providers that have the financial capacity to subsidize mobile customers’ data use.

“You have to raise all this additional capital to reach the customer or alternatively you have to compete with well-established players who can afford to pay,” said Harold Feld, legal director for consumer group Public Knowledge.

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