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FCC Questions T-Mobile, AT&T, Comcast About Free Data Programs

Not an investigation, just a request for more details.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission has sent letters to T-Mobile, AT&T and Comcast asking for information on programs that allow their customers to stream music, videos or other content without having it count toward their data cap.

The inquiry is a big deal. Net neutrality advocates argue that these programs violate the commission’s rules, giving a distinct competitive advantage to the apps and services that they let customers use data-free; upstarts, they argue, will always fail in comparison. The FCC avoided directly addressing this issue when it established its new net neutrality rules earlier this year, but today’s inquiry suggests that it shares some of these competitive concerns.

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