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FCC Lobbied To Block Free Mobile Data For Consumers

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is being heavily lobbied to ensure mobile providers do not give consumers free data programs.

For mobile users, this would mean consumers would have to pay the same rate for all data that comes through their device, including advertising, which can “consume up to half of the data on your mobile broadband bill.”

The reason the FCC is being lobbied so heavily is interesting, reports the American Enterprise Institute.

Google and Facebook, which comprise over 50 percent of the market for mobile advertising on smartphones, have business models that revolve around monetizing ads, reports US News & World Report. It is therefore in their best interest to ensure that mobile companies are not giving away free data.

By allowing free data, the FCC could provide a new pathway, void of Google or Facebook, to reach consumers on their cellular devices. In doing so, the FCC would “shift ad dollars away from those incumbents and create competition in the online advertising space,” and provide smaller companies “the opportunity to get their products and content out to their desired demographics without a big price tag,” reports US News & World Report.

Google currently tracks 92 out of 100 of the top destinations on the web. Allowing smaller players into the market means consumers can worry less that their web activity is being monitored.

Consumers are downloading ad blockers at increasing rates and are expressing their discontent with the vast proliferation of ads on their mobile platforms.

Expert in Internet Economics and Policy, Ph.D Roslyn Layton, says the FCC should not be formulating policy that benefits “a few major companies,” but rather it should focus on “consumer demand and the potential for increased competition in a major market inform their thinking on free data.”

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