AT&T launched its DirecTV Now streaming service this week, allowing customers to view cable channels online at will. That's all well and good except AT&T is offering data exemption for the service, giving it what some might call an unfair leg up over rival services like those from Dish and Sony.
Without net neutrality laws preventing it from doing so, the advantage -- known as "zero rating" -- could mean AT&T and potentially other ISP giants take over the cable streaming market, reducing competition and likely value as well.
At present, the FCC judges matters such as this as they come up, so it's possible it will change; already it's sent a letter to the company expressing its "serious concerns" over harming competition. Time will tell if anything more comes of it, but it seems less likely with President-elect Trump's appointment of two opponents to the FCC's current workings: economist and former telecom consultant Jeffrey Eisenach and professor and former Sprint lobbyist Mark Jamison.