Rainbow PUSH Talks Up Binge On - Broadcasting & Cable

Rainbow PUSH Talks Up Binge On

Suggests zero rating plans can be boon to users
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Rainbow PUSH gave T-Mobile a carefully worded shout-out for expanding its Binge On zero rating plan to include more free video.

T-Mobile said last week it was adding Univision and Univision Noticias, among others, to the video services that won't count toward a sub's broadband usage totals.

The FCC has been investigating zero rating plans under its Open Internet general conduct standard, meant to allow it to take a case-by-case look at online business models for potential anticompetitive conduct.

But Rainbow Push said Binge On draws "relevant attention" to what it called "the importance of zero-rating and other free data practices that offer direct access to popular online content, while helping consumers balance the expense and penalties associated with normal and heavy data use."

With price being one of the hurdles to greater broadband adoption, and video being one of the most popular uses of the internet, the argument is that services that allow for free video could help drive greater adoption and leave more money in the pockets of those already viewing video online.

“In an increasingly mobile environment, it is our hope that programs, such as Binge On, allow consumers to redirect the data saved on popular websites to more publicly beneficial destinations that help them to find jobs, health care, and educational resources," said Rainbow/PUSH CEO Rev. Jesse Jackson.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has praised Binge On as the kind of innovative and pro-competitive offering the FCC was not trying to discourage with its new Open Internet rules. But that has not prevented the commission from reviewing that and other zero rating plans under the new rules.

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