The FCC Has ‘Serious Concerns’ About DirecTV Now

Family watching TV and eating popcornU.S. Federal Communications Commission today told AT&T it has “serious concerns” about DirecTV Now and whether rivals will be able to compete with the online video service that will cost $35 a month and demanded that AT&T reply before November 21st 2016.

The FCC wireless telecommunications bureau told AT&T the owners of DirecTV Now in a letter on Thursday AT&T’s DirecTV service and its zero-rated service “may obstruct competition and harm consumers” because it could be too expensive for rivals not affiliated with AT&T to offer data programs to compete. The offerings may violate the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules, the government said in the letter.

To cut this down into non legal terms AT&T is giving special treatment to their service. Yet if you use a non AT&T service you will fave high overage fees.

The letter cites AT&T’s Sept. 7 announcement that AT&T would not count DirecTV Now data usage against data caps, which would zero rate DirecTV for AT&T Mobility subs even if they don’t subscribe to DirecTV satellite service.

The online video service will start at $35 per month, including unlimited mobile streaming, and target viewers not currently subscribed to DirecTV, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson announced last month.

This letter should not delay the service but could have effects on the zero rating that AT&T plans to give DirecTV Now.

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