A lack of net neutrality rules can have real-world consequences on wireless data prices, according to a new study by Epicenter.works.
The new data from dozens of countries in the European Union suggest that when a country allows zero-rating programs, it ends up seeing an increase in wireless prices over time.
Zero-rating programs (like AT not counting DirecTV toward a customer’s data usage) can allow people to use specific apps and services without the data used going toward their monthly data caps.
At face, it looks like a pretty solid deal for consumers, but in the long run, critics of the programs have suggested that they could end up having anti-competitive effects.
This multi-year study by Epicenter.works found that countries that allow these programs end up seeing higher costs for wireless data down the road.
These programs were explicitly prohibited in the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order in 2015, which also required internet service providers to abstain from blocking or throttling consumer internet service.