HITS Daily Double

AT&T concept: content provider covers data usage

RELIEF FROM DATA CHARGES? AT&T is considering a system in which data-gobbling service providers (e.g., Pandora, YouTube, AccuRadio) would cover their users' mobile data costs, the Wall Street Journal reports. John Donovan, the executive responsible for AT&T's network and technology, compared the idea to a toll-free phone number while speaking to media at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. "It'd be like freight included," he offered. "What they're saying is, why don't we go create new revenue streams that don't exist today and find a way to split them." It remains to be seen, however, whether content providers will accept the concept should AT&T choose to run with it, and some say it raises net neutrality problems. (2/29a)