This is terrible, just terrible. This could be the worst thing to happen to small web startups since the invention of patent trolling. Ars Technica explains how companies will now be paying AT&T to be exempt from the data caps their customers are already paying for.
AT&T today confirmed a long-rumored plan to monetize wireless data caps by charging content providers for the right to serve up video and other media without chewing up consumers’ monthly data limits.
If this takes off, what do you think the chances are that customers will want to use any service that would affect their data plan? Hope you new web services have really deep pockets right up front! But of course AT&T disagrees:
AT&T disputed the notion that Sponsored Data is bad for startups, saying that “small providers could see great benefit from this model as they seek to gain the attention of new customers and increase exposure to their offerings.”
Translation from marketing speak – “That’s a nice web service you got there. It would be a shame if something happened to it.”