AT&T lied about California’s net neutrality law yesterday when it claimed the law requires AT&T to stop providing “free data” to mobile customers.
In reality, the California law allows AT&T to continue zero-rating HBO Max, its own video service, as long as it exempts all competing video services from data caps without charging the other video providers. But instead of zero-rating all video without collecting payments from its competitors in the online-video business, AT&T decided it would rather not exempt anything at all.
AT&T has the right to make their entire mobile service free. What they can’t do is favor their own apps or services over a competitor’s. It’s not at all surprising they flat out lied; they’ve been throwing a tantrum for weeks over California’s net neutrality law now that they’ve lost their lawsuit. Of course, if AT&T spent half as much time improving their service as they do lying about net neutrality their subscribers might actually be able to watch videos.