Delivery of information

There are limits under your wireless plan on how much data you can stream to your iPad over your wireless connection.  As more and more content is available this way,  will you have to pay to increase your gigabyte cap to take advantage?

Yes and no.

Marketers of the new content, such as Netflix or your employer, will be able to provide you that content without it counting towards your download cap.  Not free, but included in the cost of that service.  But at least you don’t have to pay for going over your cap.  Because Netflix or your employer has agreed to “sponsor” (i.e., pay for) some or all of the volume of data you download from their servers. By paying AT&T.

Is it free?  More like “included,” either in your cell phone plan or the cost of Netflix.  With AT&T and Netflix working out between them who gets how much for your usage of the wireless infrastructure.

Do we care who pays for it?  What if Netflix later changes its mind and decides not to sponsor some content?  Are you hooked?

On the other hand, as an employer or service provider, certainly makes sense to provide “free” access to resources you want people to use.

“AT&T Tries to Shift Data Cost to Web Firms,” Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2014 B1 http://on.wsj.com/19QadHz

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