Earlier this month I was pleased to present my paper on zero rating co-authored with Silvia Elaluf Calderwood of the London School of Economics at the annual TPRC and fhi360, a leading international development organization focused on improving outcomes in the world’s poorest countries. The research distilled the 5 essential charges against zero rating and tested them in the three countries where zero rating has been banned. The five purported harms are
- The operator that offers zero rating will win market share.
- The zero rated service win market share.
- The presence of zero rating precludes the emergence of new applications and services.
- Users do not go to non- zero rated content. If Facebook is free, they don’t venture beyond it.
- Operators that zero rate their own content foreclose other content.
For more resources on zero rating and mobile in developing countries, here are some further articles.
On mobile broadband and networks:
Breathtaking progress with wireless networks (Richard Bennett 3/24/2015)
Innovations in mobile broadband pricing (Daniel Lyons 3/18/2015)
Zero rating: Who bears the cost of bans? (Roslyn Layton 8/19/2015)
Zero rating: Narrowing the digital divide in the mobile broadband market (Daniel Lyons 1/12/2015)
On mobile networks and the developing world:
IGF highlights how developing countries use zero rating programs to drive Internet adoption (Roslyn Layton 9/4/2014)
In Chile, net neutrality widens the digital divide (Daniel Lyons 6/2/2014)
What mobile broadband in Africa can teach America about fiber to the home (Roslyn Layton 12/26/2013)
Some good news about Africa: The amazing mobile Internet (Jeff Eisenach and Evelyn Smith 5/15/2015)