AT&T offers developers the chance to pay for mobile data usage

Net neutrality supporters won't like this, but AT&T (T +0.3%) shareholders might feel differently: AT&T is launching Sponsored Data, a solution that allows companies to subsidize usage of their apps/services, and there by prevent them from counting against a user's data consumption.

AT&T, which has previously suggested it would try to get developers of traffic-hogging apps to help pay for their usage, says Sponsored Data could be used not only by app developers, but by businesses looking to pay for employee data access.

The WSJ reported in May ESPN has held talks with at least one top carrier about subsidizing content access. The fact many net neutrality rules only apply to wireline networks, together with AT&T's insistence download speeds will be the same for sponsored and non-sponsored data, should allow the service to pass legal muster.

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