It means even though HBO Max, which is operated by ATT subsidiary WarnerMedia, won’t use up data on ATT mobile customers’ data plans, other streaming services like Disney Plus and Netflix will.
ATT is able to do this thanks to the Federal Communication Commission’s rollback of net neutrality protections that prohibited companies from, among other things, giving their own data streams preferential treatment.
The letter follows ATT’s recent confirmation to The Verge that HBO Max data wouldn’t count toward ATT’s mobile data caps.
Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CO) have written a letter to ATT CEO Randall Stephenson criticizing the company’s decision to exempt HBO Max streaming data from counting toward ATT mobile customers’ data caps.
But HBO Max is ultimately paying ATT Mobility for the data used, meaning ATT is essentially paying itself for the exemption and giving its customers a free perk that could give HBO Max an edge over the competition.