This piece was originally published in ProMarket.
Why ban competitive offers in the online world when they’re allowed offline? Big tech wants plain vanilla broadband pricing because it forecloses platform competition.
In the 1950s, the European Economic Community decided that trade of food, medicines, books, and wheelchairs would not be taxed, as they were “essential” items after World War II. This lack of tax came to be known as zero rating.
That meaning carries through today with the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Video Connect program, which emerged during the pandemic so that some 3 million US veterans could meet with caregivers via computer, tablet, or mobile device without data charges. Similar zero rated e-government and public interest programs are considered to help Americans find housing (Department of Housing and Urban Development); workforce training or credentialing via state and federal workforce sites; to apply for benefits and monitor health (Department of Health and Human Services and local health departments); and access early learning and child development services (Department of Education).