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Stephen Desaulniers | CNBC

AT&T will not exempt viewership of its HBO Max streaming service from data caps after a federal court docket upheld California’s net neutrality law, the corporate mentioned in a press release Wednesday.

The firm knowledgeable prospects that it could not supply “Data Free TV” on its video apps starting March 25, in accordance with a duplicate of the client discover obtained by CNBC. That means prospects have to be related to WiFi to keep away from having their streaming count toward their whole data caps. The change will prolong past California, since, AT&T mentioned, “the Internet does not recognize state borders.”

The announcement highlights a key concern the business has with state actions impacting the web sector. Much like with digital privateness legal guidelines, which at the moment solely exist in a pair states, the tech business fears a patchwork of state legal guidelines will make it tougher to function, particularly for smaller gamers.

“A state-by-state approach to ‘net neutrality’ is unworkable,” AT&T mentioned in a press release saying the data cap change. “A patchwork of state regulations, many of them overly restrictive, creates roadblocks to creative and pro-consumer solutions.”

Net neutrality is the concept that web service suppliers ought to act neutrally toward the content material they host, and abstain from dashing or throttling supply speeds for sure websites or providers. Under the California law, which a federal judge said last month could legally be enforced, AT&T mentioned it isn’t allowed to “sponsor” data for patrons who additionally use its wi-fi providers.

California’s net neutrality law got here within the wake of the Trump administration’s resolution to undo an Obama-era net neutrality rule on the Federal Communications Commission. The previous rule put in the precept of net neutrality by reinterpreting Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 in order that web service suppliers could be thought-about frequent carriers topic to better regulation.

AT&T mentioned it has “long been committed to the principles of an open Internet” and urged Congress to enact federal legal guidelines to make it simple and inexpensive for Americans to entry the web “while providing clear, consistent, and permanent net neutrality rules for everyone to follow.”

-CNBC’s Steve Kopack contributed to this report.

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