With the announcement today of AT&T’s sponsored data program, we’ve seen the end of net neutrality when it comes to their wireless customers. Sure, the content providers are going to be the ones footing the bill, so consumers probably won’t care, at least until they can’t do much of anything but see the content that providers paid to be carried over the network.
Maybe it’ll never come to that, but as a content provider myself, one who is never going to able pay to make sure my websites are being provided to you without hitting your data caps, I worry about the small guys. I worry that small internet sites without the resources of ESPN or Yahoo! will become the cable access channels of the internet. Out there plugging away, with no hope of any one ever finding us.
Or maybe I’m overreacting. What do you think, where do you see this idea of sponsored content winding up in the next 5 years?