Zero-rating is a service offered by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) where certain services are free of charge and the transferred data volume is not counted towards the total volume. The user therefore does not have to pay attention to the contractually agreed total volume. Such zero-rating services can be streaming services such as live streaming, audio or video streaming
. Zero-rating is intended to make new and interesting services palatable to the customer,
toincrease customer loyalty
, toacquire new customers, to promote own affiliate programs or to promote certain websites. In developing countries, which are primarily dependent on mobile communications
, the aim is tobring the Internet closer to users.
The zero-rating service is viewed extremely critically by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), many network operators and service providers. It violates net neutrality, favors the service provider's offerings, dilutes pricing, and often prevents encryption ofdata.