Verizon rolled out an update to Go90 mobile content streaming app on Jan. 29. If you’re like most folks, you didn’t read much about the update. But one thing stands out.
Near the top of the description of what’s new about the app is this little nugget:
“Search for content you love and find exclusives only available on Go90. Verizon Wireless customers stream any video over LTE without it counting against your data plan.”
That’s right. You can use Go90 to stream shows over Verizon’s LTE network without it counting against your data total. And since Verizon no longer offers unlimited data, this is fantastic, right?
Well … maybe.
On its face, it seems great. What could be bad about being able to stream all your favorite content without using up all your data?
But Lifehacker calls it a “trap.” The problem, Lifehacker says, is that Verizon is using its status as a carrier to give itself an unfair leg up on the competition by allowing one of its own products to use Verizon’s network without counting against data limits, while other services do count against data limits. After all, why would you use a service that uses up your data when you could use one that doesn’t and save your data for other things?
Lifehacker is quick to point out that this is not a harbinger of any sort of Internet apocalypse. Rather, it’s a way in which Verizon is using capped data plans to “pick winners and losers on the Internet.”