Verizon is planning to bring free sponsored data to the masses according to a scoop from Re/code which found out the testimg phase is just days away.
In an interview with the site, Verizon VP Marni Walden revealed the network is working with a few partners during the testing phase and intends to make the feature available to all comers next year.
“The capabilities we’ve built allow us to break down any byte that is carried across our network and have all or a portion of that sponsored,” Walden told Recode. “We’ll be out in a larger commercial way in the first quarter of 2016.”
Sponosored data will allow Verizon customers to consume certain content without having it count against their monthly plan. AT&T has been working on a similar feature for years but it’s still not ready for the public.
The feature works similar to toll-free calling thats been around for years. Internet neutrality advocates have been leery of sponsored data though, as it gives company’s with deep pockets a competitive advantage on the open web.