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Despite the fact that many Net Neutrality advocates speak against the practice, the idea of sponsored data seems to be gaining traction. For those that aren’t aware, sponsored data means an ISP or carrier lets its users go to a web-based service (or site) without affecting any data caps in place, with the service/site being the one who pays for the privilege. AT&T has testing out such a program for a while now, but it seems Verizon is getting ready to test out a sponsored data program as well.

The new program was confirmed to Re/Code by Verizon Executive VP Marni Walden, who said they would roll out such a program in a “larger commercial way” in the first quarter of 2016. At least initially, the program will be limited to just a small number of partners but Verizon will open the door to more sponsors next year sometime.

If you’re wondering how this differs from T-Mobile’s approach, T-Mobile lets users access certain music and video services without taking away from data, but T-Mobile foots the bill and isn’t profiting directly from this control. T-Mobile also says just about any music or video service can get in on the program if they contact T-Mobile and follow the steps necessary to enable it.

For Verizon customers looking for more data without having to pay for it, such a program could really make a difference. But should carriers have this much power over what services/sites its customers are utilizing? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

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