There's some great news if you're an Optus customer. Starting from May 2nd, they will be zero-rating a number of online streaming services for their prepaid customers, allowing them to listen to as much music as they want without racking up a heavy data bill.
Optus is making this available to new and current customers on My Prepaid Ultimate, My Prepaid Daily Plus, and other selected plans. Virtually all the big streaming names are present: Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, and the Gold Coast-based Guvera. It's not strictly limited to music either, as iHeartRadio is also included.
Noticeably absent is Apple Music. According to Gizmodo Australia, this is possibly because Cupertino already has a strong partnership with rival network Telstra.
The practice of zero-rating traffic is a deeply controversial one. Previous attempts to introduce it, like Facebook's Free Basics program in India, have met fierce resistance. Critics argue that it gives incumbents with deep pockets an unfair competitive advantage, and undermines network neutrality. Whether this move from Optus will attract the same level of opposition remains to be seen.