Last week, video streaming service YouTube charged T-Mobile’s recently introduced Bong On program with “throttling” all streaming video down to 480p quality, not just the video of video services participating in their program.
DSLReports says T-Mobile has now fired back at those accusations by saying “throttling” isn’t the proper term to describe how Binge On works.
“Using the term ‘throttle’ is misleading,” a representative tells me in an e-mail. “We aren’t slowing down YouTube or any other site. In fact, because video is optimized for mobile devices, streaming from these sites should be just as fast, if not faster than before. A better phrase is “mobile optimized” or a less flattering “downgraded” is also accurate.”
Binge On is T-Mobile program that allows customers on a qualifying Simple Choice plan to stream unlimited video from 24 partners – including Netflix, HBO NOW, Hulu, and others – without it counting against their monthly data allotment. Google’s YouTube is not a partner in the plan.
A YouTube spokesperson had charged:
“Reducing data charges can be good for users, but it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent.”
T-Mobile notes that any customer can disable Binge On through their account settings. However, that hasn’t prevented the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from wanting to take a closer look at T-Mobile’s service, as well as those of some of its competitors, which allow customers to access certain services without it counting against their data allotments.
The Commission is concerned about T-Mobile’s Binge On program, AT&T’s Sponsored Data deal that allows customers to view sponsored content with no data charges, and Comcast’s Stream TV service that allows viewing of streaming video without counting against a customer’s data cap.
Spokespersons for all three companies expressed a willingness to talk with the commission, and expected their programs would be in line with Net Neutrality rules.