T-Mobile claims it “mobile optimized” or “downgraded” YouTube streams
When a company acknowledges a “less flattering” way of addressing spats with another company, you’re likely to raise an eyebrow or two — no more, though. T-Mobile subscribers using the eyes below their brows to browse their YouTube subscriptions might have noticed their viewing on the go stuck at 480p.
YouTube used the word “throttling” in its reading of the act to T-Mobile via the Wall Street Journal. It’s not one of the 24 video service partners that signed on with T-Mobile’s Binge On program that zero-rates data fees for end users while they watch optimized videos.
T-Mobile has responded in kind by saying that it’s doing whatever it’s doing to YouTube streams, but it’s not throttling. At least, that’s what one spokesperson said.
Using the term “throttle” is misleading. 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.
For the FCC and its supportive stance on net neutrality, throttling is a no-go. The commission, though, also needs to figure out how it stands on having third parties pay for bandwidth. The sidecar ramifications can get tricky if not managed properly.