T-Mobile’s Binge On has been mired in controversy since the service was announced back in November: is the promise of free video data really worth a big downgrade in image quality? That was a tricky enough question on its own, but T-Mobile went and further complicated the issue by throttling the video connection of sites like YouTube that weren’t even signed up to be a part of Binge On in the first place. Between that and the opt-out nature of the service, it was quickly turning into a PR nightmare – one only made worse as CEO John Legere took to publicly lambasting his critics. Today Legere issues a new statement, reiterating his support for Binge On and what he believes it offers users, while also offering some semblance of an apology to the likes of the EFF.
Really, though, Legere is sticking to his guns. He continues to defend Binge On as pro-consumer, letting them “stretch their data buckets” by doing them the favor of downgrading video for their mobile devices.
He also continues to characterize Binge On as pro-net-neutrality because of the ability for users to flip it on and off at their discretion – even if it is on by default. Legere says this is for his users’ benefit, as he wouldn’t want them to hear about the service, go to stream a bunch of video, and only later find out that they wasted all that data on content that wasn’t Binge On “optimized.”
As for that apology, it’s of the “I’m sorry you took offense” nature – or, some would say, not an apology at all. That said, he does claim that he respects the work the EFF does to protect consumer rights, and wants to make clear that he’s willing to sit down with the group and discuss their disagreement.