YouTube accuses T-Mobile of degrading its streaming video

Last month, T-Mobile announced Binge On, a scheme that offers to give the carrier’s users unlimited access to streaming video that won’t count against their data plans – so long as they’re cool with down-sampled resolutions and decreased bandwidth. The service only covered streaming video from select providers, and if users didn’t want to live with those trade-offs, they were always free to opt out – or so we thought. Now YouTube is alleging that T-Mobile is throttling its video connections to the carrier’s users, even though YouTube is not among the services signed up to be a part of Binge On.

YouTube acknowledges that “reducing data charges can be good for users,” before going on to clarify, “but it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent.”

Unfortunately, it’s not clear from this report exactly what kind of throttling YouTube claims that T-Mobile is engaged in, and we’ve yet to see any evidence to back these allegations up. Did T-Mobile secretly add YouTube to Binge On without express authorization? Is it throttling YouTube connections for all T-Mobile users, regardless of whether or not they’re using Binge On? These are important details, and while we’re hearing about all this in the context of Binge On, we’re missing some critical info.

With the FCC taking a closer look at sponsored data and what that means for net neutrality, we’re hopeful that someone gets to the bottom of what’s going on here, and soon.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!