YouTube Accuses T-Mobile of Downgrading All Video With Binge On Program

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YouTube this morning provided a statement to The Wall Street Journal criticizing T-Mobile's recently introduced Binge On program and accusing T-Mobile of throttling all video and not just the video of its Binge On partners.

Launched in November, Binge On is a T-Mobile video service that allows T-Mobile subscribers to watch video from content partners without it counting against customer data plans. The catch is that it uses a proprietary data compression algorithm to stream the video in 480p. While Binge On can be disabled, using the feature requires partner video to be watched in 480p, which T-Mobile calls "DVD quality."


T-Mobile has 24 partners for Binge On, including Netflix, HBO, Sling TV, and more, but YouTube has not signed up to participate. Despite the fact that YouTube is not partnering with T-Mobile, the company says its video streams are still being downgraded to 480p quality, a problem YouTube would like fixed.
YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., said T-Mobile is effectively throttling, or degrading, its traffic. "Reducing data charges can be good for users, but it doesn't justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent," a YouTube spokesman said.
The Internet Association also backed up YouTube's claim, stating that T-Mobile's Binge On service "appears to involve the throttling of all video traffic, across all data plans, regardless of network congestion."

T-Mobile did not address YouTube's complaints when questioned by The Wall Street Journal, instead giving a blanket statement about Binge On. Customers love "free streaming video that never hits their data bucket" and "the quality of their video experience and the complete control they have."

The United States Federal Communications Commission is looking into Binge On along with free data services from AT&T and Comcast. While there is no formal inquiry at this time, the FCC has asked the three companies to answer some questions about their free data practices. YouTube's accusations could further spark the FCC's interest, especially as some consumer advocates believe that programs like Binge On violate net neutrality rules.

Article Link: YouTube Accuses T-Mobile of Downgrading All Video With Binge On Program
 
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ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
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I and many others were of the opinion that T-Mobile choosing to decline to charge for streaming video and audio were not a violation of the purpose of net neutrality, because they offered it to all.

Now I hear about "partners" and evidence of throttling a non-partner, and I have switched camps. This is absolutely a violation of net neutrality.
 

stulaw11

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Jan 25, 2012
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Oh puhlease, you're getting the content for FREE WITH NO DATA USAGE. Cry me a river. And 480p on a few inch screen is more than enough fort he average person to allow everyone to get it for no data cost. You can never please everyone obviously. Turn it off if you dont like it and suck your data.
 

thermodynamic

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May 3, 2009
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I and many others were of the opinion that T-Mobile choosing to decline to charge for streaming video and audio were not a violation of the purpose of net neutrality, because they offered it to all.

Now I hear about "partners" and evidence of throttling a non-partner, and I have switched camps. This is absolutely a violation of net neutrality.
Bingo, but aren't all the camps in the sandbox going to be doing the same things?
 

keifer.street

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2013
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Oh puhlease, you're getting the content for FREE WITH NO DATA USAGE. Cry me a river. And 480p on a few inch screen is more than enough fort he average person to allow everyone to get it for no data cost. You can never please everyone obviously. Turn it off if you dont like it and suck your data.
You clearly didn't read the article. YouTube found evidence that the videos were being throttled, whether the customers have the feature turned on or not.
 
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mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
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Oh puhlease, you're getting the content for FREE WITH NO DATA USAGE. Cry me a river. And 480p on a few inch screen is more than enough fort he average person to allow everyone to get it for no data cost. You can never please everyone obviously. Turn it off if you dont like it and suck your data.
you didn't read the article. YouTube isn't a Binge partner, therefore it's not free or sponsored data -- you're paying for it. thus it shouldn't be throttled. and there's no way to turn it off since it isn't supposed to be throttled anyway.
 

thairish

macrumors newbie
Jun 4, 2015
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You clearly didn't read the article. YouTube found evidence that the videos were being throttled, what are the customers have the feature turned on or not.
No, you didn't. It says that while the service can be turned off, when it is turned on it affects all video not just partner video. This is not the same as being unable to turn it off.
 

funkboy77

macrumors newbie
Jul 10, 2008
18
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I think the idea of throttling video but not deducting it from your data cap is fantastic. However, if they're doing it for everybody, hopefully they will be upfront about it; it's still not that bad of a thing, especially since I would opt in to have all-you-can-eat video at a little lower quality if I knew it wouldn't affect my data usage for the month.
 
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mikecorp

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Mar 20, 2008
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im not sure what i'm missing with Tmobile, i only know I hate youtubes advertisements. When video starts with it. Im in a 1sec not interested.
 
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Klae17

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2011
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Oh puhlease, you're getting the content for FREE WITH NO DATA USAGE. Cry me a river. And 480p on a few inch screen is more than enough fort he average person to allow everyone to get it for no data cost. You can never please everyone obviously. Turn it off if you dont like it and suck your data.

I am not an average person because the average person just rolls over and takes whatever is given to them or taken away from them. That's truly sad that people accept whatever is handed to them without a fight nowadays.
 

BeSweeet

macrumors 68000
Apr 2, 2009
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1,247
San Antonio, TX
If you don't like it, disable Binge On, and everything will be like it was before. I've never had it enabled, and I can breeze through 1080p videos on LTE. Want to try and save on data usage (if you don't have the unthrottled unlimited plan) by having YouTube bandwidth limited to force 360p/480p viewing? Turn it back on.
 

codelode84

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2011
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Cincinnati, OH
T-Mobile said that while Binge on is on that it would cost you no data with the services included and that other data would be compressed and you would save data on that. SEE THIS FROM THEIR FAQ......

Video is the number one way people use wireless data, with Binge On™ we are setting video free. No Overages. Ever!

  • Stream unlimited video FREE on your favorite streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Sling, ESPN, Showtime, Starz and more without ever using your high-speed data. Check out the full list and stay tuned for more on the way. We won’t stop. Any new or existing customer with 3GB data plan or larger can stream for free without worrying about your data.
  • Plus, almost all other video streaming is optimized for mobile so you watch 3 times more video with your data plan.

To top it off if youtube had their stuff together it could easily be part of binge on.