T-Mobile says YouTube’s portrayal of Binge On as throttling is ‘misleading’

tmobilebingeon

Last week when YouTube criticized T-Mobile for “throttling” its video with Binge On, T-Mobile responded by saying that customers love Binge On and that the service is in line with FCC regulations. Now T-Mo is further defending Binge On with another statement on the matter.

T-Mobile told DSLReports that it’s “misleading” to refer to what Binge On does as throttling. “We aren’t slowing down YouTube or any other site,” the T-Mo rep said. “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.”

When YouTube originally targeted Binge On, it said that while lowering data charges is a good thing, “it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent.” As I said last week, YouTube’s big problem with Binge On appears to be that it’s automatically enabled for consumers, even if they don’t benefit from the free streaming from 24 included services. That could lead to some folks wondering why their YouTube videos are stuck at 480p, even though they’ve got a strong cellular connection.

While FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler previously praised Binge On as “highly innovative and highly competitive,” the FCC now wants to meet with T-Mobile to discuss concerns that the service’s reduction in video quality has “harmed some users.” We’ll have to wait and see what comes of the meeting, but the talks could be a bit more intense now that the web’s largest video site has taken issue with Binge On. Until then, it appears as though T-Mo will work to cast a good light onto Binge On.

Via: The Next Web
Source: DSLReports

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  • Adrayven

    As long as I can turn it off, don’t care. Sounds like posturing by Google to me.

    • Frettfreak

      Kind of agree but YouTube is not supposed to be included in the services and shouldn’t be if Google doesn’t want it there. Period. Shouldn’t be tmobile decision to decided what resolution Google users see if it’s not requested by Google. At least imo. Is it that big a deal? No. But should be fixed if it is indeed true

  • TeflonFong

    it really shouldn’t be automatically turned on for customers on an unlimited plan, that really doesn’t make sense.

    • Jay Holm

      Umm…I sure hope it isn’t!!! My S4 has a 1440p display, I expect to watch YouTube videos at 1080p!

      • kgraham182

        It is though, BingeOn is an opt-out feature that only helps T-Mobile for customers like me who have an unlimited plan

        • Acdc1a

          Except when you do what I do and tether Netflix to a tablet on a 20 hour drive…If I turn off BingeOn 7GB is gone in no time.

        • John Doe

          No one is saying the program is bad. It is great but it shouldn’t be on by default.

        • calvin35

          It should if you’re T-Mobile and you want to accomplish your goal of throttling as many people as possible.

        • Jay Holm

          How do you opt out? Is there a BingeOn app?

    • Zach Chadwick

      Just t-mobiles way to of reducing network costs temporarily until account holders realize they’ve been automatically subscribed to it, and they can turn it off.

      • badassn

        So throttling the unknowing to save money? I wonder how many people who aren’t tech-savvy/tmonews-regulars that pay for unlimited but will never realize why their videos aren’t in hi-def.

      • calvin35

        Yep.

    • williejackbrainer

      I agree, it should not be turned.

    • calvin35

      It does for T-Mobile.

  • williejackbrainer

    You can turn it off. Go to Profile and then it’s media settings. I think it should be off by default, but that’s me. And I’m sure a lot of people don’t even realize that it’s on by default.

    • kgraham182

      Not everybody can turn it off via the website or app, I had to call customer service

      • TechnoRealz

        Smartphone smart users?

      • williejackbrainer

        That’s strange and a inconvenience that you had to call to do that.

    • ” I’m sure a lot of people don’t even realize that it’s on by default.”

      If they don’t notice the quality difference, then why does it even matter? You use less data and Tmo’s servers free up resources to keep everyone at a higher average speed.

      If the quality is an issue, then turn it off. While I agree that making BingeOn as default is borderline unethical business practice, it does make sense for the vast majority of people who are on the basic 2GB-6GB data plan. It’s not like people are constantly checking tmonews.com or tmobile news in general.

      People with unlimited plan are obviously very internet savvy and on forums like these all the time. I have 9 people on my account and nobody noticed any difference in video qualities. Though 4 people asked if I changed data plans since it said they’ve used 7GB+ on their 2GB and it’s not throttling.

      None of any other people I know that has Tmobile are noticing any difference besides their data lasting much longer. Sure it may be anecdotal, but over 20 people haven’t noticed any difference in quality, only the service has gotten better.

      The unlimited data people are the small minority and obviously way more vocal online than everyone else. That’s to be expected since they got unlimited data because they use the internet more.

      • Jimmy James

        Where I am at you can notice the difference with BingeOn. Sometimes my Netflix videos get stuck playing at what looks like 240p, until I close and re-open.

      • T Redd

        i cant tell the difference. i haven’t any issues with YouTube buffering or visual quality.

      • John Doe

        Just because customers don’t understand/know what is happening to their service does not mean that T-Mobile gets to do whatever it wants even if it is “legal” (Questionable). There is the FCC that regulates them.

        • I’m not saying Tmo can do whatever it wants. What the end user care about are the results. If it gets the same thing done with less resources, it’s not hurting the consumer.

          The only people complaining here are really the unlimited data users. But they can easily turn it off. If you have limited data, why would you want videos to run at 1080p on your phone? Compressed or not, you can easily burn through 6GB in a couple days.

    • Frettfreak

      And that’s not the point anyway. That I can turn it off. I have completely unlimited data, why should I need to do anything to my account when I didn’t request it to be on in the first place. Not a huge deal just irritating.

      • williejackbrainer

        I have it as well. And I get your point. I was unaware that I had to turn it off until I checked.

  • peharri

    I guess it would help if we have a clearer, more authorative, picture of what, exactly, BingeOn is. In particular:

    1. It’s been suggested by multiple people that T-Mobile is slowing down data to/from video servers to force them to downgrade the quality. Is this true?
    2. It’s alternatively been suggested that T-Mobile is intercepting videos being streamed and recompressing them. Is this true, and not (1)?
    3. If not 1 or 2, what is it?
    4. If not implied by 1, 2, or 3, does BingeOn’s technology apply to all video services (ie compress by MIME type from an HTTP call), some video services that attract the attention of T-Mobile, or just those T-Mobile has designated part of BingeOn (that is, Hulu, Netflix, etc, the ones that are streamed for free)?

    I don’t want replies from other TMONewsers here, we already know we’re confused! I don’t trust things like “Well, I disabled it and suddenly my video’s
    faster!” because a whole host of factors can cause that, such as your
    phone using a cache.

    What I want are answers from T-Mobile themselves.

    • 1. Yes, it is true but depending on situations. Like if you want 1080p streams but your Binge On will only do 480p. Most people don’t want to run 1080p anyways since they don’t have unlimited data.
      2. Yes
      3. It is both true.
      4. Obviously, their technology does not work for all streaming services yet. They even said so themselves and listed the services it works with.

      Tmobile have already answered all these questions. If you want Tmobile reps to answer your questions, then why are you posting it here? Go on their support forum.

      • peharri

        For what it’s worth, either (1) or (2) can be right, not both (and both can be wrong.) Intercepting a data stream and compressing it is very different from throttling data, which involves no interception (it’s the slowing down of data, not modification of it.)

        This is why I said I don’t want to hear from people who post here. The only people who know the answers work for T-Mobile.

        I’m not asking the questions here, I’m saying T-Mobile needs to answer them for us to have an informed discussion. As they haven’t, we can’t tell what’s happening.

        Ideally TMONews will ask T-Mobile these questions, so they can be answered and we can have that discussion.

        • John Doe

          They obviously cannot intercept encrypted data so for companies like Youtube who are not part of the program the amount of bandwidth is decreased so it is throttling.

          T-mobile has no way of “intercepting” encrypted youtube videos and “optimizing” unless they can decrypt it first and they can’t do that without Google’s help.

        • peharri

          YouTube isn’t normally encrypted which is why there are a ton of third party YouTube clients (and why Firefox and Chrome have a thousand YouTube download video extensions!)

          Hulu, Vudu, etc, are, but they’re part of unlimited Binge-On, so it may well be those companies have shared encryption secrets with T-Mobile in return for being part of the program.

          Amazon Instant Video is encrypted but isn’t part of the program. But as nobody seems to be commenting upon their Amazon videos being over-compressed I’m guessing T-Mobile isn’t doing anything with them.

          I’d say the evidence points to (2), but again, what we really need is a fact-based statement from T-Mobile, not conjecture from forum posters!

        • John Doe

          They already have. An exec talked to the WSJ and it is also on one of the blog posts on this site. They said Youtube uses UDP which is harder to detect.

          “T-Mobile needs to be able to identify incoming traffic as video so that it can apply the optimization tech that enables Binge On’s free streaming, and while YouTube videos usually use the HTTPS protocol that T-Mo can identify, sometimes it uses another protocol called UDP that Magenta has more problems analyzing. That leads to T-Mobile being unable to identify some video streams from YouTube.”

        • peharri

          Again, that kinda points to (2) without explicitly confirming it. Hopefully T-Mobile will be issue a clear statement soon.

        • John Doe

          Also in that same article T-Mobile said that “‘It’s like a single front door’ for all of Google services regardless of whether it’s email, video, or something else…”

          So I see why Google would say no since T-Mobile would have access to all my Google data traveling over their network.

  • TechnoRealz

    Tell me why it is so difficult for people to turn this thing off on their own?
    I mean if you are going around telling everyone what a bad azz you are with your fancy smartphone & what it can do on the world wide web and then you can’t even log-in to your account & turn it off yourself?

    It insults people’s intelligence & makes you look like a moron.

    • Ascertion

      I think it was mainly poor implementation. BingeOn was announced and enabled on most accounts by default. T-Mobile did not send any sort of notification that it was enabled and that all services are affected. If anything, they only mention what’s a part of BingeOn (zero rated data list.) So when people have trouble loading YouTube on anything higher than 480p and it’s not on the BingeOn list, they will call in and complain. That and the fact that it’s kind of hidden within your account preferences doesn’t help.

      • TechnoRealz

        I agree – that it was an execution issue. Unfortunately, some john doe’s around here always seem to think it’s some malicious conspiracy by big bad TMO to throttle.

        Yet it was TMO being always up front about what they were doing it for: most smaller screen doesn’t require 1080-4K.

        Anything else – that’s up to the user to opt out.

        It’s in spelled out here: http://www.t-mobile.com/offer/binge-on-streaming-video.html

        • John Doe

          I never said I hate the program or that it is a conspiracy, I said that they should not have turned it on by default. By doing that it makes it a DECEPTIVE program because they don’t notify you and like Ascertion said it is hidden in account preferences and they turned it on for unlimited plan subscribers which does not make sense.

          T-mobile does not get to decided what resolution is or isn’t required for my device. And this programs also applies to tablets. Have fun watching 480P on your tablet with an unlimited plan with 7GB of tethering.

          You need to lookup the difference between deception and conspiracy.

        • TechnoRealz

          You need to read the T&C as it posted.
          No deception.
          Only delusion from your side.

        • John Doe

          well thanks for the advise… T-Mobile’s response from now on should just be “READ THE T&C”.

        • TechnoRealz

          If I was making a big investment such as an annual phone bill is – I’d sure as heck read the T&C or at least what is advertised on their splash web page…
          Adults do that.

        • John Doe

          Adults do that? LMFAO
          I am sure you read your iTunes T&C when you activated your $650+ iPhone /s

          Okay Mr. Adult, don’t let your big boy pants fall down.

        • TechnoRealz

          And only tin hats cry to the Feds when they don’t.
          Don’t let your hat fall off & get that delusional wig you are wigging out on wet.

          LOL@U.

        • iTunes is free, not a “big investment.”

        • John Doe

          Your $650+ iPhone comes with an iTunes agreement that you must agree to otherwise you won’t be able to activate the iPhone.

        • Actually, they do get to decide that. As they’ve clearly demonstrated. Lol.

        • John Doe

          Well that is why we have regulatory agencies like the FCC and FTC with complaint forms you can fill out but thanks for stating the obvious.

        • galaxymaniac

          I’ve noticed difference in quality and load times with BingeOn ON vs OFF. Why should T-mobile determine for all customers by default what quality they should watch video? This is a plan by T-mobile to decrease data usage. Create a problem, solve it as offer it as a feature to users as a smokescreen for the price hikes in the same announcement.

        • Price hikes didn’t raise prices for existing customers. If new customers do family match they still get the old pricing. Binge on is optional, and yes it can be both a plan to lower data usage AND give customers unlimited free video stremaing with certain services, and 3x more with others. It does not have to be just evil or just great. And remember, it is OPTIONAL.

    • galaxymaniac

      when they rolled this out, business plan users had this enabled by default and only account managers could deactivate this. I don’t care for video quality, but having this ‘feature’ limited my Data Stash

  • Benben

    Tmobile slowing you tube down and turn binge on on without asking and they’re lying about it

    • TechnoRealz

      Similar to you lying about how you understand what is happening here?

      • Jimmy James

        YouTube performance has definitely changed in my area with BingeOn or BingeOff. Don’t care about the technicality of how it is supposed to work on my phone.

        • TechnoRealz

          Don’t care? or Not smart enough to understand differences?

      • Benben

        Pimples boy

  • gntysta

    So they admit they are ‘optimizing’ youtube even though it is not part of bingeon yet?

    • Daniel Marchand

      People seem to have misunderstood or possibly not fully read how binge on works… As I understood it the optimizing works on ANYTHING video, and it was touted that you would use 1/3 of your data for all Video streaming with binge on as a benefit to you for services not included as well as users who don’t qualify for unlimited streaming (on plans less then 3gb). Being on that binge on list just exempts data use, the optimization isn’t discriminatory to what service you are using it does so for all things video.

      Same applies for music freedom I’ve downloaded and/or listened to music from non music freedom sources while throttled to 128kbps and all files music were still going full speed regardless if included In the list, being on the list just means they’ve set that service up to not count against data use.

      • Jimmy James

        YouTube performance has definitely changed in my area with BingeOn or BingeOff. Don’t care about the technicality of how it is supposed to work. I’m assuming our traffic is being re-directed through a different route on T-Mobile, than it was before BingeOn was implemented.

        • Daniel Marchand

          No offense, but I think everyone is blaming BingeOn for any/all problems they may have – like oh snap it took 15 seconds for my YouTube clip to load it’s all BingeOn’s fault!!!! or WTH my YouTube app took to long to load!! If you turn BingeOn OFF then you are back to before BingeOn existed, any problems with BingeOn being OFF has nothing to do with BingeOn. Aside from my videos being at 480p (Had to pull up the quality menu to verify) I do not see a difference… my daughter hangs on YouTube a good bit the before and after of implementation hasn’t noticeably changed performance from what I can tell, if it does take an extra 2 seconds to load a clip while it goes through optimization oh well no big deal, again if it bothers you turn it OFF.

          I’ve also seen a comment on here saying “Even on my Wi-Fi the YouTube app is garbage.” guess what BingeOn Doesn’t work on WIFI (back to my comment of people piling on all their issues)… blame the app, blame your ad blocker… it’s something else, BingeOn only functions when data goes through the T-Mobile network.

        • Jimmy James

          In my suburban area, YouTube with BingeOn enabled on 4g LTE lags horribly at 720p and 1080p. It pauses every 30 seconds of play. When I have YouTube set to automatic, it most of the time plays at 240p. So my question is, what if I did not have unlimited data, then what would I used besides BingeOn to get unlimited 480p video? I guaran-darn-tee that before BingeOn, I did not have issues like this. Why do you keep telling people they are not having problems? Are you Santa watching over me?

        • TechnoRealz

          Clear your phone’s cache again.

          Smartphone smart users.

        • Jimmy James

          Funny. Just got a new phone.

        • Daniel Marchand

          I’m not saying you aren’t having problems, but I don’t see how BingeOn is causing it… it sounds more to me like your data speed is slow or as TechnoRealz stated it may be an app issue and clearing cache may solve it. I’ve NEVER had the issue you described unless I’m in a very congested area – I’ve traveled to the D.C. area a few months back and during the day the throughput where I was, was seriously like 1-2mbps on LTE (oversaturated/overloaded network)…… that would very much cause issues you described.

        • TechnoRealz

          My speeds in Central VA at my work on LTE is <1 Mbps & yet I have no issues with YT at any time.

        • Daniel Marchand

          If you have youtube on auto mode it may adjust you to a lower quality level, but it should stay smooth.

        • Jimmy James

          I’ve just got a new phone. Not cache.

        • Do a speed test to find out. Simple.

        • TechnoRealz

          You are wrong.
          If you dont care about the technicality, then why are you assuming about the redirect?

          Clear your phone’s cache or is that too complex for you?

          Smartphone smart users.

        • Daniel Marchand

          Sort of yes… if you have BingeOn ON it goes through a special routing I’m sure, if it’s OFF it takes the same routing it always has.

  • Phonesandsuch

    The phones on my account received a text message alerting us of the feature before it came on, and even now when I log into my online account to check billing, it states:

    “Starting 11/19/15 you’ll get 3x more video with optimized streaming at DVD quality (+480p). The Binge On™ feature is included with all lines on your account, opt-out anytime. Visit http://t-mo.co/1HD4oZs for details.”

    This has been showing since before that date, obviously. I don’t necessarily agree with automatically enabling it, but I’m assuming they were thinking most people wouldn’t even notice anyway aside from maybe having less data usage than before. It also states on their site in a few places that you can use 3x more data when streaming video. If using logic, knowing that BingeOn partners do NOT count against your data, why else would they be telling you that you can use 3x more data when streaming video if the “optimization” wasn’t being applied to everything including non-partner media?

    In their FAQ on the BingeOn page:

    “-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.”

    This wasn’t some evil maniacal scheme to trick anyone…unless maybe you count the people who didn’t have any interest in researching what they’re getting.

    • John Doe

      Not everyone got that text. I certainly did not and I am on an unlimited plan so that would have been nice.

      That is why we have regulatory agencies to do the research for the people that don’t know what they are getting into like an 8% variable interest rate mortgage.

      • Daniel Marchand

        In regard to the 8% variable interest rate mortgage people need to flippin’ read and stop doing business with businesses that rip folks off… some people are beyond help… i.e. I’ve ran into people that think $149 a week for a car at one of those buy here pay here lots is a great day, but a $400/mo car payment is a rip off! Like dude wake the hell up $149 x 4 weeks = $596!!! more importantly then the payments is what’s the total when your all done? Uncle Jimbo’s used car world’s probably charging like 29% interest on that loan to…

  • ArchangelRenzoku

    So is it being turned on automatically for everyone? Or just the people that switch over to to the new plans that include the words “with BingeOn” in the description?

    Either way, it doesn’t seem unethical to me if the company is trying to manage the bandwidth issues that followed with their 1M+ customers joining up in a year.

    If there’s an option to turn it back off, it’s no big deal.

    • kevev

      This is being enabled for everyone, even “unlimited” data customers. T-Mobile is wanting to slice everyone’s slice of the pie again so that they can sell it to new customers. This will continue until service is as bad as Sprint. Just wait and see. Also this is anti net neutrality. It just comes in a different flavor. Remember, NOTHING IS FREE, EVER!

      • ArchangelRenzoku

        Um, what piece of the pie is big bad T-Mo trying to take away? It’s not anti-neutrality since no extra money is involved and the company isn’t making any off this either. Also, they aren’t discriminating what content you can access, just modifying the quality, which isn’t against any rules anywhere. Websites do this already when they distinguish mobile vs desktop browsers. That’s all BingeOn is doing.

        • kevev

          Sorry about the rant. I am just seeing the direction T-Mobile is going as they grow. They will become like the big 2 if they get to that size. It is just the nature of capitalism.

          It is anti net neutrality in that nothing is free. T-Mobile is not giving anything away for free. The world does not work that way. If it did we would have free energy, free food, free housing. “We” do not have free anything. Now some people do have free stuff because it is taken away from those who work harder(pay more) to cover those who do not work and get free stuff. This is called socialism. net neutrality is not about money changing hands. It is about prioritizing. By unprioritizing one thing you are prioritizing other things. By limiting bandwidth or in a more generic way of saying it by altering a product that is sent to the customer and hoping they don’t notice you are affectively altering the possible success of the company that is providing the service.

          In the end we will all end up with cable style internet subscriptions. call me crazy but it is happening but since most people are fine with the fact that they can pay less and access the 1% of the internet they actually use it will continue to get worse. :)

        • FCC has NN regulations. Tmo is not in violation. Unles FCC changes their regulations, then Tmo is fine. People say it’s a slippery slope but it’s not, slipping any further down the slope *would* be in violation of the regulations. And punishment would be administered accordingly. This isn’t complicated.

    • John Doe

      Really it doesn’t seem unethical that T-Mobile turned it on for UNLIMITED plan customers without notifying them first?

      It doesn’t seem unethical to you that T-Mobile is literally manipulating data before it gets to your phone?

      • ArchangelRenzoku

        Correct. It does not.

        No it doesn’t.

        • John Doe

          Well it does to me. If you like ISPs making decisions for the plan you pay for, the content you pay for, and the data you receive on your phone then you will love what Verizon and AT&T are planing.

          Heck, you would have loved Sprint’s unlimited plan that they unveiled a few months ago with a 600kbps cap on video streaming.

          But NOT for me. Neither you or T-Mobile get to decide if I should have Binge On activated on my plan or not.

        • TechnoRealz

          It’s part of their T&C for doing business with TMO.
          If you don”t like it, leave.
          Most of us who don’t like it: turn it off. No big deal.

        • John Doe

          Well it is a big deal for me and thankfully my issue is not with you it is with T-Mobile and the FCC.

          If you like it then good for you, buy yourself a cookie and keep it on.

        • Phone Guy

          I don’t know why that guy just doesn’t go to Verizon where his bank account can be raped, and he can be charged overages, and have all the non 480k video he can eat. He doesn’t get it, does he?

        • calvin35

          Hell, at least sprint came right out and said what they were going to do. T-Mobile went out of their way to make everything as confusing as possible.

        • Phone Guy

          Then turn it off! Discussion over. For God’s sake, I want it. So let me have it and you just turn it off for yourself. Done. Easy. Breezy.

        • John Doe

          I don’t want it. why not have it off for me and you go turn it on if you want it? why turn it on for me then make me turn it off? Done. Easy. Breezy.

    • Daniel Marchand

      It is turned on automatically for all, I’m on a grandfathered plan and have it on – they even allow unlimited video streaming to all older plans as long as your data plan is 3GB or higher. Thing is it was announced in advance how it functions, what it does, how to turn it off, etc. It literally takes like 1 minute to log in to your account and toggle the switch to shut it off – I just don’t see the big deal.

      • John Doe

        You don’t see the big deal because you are just 1 customer out of 60+ million and you don’t see the big picture: How this changes the industry? How this allows ISPs to manipulate data while it is traveling to you? ISPs need to be the dump pipes they were always meant to be.

        • ArchangelRenzoku

          Although they provide access to the Internet for you, the user, they are not an isp. For all regulatory intents and purposes, TMobile is a Telco.

          ISP’s are really where the manipulation of data you speak of has occurred. Where they block, explicitly, access to legal online content that is made available by other ISP’s of the same region or country.

          TMobile is not doing any of that! They are just trying to ensure an equal share of network resources for everyone. Is that really so bad? Would you rather everyone gets to download videos at high speed while you go slow and they use 2TB of data while you only get 1GB because of the speed?

          Yes the plans are unlimited, that means you get to use the data however you want within reason. But no mobile network is designed to sustain every user at PC-bandwidth loads simultaneously. It’s ridiculous of anyone to think so. That is the purpose of real ISP’s. To supply that kind of bandwidth in high-quantity.

        • John Doe

          The FCC has classified “Telcos” as Title II (common carrier).

          An ISP is any company that provides internet. That includes cellular carriers, cable, fiber, satellite, etc.

          Considering that Cellular providers are now regulated the same way Cable, broadband, and fiber ISPs are regulated there is no distinction between them at the FCC and there should not be.

        • ArchangelRenzoku

          Care to dispute the part of my last post that matters?

        • John Doe

          -Like I said Cellular carriers are an ISP.

          -You can supply that kind of bandwidth over wireless if the cellular providers wanted to invest that kind of money there is nothing stopping them heck Verizon can afford it.

          -Manipulation is not just “blocking access” it is also slowing down services like Youtube so your customers can’t watch it in HD.

          -T-Mobile released this program and activated it by default for everyone so yes I do mind that they did not ask me. I’d rather they buy more spectrum and compete with Verizon and AT&T at the auction than turn a program on by default that throttles all of your video services if they are not part of Binge On which is manipulating with my internet quality because T-Mobile can’t handle the amount of customer they have.

          -Most people in the US have broadband that is slower than LTE provided by cell carriers so I don’t know what “real ISPs” are. The average US broadband speeds are around 11.4Mbps.

          -When it comes to Cellular carriers they can deploy 5GHz which dish has huge amounts of. Heck they can put an antenna in every house if they wanted to spend that kind of money and there is a lot more spectrum out there. 5GHz, TV whitespace, 3.5GHz, etc.

          Wireless is the future of internet delivery it is much cheaper than laying fiber. Google and Facebook know this heck even Verizon abandoned their expansion of Fiber and are investing more in their mobile network because it is cheaper and they make more profit.

        • ArchangelRenzoku

          The problem here seems to be that you think TMobile is that they’re slowing something down and they’re not. When you are using a mobile phone, they make you watch mobile – optimized video. Browsers already do that. It’s a change in resolution, not a throttle in speeds.

        • John Doe

          T-Mobile does not have access to Youtube videos to change the resolution. Youtube is not part of the program. The only thing they can do is “optimize” it which means to limit the bandwidth provided to a certain set of services or websites which limits it to 480P or whatever. For 480P, Youtube videos they need between 500-2000kbps and they use HTTPS and UDP so T-Mobile can’t detect the youtube video only that there is data coming from Youtube

        • John Doe

          For a service like Youtube that is not part of the program T-Mobile has no way in knowing what the user is doing with youtube; watching a video in what resolution or changing profile informations or posting a comment, etc. All they see is that there is data coming from youtube to this T-Mobile device because it is encrypted with HTTPS and UDP (Binge On does not support UDP). So T-Mobile instead decreases the bandwidth available to Youtube which limits it to 480P or whatever is available T-Mobile is calling that “optimizing” or downgrading.

        • ArchangelRenzoku

          I feel like there’s more descriptive guidelines between YouTube and TMobile and what happens with that detection than that, but that’s not my point I guess

          Has anyone tried turning off BingeOn? That seems to solve everyone’s qualms.

        • John Doe

          Has anyone at T-mobile thought “Why not let our customers decide if they want it on instead of turning it on for them? Since we always say we like to listen to our customers” That would lead to no qualms.

        • ArchangelRenzoku

          They didnt let those people decide that, but I’ll bet they polled a bunch or did survey/feedback panels about the feedback they’d get. And the majority of people don’t even notice! For those that don’t, that’s great the network saves bandwidth for those who decided to turn it off. Still winning.

        • TechnoRealz

          & you are 1 of 60+ who has tin foil on.
          Again TMO ISP.

        • John Doe

          You obviously do not understand what the word conspiracy means or the phrase “Tin foil hat”.

          And the FCC is going to question T-mobile about Binge On so I guess they have a Tin foil hat on too.

          Add Youtube to that list as well.

          Also look up the definition of ISP while you are at it and Tittle II (common carrier).

        • TechnoRealz

          You are going to look foolish after this is over.
          More so than you are now.

        • John Doe

          Thank you I enjoy my foolishness /s

          Stay enlightened.

        • Phone Guy

          If the airport gives free internet (filtered so you can’t go to many sights) as part of your Ticket. Or if the airline gives or provides internet on their plane, are they now an ISP? Isn’t T-mobile a Telco that offers internet now? This seems like a gray area?

        • John Doe

          Are they selling the internet and registered with FCC? If yes then they are.

        • Daniel Marchand

          There is a delineation between wireless carriers and ISPs in my mind… a wired ISP has gigantic data pipes that are near limitless, a wireless carrier has a limited amount of resources/bandwidth… BingeOn for a carrier with limited bandwidth its a win/win it allows the customer to watch more video without worrying about using up their data and it allows T-Mobile to squeeze more efficiencies out of their network (more users doing more things with the same bandwidth).
          On the same note I <3 MP3s, it takes about 1/10 of the data of CD quality and sounds almost as good, it's the same as optimizing 480p video, it's almost as good and uses a ton less data. If your a videophile turn the service off… if your an audiophile buy CD's and rip them in .wav format so 10 songs consumes 500MB vs 50MB…

          In that regard I bet if you offered BingeOn to those poor people that live in the boonies and have to rely on slow satellite internet service they would jump all over that crap since I would consider them in the same boat as a cellular company… data caps, overages, limited bandwidth.

        • John Doe

          Spectrum is not a limited resource. T-Mobile can buy more they just can’t afford it.

          If T-Mobile wants to provide better service (faster speeds for more customers) then they need to buy more spectrum and raise the prices of their plans not manipulate data on their pipes to save money.

        • Daniel Marchand

          To some degree that is accurate, BUT there isn’t a spectrum store they can just stroll into… it’s a finite resource controlled by the FCC to avoid interference. In order to get more you have to purchase it from someone else, and that someone else may want a ton of $$ for it – the other option would be those auctions like the 600mhz one coming up, which T-Mobile already stated they will spend a good bit on.

          to add… that 600mhz auction coming up is from moving TV stations off from the frequencies they occupy, further highlighting it’s a finite resource…. was same with band 12 auctions.

        • Phone Guy

          I disagree, John. Totally. If you as a user want better service, not throttled, or lowered to 480P as T-Mobile has done to keep costs level, you can change to Verizon. You see, in this great country, we have a dozen different wireless carriers, and many huge ones. You as a consumer can chose to go with the no throttle, bill you every time you breath, charge you for everything, but give you a gigantic fast network Verizon, or you can pick everything in between.

          With airlines, you can chose Spirit which doesn’t even give you a glass of water or a carry-on, or you can choose Virgin America that is 100% deluxe. They both fly to the same places, but you as a consumer can choose who will take you there, and the high end or low end services that you will get with your ticket. Nobody is held hostage and can pick T-Mobile, Sprint (for really great deals but not such a stellar network), or Verizon or US Cellular or whoever. I choose to stay with the budget carrier who keeps finding ways to optimize and add services while not continually charging us more. Go T-Mobile!

        • John Doe

          Well that is fine, good for you!

          In this great country we also have regulators and laws that govern companies and protect consumer. Now go read up on Net Neutrality and listen from the folks at Youtube (the biggest video service on the planet) say T-mobile throttles their video streams without the consent of their customers then comeback and make another rant on how airlines have anything to do with this.

    • Kiwini

      Tmobile does what’s best for Tmobile. People keep forgetting its a public company trying to make a profit. They’re not your friend.

  • George

    YouTube has been so terribly laggy lately it might as well only stream at 480p. Even on my Wi-Fi the YouTube app is garbage.

    • Jimmy James

      Yes. I agree. With BingeOn enabled it lags horribly, with BingeOn disabled, it lags sometimes, but not as badly.

      • TechnoRealz

        Smartphone smart users = U.

    • Daniel Marchand

      It’s not BingeOn – BingeOn does NOT function when you are on WIFI your data must pass through the T-Mobile network to be ‘optimized’…. it may be YouTube itself, the device, or other software on the device interfering i.e. an ad blocker, it’s impossible for BingeOn to affect your Youtube on WIFI.

    • TechnoRealz

      I will concur with this….until I cleaned out the phone’s cache.
      Then it’s been up to speed.

      • Daniel Marchand

        This validates my point, it has nothing to do with BingeOn… clearing cache resolved a phone and/or app level issue. It’s very possible YouTube pushed an update and it caused problems, I’ve had apps before like Words with Friends that would get horribly messed up, clearing all the app data/cache and relogging in always fixed it for me.

        • TechnoRealz

          To further endorse your observation: my WiFi only Nexus 9 that I use to watch YouTube while casting to a TV (Chromecasting or Smart TV) also was laggy…until I cleared out its cache.

    • ucmee

      untrue. Ads on YouTube run very smoothly.

      • Botiemaster

        It is amazing how streaming ADs always seem to run flawlessly but when your video starts loading……………………..

  • Jimmy James

    T-Mobile is derived from an old language found by archaeologists in Antarctica. It is from the saying “mobli e tah”, which is loosely translated to “you sucka fools”.

    • John Doe

      LoL

  • gmo8492

    Well theoretically YouTube shouldn’t be affected at all by binge-on since it’s still not white listed as a partner on T-Mobiles network. Plus you can easily change the video resolution within the app aswell.

    • Phone Guy

      Well, it is affected, actually. That’s the issue. I remember reading earlier that the reason YouTube wasn’t included is because they stream in a couple different formats. The article said that T-Mobile can’t automatically determine if one (or more?) of the formats is video, or something like that, so it won’t be optimized all the time. But the other stuff they stream is optimized. So I would guess that some of their stuff is being optimized and some is not. T-Mobile can’t add them as a free provider until they change format or something so that T-Mobile can determine when video is really video.

      • RosynaKeller

        It doesn’t optimize. If it sees videos when Binge On is enabled, T-Mobile puts a data cap (throttle) so a lower resolution is chosen automatically. That’s why forcing a higher bitrate creates stalls.

  • Matt

    As long as Binge On can be selectively turned off and on at will and video service providers do not have to pay to participate, there is no violation of net neutrality here.

    • RosynaKeller

      It cannot be disabled for Netflix.

      • Matt

        Yes it can. Just turn Binge On off.

        • RosynaKeller

          No, Netflix always thinks Binge On is enabled and limits it to 384p even if Binge On is, in fact, disabled.

          This is very easy to confirm by searching Netflix for “Test pattern” and viewing the video while on cellular. It will reveal the capped quality.

        • Prode

          This in not correct. I have a unl Data plan with T-Mo and have Binge On off and get video over 480p. I can see the difference between 480p and 1080p. When I watch Jessica Jones in 4k on my 6s Plus which I know is 1080p I can see that it is better then crap ass 480p.

        • RosynaKeller

          What does that test video say the bandwidth is?

          So far, three people have confirmed that if you have Binge On disabled and start a video on Netflix, it will be 384p.

          You can workaround it by being on wifi first and then switching to LTE after the video starts or by using a VPN.

        • Prode

          wow after looking at the test pattern it does stick at 560kbps, 512×384. I didn’t see that. I mostly hotspot my phone to my PC which doesn’t have the problem.
          Edit: I can confrim that when I turn my phone into a hotspot it goes up to 3000kbps but if I watch it on the phone it says at 560kbps.

  • Antonio JcRM

    This Binge On is crap, at least for me, weather I have it disable or enable has cripple my video streaming. It’s like if you’re throttled as soon as the network reads video streaming on your end. For youtube, I actually have to put the video in 360p to have it atleast play and that’s before waiting for it to pre load. Forget about skimming through because you’ll have to wait again. This is to me ridiculous and so inconvenient. Almost all smartphones today has a 1080p and up resolution screen but yet T-Mobile wants you to watch videos under 720p. Then what’s the point? I can understand if you disable Binge On, then I don’t have to worry about anything but I have it off and its still painful to watch videos, even on Facebook. Please don’t tell me, I’ve finished my data allowance, because I have well of enough data before being officially throttled. I’m going to try Simple Mobile, once my cycle ends and hope Binge On hasn’t gotten them too.

    • Mike

      If it’s buffering constantly, that’s a problem, but 1080p is wasted on most smartphone screens.

      • steveb944

        Why is it wasted? If the user purchased a device with that class of screen I would expect them to watch content to match.

    • RosynaKeller

      Even worse, even if Binge On is disabled Netflix serves up only 384p video! (Netflix has a test video to test speeds, search Netflix for “test pattern” to see it)

      • disqus_DFnvXJ7c9h

        someone just tested your theory..

        https://www.reddit.com/r/tmobile/comments/3zei25/testing_netflix_patterns_video_with_binge_on_480p/

        Interestingly it seems that it might perhaps be the netflix app that’s causing this and not tmobile.. but the jury is still out.

        • RosynaKeller

          It only occurs on T-Mobile. Other carriers don’t have the limit when the limit in Netflix Playback settings is set to “High” and the person pays for HD.

          The capped limit is also 560Kbps, not sure where the 200Kbps came from.

        • disqus_DFnvXJ7c9h

          binge on caps at 200kbps roughly