T-Mobile’s Binge On violates net neutrality, says Stanford report

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The debate over whether or not Binge On violates Net Neutrality has been raging ever since the service was announced in November. The latest party to weigh in is Barbara van Schewick, law professor at Stanford University.

In a new report published today — and filed to the FCC, as well — van Schewick says that Binge on “violates key net neutrality principles” and “is likely to violate the FCC’s general conduct rule.” She goes on to make several arguments against Binge On, saying that services in Binge On distorts competition because they’re zero-rated and because video creators are more likely to use those providers for their content, as the zero-rated content is more attractive to consumers.

van Schewick second argument is that Binge On limits user choice because it allows customers to watch an unlimited amount of some services but a limited amount of others. She uses Amazon Prime as an example of a provider that would be limited with Binge On, but that service was added to the free streaming portion of Binge On yesterday.

Speaking of the providers, van Schewick says that the services included with Binge On serve up mostly commercial video rather than user-generated or educational content. “Binge on stifles free expression,” she claims.

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van Schewick also argues that Binge On harms innovation because the providers must work with T-Mobile and, in some cases, make tweaks to their service to meet T-Mo’s technical requirements. And though T-Mobile says that providers only need to do a “minor amount of technical work” to join Binge On, van Schewick says that the requirements to join are “substantial.” She argues that the requirements exclude services that use the User Datagram Protocol, “making it impossible for innovative providers such as YouTube to join,” and that they also work against providers that use encryption.

van Schewick goes on to make suggestions on how T-Mobile could change its service. For example, she suggests a “zero-rated low-bandwidth mode” that would operate at the same speed as Binge On and would not touch a user’s data, but would let them do whatever they’d like online at that speed.

It remains to be seen if the FCC will actually force T-Mobile to do anything about Binge On. While the agency recently met with T-Mobile to discuss Binge On, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that these meetings are only mean to gather information and that he hasn’t actually attended any of them. Wheeler has previously weighed in on Binge On, describing the service as “highly innovative and highly competitive.” He went on to say that the FCC will keep an eye on Binge On going forward.

As for today’s report, John Legere would likely argue it with many of the same points that he’s made previously. He’s said that Binge On doesn’t violate net neutrality because customers can turn it off and on whenever they’d like, and yesterday T-Mo made it even easier to do just that. He’d likely also reiterate that any provider is welcome to join Binge On if they want to.

The full report Binge On report can be round right here. What do you think of van Schewick’s arguments?

Via: The Next Web
Source: Stanford

Tags: , ,

  • badassn

    There you go. If it wasn’t already clear to the T-mobile fanboys here, it should be a little bit clearer now. There is no conspiracy. The FCC, the EFF, and Stanford are not in a secret coalition to attack T-mobile. Binge-on infringes on the principles of net neutrality, which is bad for the consumer, and until T-mobile gets rid of it, it will get called out.

    Edit: Sadly people on tmonews do not care about consumer rights or net neutrality, as long as their company t-mobile is making profits.

    • kevev

      Agreed. And the only reason why most commenters are backing BingeOn is because consumers are ignorant to the consequences of a proprietary system and are getting something for “free”. Get something free and ignore the consequences. We forget that nothing is ever free. We loose choice. Loosing choice is loosing freedom to choose.

      I will end my post with a link to our future: http://i.imgur.com/5RrWm.png

      • Fabian Cortez

        We loose choice. Loosing choice is loosing freedom to choose.

        Except your entire argument is nullified by the fact that Binge On can be turned off.

        That’s choice.

        • kevev

          Hi Fabian welcome back. You don’t get it, and that’s OK. Read a history book. History repeats itself a lot. If you have trouble with that maybe just google search for “Nothing is Free”.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Hi Fabian welcome back. You don’t get it, and that’s OK. Read a history book. History repeats itself a lot. If you have trouble with that maybe just google search for “Nothing is Free”.

          Pay close attention to what I quoted from you in my previous reply.

          My statement remains and is substantiated by facts: choice is there and the customer can choose to turn it off.

          Likewise, the customer can choose to leave it on and choose to access video content that will use their data bucket.

          And finally, the customer chooses to subscribe and pay T-Mobile monthly for service. There are other options/carriers out there for the consumer to choose from.

          That’s choice!

      • novel_compound

        Wow, that was more egregious than usual. Learn this:

        Loose (verb) — to let loose; free from bonds or restraint
        Lose (verb) — to come to be without (something in one’s possession or care), through accident, theft, etc.

    • Medion

      The majority have seemingly dug their heels in on one side or another, and no amount of facts, logic, or reasoning will change their minds.

      I’ve been in the camp that feels that Binge On doesn’t violate net neutrality, but should have been off by default. However, the linked source above make some compelling arguments and these views must be given consideration.

      • Kyle Thompson

        well put.

        I think Binge On was a really close/borderline net neutrality violation for all TMO customers with Unlimited Data plans.

        For Unlimited Data, that should have been defaulted to OFF. If you have Unlimited and a crappy DL speed, you could have already made the choice to stream or watch in lower resolution. Automatically restricting that section of customers to lower resolution/bandwidth use could easily be argued as a violation.

        That said, for the rest, I’ve come around to thinking with a better original media blitz on how to turn it off if you want to, everyone else was correctly defaulted to ON.

        Legere makes a good point – they advertise all this 480 video streaming is free/not counting to your data limit with Binge On, but you know at least half the entire customer database would not have understood you have to turn it on yourself (if it was defaulted to OFF with Limited Data Plans) and started screaming when they got throttled to Edge in day 4 of a billing cycle due to having used up all their data already.

      • Fabian Cortez

        I agree except for the opt out by default.

        Here’s what BTIG Research stated:

        Why prevent a cost-conscious consumer the ability to use one toggle that will compress all their video and save them money rather than forcing that consumer to look for that toggle switch in each application or browser that they use?

    • JSKY2016

      This it’s what crony capitalism looks like: Create regulations that are said to protect the consumer. However it does nothing but stifle competition and protect those that are in power. (ie AT&T and Verizon). Other than a quick toggle for on and off of the Binge on program I’ve not heard any t-mobile customer complain about Binge on. I am a t-mobile customer and if I do not like the Binge on Program I will just take my MONEY elsewhere case closed. I do not need someone from the FCC, Stanford, or EFF telling me what’s best for myself.

      • badassn

        “I’ve not heard any t-mobile customer complain about Binge on”
        Except the hundreds of thousands of angry comments over the last month across the entire internet.

    • yo mommmmmmmma

      nah your just jealous that your carrier is never and never will be innovated as tmobile is. I’m sorry you pay a crap more for your wireless service. boo hooooo to you:(

      • badassn

        I’ve been a t-mobile customer for 8 years…

      • Saul Viayra

        Lol I agree With you but I’ll really like to make a ton of money and be a Verizon customer

    • besweeet

      In what way is this bad for the consumer? Wait, it isn’t — even remotely.

      Can only imagine how much the top two are paying people right now…

      • Adam

        Anti-small business.

        • David Thoren

          How? Because TMobile is holding BingeOn hostage from the small businesses? But they have said that if you meet their simple technical requirements, then you can join BingeOn free of charge. As long as the tech requirements are indeed simple, then it’s not anti-anyone.

        • Fabian Cortez

          then it’s not anti-anyone.

          Exactly.

          It’s pro-consumer, pro-content providers, and pro-T-Mobile.

          It’s a win all-around.

        • Adam

          From article:

          “requirements to join are substantial.”

        • David Thoren

          How does she define substantial? Is she a developer that has actually had to implement the changes? Until one of the services that has joined BingeOn weighs in, I don’t think we can get a feel for how substantial the changes really are.

    • PC_Tool

      No flames.

      Same sh*t, different day.

      Still “violates ideals” and “might, maybe possibly if we wish really hard violate FCC conduct rules”. They do like their drama…

      Let us all know when they actually have something meaningful.

  • tahbt

    blablabla bs report.

  • kamikaze

    A key point this article missed is that the report was filed with the FCC, not just published on the Stanford website.

    • Fabian Cortez

      A key point this article missed is that the report was filed with the FCC, not just published on the Stanford website.

      And it should be. If she has concerns then she is well within her rights to file with the FCC.

    • Alex Wagner

      I’ve updated the post to mention that.

      • Guest 2

        There is a nice post at reddit about the reality of coverage maps, that I think your readers will appreciate, especially the T-Mobile fans.

        It’s titled: We Assessed the Accuracy of Wireless Coverage Maps per Carrier, and the Results Disappoint

        • Fabian Cortez

          There is a nice post at reddit about the reality of coverage maps, that I think your readers will appreciate, especially the T-Mobile fans.

          It’s titled: We Assessed the Accuracy of Wireless Coverage Maps per Carrier, and the Results Disappoint

          This is absolutely irrelevant to this article.

      • Fabian Cortez

        I’ve updated the post to mention that.

        Could you update the title and/or post to reflect that Mrs. van Schewick mentioned that Binge On was “likely to violate the FCC’s general conduct rule” (van Schewick 34)?

  • Fabian Cortez

    She argues that the requirements exclude services that use the User Datagram Protocol, “making it impossible for innovative providers such as YouTube to join,”

    Ms. van Schewick’s data is old as evidenced by her example of Amazon Prime not being included. I’d like to know what evidence she has to conclude that it is impossible for YouTube to join. I think we should leave that up to T-Mobile and YouTube.

    van Schewick also argues that Binge On harms innovation because the providers must work with T-Mobile and, in some cases, make tweaks to their service to meet T-Mo’s technical requirements. And though T-Mobile says that providers only need to do a “minor amount of technical work” to join Binge On, van Schewick says that the requirements to join are “substantial.”

    Does Mrs. van Schewick also fail to realize that this is about consumers and consumer choice?

    Consumers have the option to turn it off. Unfortunately for her, consumers are preferring to leave it on and are consuming 34 million gigabytes of data without it counting towards their buckets since Binge On’s inception.

    This is nothing but a win for everyone. So, Mrs. Barbara van Schewick, who is paying you on the side?

    • David Thoren

      And how does she define substantial? Is she a developer and had to implement the changes? If it takes a developer a day to implement, is that substantial? A week? If it takes a month, then I would agree, but I don’t think anyone has come forward and given an estimate of the time spent on it.

      • Fabian Cortez

        And how does she define substantial? Is she a developer and had to implement the changes? If it takes a developer a day to implement, is that substantial? A week? If it takes a month, then I would agree, but I don’t think anyone has come forward and given an estimate of the time spent on it.

        Agreed.

        And considering the fact that there are already 40 services active and 50 more on the way, her assertions are speculative at best all while lacking quantifiable metrics to support them.

    • taxandspend

      This is nothing but a win for everyone. So, Mrs. Barbara van Schewick, who is paying you on the side?

      A lazy professor, required to publish every once in a while, thought this would be easy.

  • PC_Tool

    Okay, so while I like the idea of a zero-rated bandwidth mode, the rest of her complaints are SSDD.

    “violates key net neutrality principles”

    Basically means it doesn’t meet the ideals of the zealots. Meaningless.

    “likely to violate the FCC’s general conduct rules”

    Means she was unable to find anything actually in violation (otherwise they’d be shouting those specific examples from the rooftops).

    Why bury a good idea in garbage? T-Mo might have actually listened if it had been presented any other way.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Exactly. Let’s also add in the fact that she doesn’t acknowledge that a user can turn it off.

      • Acdc1a

        Bingo!

      • badassn

        For all intents and purposes in laws and regulation, something being opt-out means that it is initially forced upon all users.

        • Fabian Cortez

          For all intents and purposes in laws and regulation, something being opt-in means that it is initially forced upon all users.

          Please your sources for this.

        • David Thoren

          Opt-in means you have to explicitly join. I believe the one you are looking for is Opt-out.

        • badassn

          Ah, typo there. Fixed. Thanks.

    • That’s definitely what’s at stake here: ideals vs. law. Binge On is probably fine under the current FCC implementations, but it can’t fulfill the ideals of net neutrality because it, by definition, treats data differently. More practically, the issue is with noncommercial video streaming not being as easily identifiable or included. Such an issue will continue for as long as it’s impossible to identify EVERY video stream and serve lower quality video. This is impossible because the source file may need re-encoding to a lower bit rate, or for the provider to implement an adaptive bit rate. However, the issue with applying to the zero-rating whitelist still exists.

      • PC_Tool

        “ideals vs. law”

        Hint: ideals won’t win. By definition, they are impossible to achieve.

        Only accepting solutions that achieve the ideal therefore merely serves to stop progress altogether.

        Ideals only work with a healthy dose of reality. :)

        More people need to realize this, I think (not you specifically…just rambing…)

        • Guest 2

          I think he means:

          The idea of Net Neutrality, the meaning of Net Neutrality or the spirit of Net Neutrality, versus what is written in paper.

        • PC_Tool

          “The idea of Net Neutrality, the meaning of Net Neutrality or the spirit of Net Neutrality”

          The ideals. Yes. I grasp the concept. I was commenting on ideals in general. Rambling, if you will.

          Feel free to take no mind. It’s been one of those days.

  • Walt

    I turned “binge on” aka data maximizer off with my unlimted $60 metro pcs plan. I can pull 115 Mbps down easy

    • Saul Viayra

      Where do you live man I can only get like 30 down and 20 up here in Indy

  • JJCommonSense

    Screw this “report”. If you dont like BingeOn DONT USE IT.. if a provider doesnt want to upgrade their program to work with Binge On thats their issue. Reports like this stifle innovation.

    • badassn

      Except that it is forced on for users by default, infringing net neutrality.

      • JJCommonSense

        Now THAT i agree with. I was a little annoyed when I found out it was on because I definitely saw a change when I would pullup a Youtube video. They could have turned it on and sent everyone a text msg that said “Hey weve turned on BingeON for you to try out. If you like it, do nothing, if you dont like it, reply OFF and it will be deactivated”. Ive got unlimited 4g and video streaming isnt really my thing so BingeON doesnt rock my socks… but I love that it gives TMO an advantage over the competition.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Now THAT i agree with. I was a little annoyed when I found out it was on because I definitely saw a change when I would pullup a Youtube video.

          And your grievance for that is justifiable. That doesn’t mean it violates nor infringes on Net Neutrality per badassn‘s and other individuals’ assertions.

          You did your research and you turned it off. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

          They could have turned it on and sent everyone a text msg that said “Hey weve turned on BingeON for you to try out. If you like it, do nothing, if you dont like it, reply OFF and it will be deactivated”.

          They sent out text messages and emails and paid for radio advertisements and television commercials and even hosted an entire un-carrier event. It was all over Google News as well…

          Ive got unlimited 4g and video streaming isnt really my thing so BingeON doesnt rock my socks… but I love that it gives TMO an advantage over the competition.

          And it’s not for everyone. And since it “doesnt rock” your “socks,” you did what anyone else would do in the same situation and turned it off.

          Mission accomplished.

        • JJCommonSense

          Well Fabian, they advertised the hell out of it yes but I was never notified of this change to activate BingeON to my account. I did begin to notice some slowness in my videos and when i tried to stream something on netflix to my friends TV and the resolution was so crappy, thats what made me consider it. I’m used to there being moments of network congestion so for the 1 or 2 times I tried to view a video and it was slower, I just chalked it up to that and figured it would sort itself out. It wasnt until reading peoples comments on blog sites like tmonews that I learned of it being turned on. And even AT THAT TIME, when I went to go turn it off i had a helluva time finding the off switch… But also Im one of those people, like yourself probably, that reads their plan details and everything and I consider myself to be rather in the know about the services TMO offers. But there arent a whole lot like US out there, and TMO could have done a better job with implementing BingeON and communicated it more thoughtfully for a the majority of their customers to know that this change was being made to their service. But they can fix that going forward and I believe they’re working to make it right. I still think its a great product differentiator. But it was definitely FORCED upon us because we weren’t given the option to say NO to the service being initially activated. Thats like pushing everybody into a pool and telling them that they have the ability to come out when they want….. that is what ticks people off.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Well Fabian, they advertised the hell out of it yes but I was never notified of this change to activate BingeON to my account.

          I agree with this. There are some or many that were never notified and I believe you when you say you never received the message.

          It wasnt until reading peoples comments on blog sites like tmonews that I learned of it being turned on. And even AT THAT TIME, when I went to go turn it off i had a helluva time finding the off switch… But also Im one of those people, like yourself probably, that reads their plan details and everything and I consider myself to be rather in the know about the services TMO offers.

          So you were able to find the solution to your problem. If were annoyed by the auto opt-in, then it is best to contact the entity that opted you in. If still not satisfied, you have the choice to vote with your wallet.

          But there arent a whole lot like US out there, and TMO could have done a better job with implementing BingeON and communicated it more thoughtfully for a the majority of their customers to know that this change was being made to their service.

          They did as I explained before. And I believe you are overestimating the amount of people that have taken notice of Binge On.

          But it was definitely FORCED upon us because we weren’t given the option to say NO to the service being initially activated. Thats like pushing everybody into a pool and telling them that they have the ability to come out when they want….. that is what ticks people off.

          If you feel that having Binge On enabled is like being pushed into a pool then it is quite clear that T-Mobile isn’t for you. I cannot imagine being associated and/or paying for something that would provide one with such feelings of angst and animosity.

          The solution is to turn it off and get over it or port out to a carrier that will FORCE you to pay $15/GB in overages with or without text messages that you may claim you never received, whether legitimate or not.

        • JJCommonSense

          U act as if it is unreasonable for a person to get frustrated by having something forced upon them that degrades their overall experience with a service that they pay for. A person shouldn’t have to call or login to deactivate something that they never requested to activate. Having BingeON activated WITHOUT MY CONCENT is where the problem lies… and unfortunately, that shortsighted implementation is exactly why were discussing the matter right now. And if TMobile continues the practice of essentially degrading the customers user experience by adding features that were never requested, they will continue to attract the unnecessary scrutiny and John Legere will have to jump on twitter and make more youtube videos to defend something that, in all honesty, should be celebrated throughout the industry. Furthermore, some customers may not even call in to inquire, or log on to deactivate, as they may just decide to take their business to another carrier where they may infact pay more, but they are getting the consistency and quality that they paid for.

        • Fabian Cortez

          U act as if it is unreasonable for a person to get frustrated by having something forced upon them that degrades their overall experience with a service that they pay for.

          I agree. It isn’t unreasonable. I’m not sure where I ever stated it was.

          What is unreasonable and illogical is voicing your malcontent here instead of voicing it to your aggressor: T-Mobile. Do you also still write a check to them every month?

          A person shouldn’t have to call or login to deactivate something that they never requested to activate. Having BingeON activated WITHOUT MY CONCENT is where the problem lies…

          That is your rightful opinion but it does not change the reality of what’s happening.

          And if TMobile continues the practice of essentially degrading the customers user experience by adding features that were never requested, they will continue to attract the unnecessary scrutiny and John Legere will have to jump on twitter and make more youtube videos to defend something that, in all honesty, should be celebrated throughout the industry.

          T-Mobile is not degrading the customers’ user experience. That is your opinion that you cannot substantiate with facts.

          In fact, T-Mobile customers have streamed 34 million gigabytes of data that doesn’t count against their bucket since Binge On was released. That’s a win for consumers and hardly represents the droves and droves of unhappy subs. that you’d want us all to believe exist.

          Furthermore, some customers may not even call in to inquire, or log on to deactivate, as they may just decide to take their business to another carrier where they may infact pay more, but they are getting the consistency and quality that they paid for.

          Customers should absolutely port out to another carrier if they are unhappy. It is illogical to continue to pay and complain about a carrier when other options exist.

          John Legere has said it before that if a customer does not like T-Mobile, then they are free to leave and even return if they change their mind. That’s the beauty behind this wireless “revolution” of no contracts.

      • Fabian Cortez

        Except that it is forced on for users by default, infringing net neutrality.

        Cite your sources that state this is against Net Neutrality.

      • PC_Tool

        “infringing net neutrality”

        The principle, or the FCC rules?

        (Hint: it’s not the Latter, meaning: it’s irrelevant)

    • Adam

      How exactly is Google going to get Netflix users to not use BingeOn? The complaint is by injured content providers no individual users.

  • Mark

    I was not going to get into this flame battle but I will give my opinion.

    I think T-Mobile is getting themselves into a gray area of Net Neutrality that has not been explored. T-Mobile has conjured features, Music Freedom and BingeOn, that benefit consumers on a zero rated basis on popular services. That is great for consumers because they get more high-speed data for other services. This is great for participating providers because they get recognition and the added traffic from consumers due to the zero rating.

    The unintended consequence of zero rating services is that smaller providers are stuck at the whim of T-Mobile. The provider must meet certain requirements in order to be included in T-Mobile’s zero rating. This may not be possible from a providers technical or financial standpoint and thus curbs innovation.

    I believe T-Mobile should make all detectable audio and video zero rated under the BingeOn and Music Freedom programs. This is the only way to correct the Net Neutrality issues and to protect consumers and content providers. This way no audio or video service is excluded and consumers and content providers win.

    I know there is an on and off switch for the BingeOn program, however, the service can have unintended consequences for content providers (technical and financial constraints).

    The other alternative is to revamp the throttle speed after exceeding the high-speed data threshold. For example, throttle the speed to 1mbps or 500kbps, fast enough for most applications. This causes no harm to consumers or content providers.

    Here is my logical conclusion to these programs and yes, I do have T-Mobile service.

    • Fabian Cortez

      The unintended consequence of zero rating services is that smaller providers are stuck at the whim of T-Mobile. The provider must meet certain requirements in order to be included in T-Mobile’s zero rating. This may not be possible from a providers technical or financial standpoint and thus curbs innovation.

      If the provider has something good and popular, it will gain popularity and users by word of mouth.

      To think that big business drives popularity because of their big business status is rather shortsighted. Remember that a service such as YouTube was once small, was not owned by Google, and didn’t feature adds.

      YouTube became popular because of people’s interest in it and not because of some preferential treatment.

      • Mark

        Okay, let’s say you and I decided to create a video site similar to Netflix. We have all the same content as any of the leading content providers (as well as some kick a$$ exclusive and original content). We created and perfected a video codec that allows us to stream our content using 2x less bandwidth and frees up our servers.

        We want to join T-Mobile’s BingeOn program. T-Mobile will not let us join the program because we do not use a preferred video codec for our videos that can be optimized under T-Mobile’s BingeOn umbrella. Our videos are already being optimized using our codec and encryption techniques which free up our servers.

        We could join T-Mobile’s bandwagon and ditch our codec that may lead the way for better optimized video content for the future. It’s a wonderful innovation!!

        But I guess we’ll join the BingeOn program and use T-Mobile’s rules so that our video is detected and zero rated. It’s the only way we can compete against all the other providers who are also zero rating video they can detect.

        Do you see where this is going and COULD potentially lead? Your ideas, in fact, are shortsighted.

        • Ordeith

          >Do you see where this is going and COULD potentially lead? Your ideas, in fact, are shortsighted.
          Fabian doesn’t have ideas. He’s all just PR talking points, there’s nothing else there.

        • Fabian Cortez

          >Do you see where this is going and COULD potentially lead? Your ideas, in fact, are shortsighted.

          Fabian doesn’t have ideas. He’s all just PR talking points, there’s nothing else there.

          I comment with supporting facts.

          You comment to troll, as evidenced (fact) above.

        • Ordeith

          LOL you parrot T-Mobile PR points. You wouldn’t know a fact.

        • Fabian Cortez

          LOL you parrot T-Mobile PR points. You wouldn’t know a fact.

          Fact: You just trolled me again.

        • Fabian Cortez

          We want to join T-Mobile’s BingeOn program. T-Mobile will not let us join the program because we do not use a preferred video codec for our videos that can be optimized under T-Mobile’s BingeOn umbrella. Our videos are already being optimized using our codec and encryption techniques which free up our servers.

          We could join T-Mobile’s bandwagon and ditch our codec that may lead the way for better optimized video content for the future. It’s a wonderful innovation!!

          Being a part of Binge On is not a right. If you want to join the party, you have to play by the rules. It’s as simple as that.

          Likewise, if your content is “kick a$$ exclusive and original” then you should not have to worry about being zero-rated. People will use the data they pay for as they please. This is evidenced by the billions of dollars in profit alone that the duopoly collects annually.

          A perfect example of this lies with Apple, Adobe, and Google. The iPhone is undeniably very popular. Apple was not a fan of Adobe’s Flash and did not support it on iOS. YouTube used to exclusively rely on Flash; possibly the largest single user of Flash. What did YouTube do? They cloned their entire library in order to support the popular iPhone.

          Optional zero rating with no money exchanging hands does not create the fanatical and conspiracy-driven situation that you and others are out to make.

          But I guess we’ll join the BingeOn program and use T-Mobile’s rules so that our video is detected and zero rated. It’s the only way we can compete against all the other providers who are also zero rating video they can detect.

          It is not the only way to compete. If you feel that you need a leg up to compete in a competitive free market environment, then that simply means that your product is of no value. A perfect example of this is Verizon’s Go90 service.

          Do you see where this is going and COULD potentially lead? Your ideas, in fact, are shortsighted.

          There’s no need to see where this “is going and COULD potentially lead.” The fact remains that to join this program is free. To use this program is “free” (provided you are a T-Mobile sub.).

          The only people complaining about this are those who don’t understand the choice involved.

        • Mark

          I respectfully disagree with you on the BingeOn program.

          You fail to see the unintended consequences of BingeOn.

          Let’s pretend for a moment. BingeOn becomes a huge success. T-Mobile becomes the number one carrier with over 120 million subscribers. All the other carriers have now decided to create their own version of BingeOn and basically all cell providers now whitelist “preferred” content providers that meet their technical requirements.

          Who’s to say that eventually BingeOn will no longer be a switch? Maybe all video should be optimized for mobile devices. 9 out of 10 mobile connections have the encryption technology enabled because unlimited high-speed data has become “economically unsustainable” for cellular providers and they must throttle in order to control congestion.

          Now where does this lead us? Can I make this point any more clear? POTENTIALLY a move like this could stifle innovation in technology.

          I can guarantee you that unlimited high-speed data on T-Mobile is going to disappear sooner rather than later. All these perks for limited data customers make unlimited data less attractive and necessary.

          When unlimited high-speed data goes to the wayside, more perks will be added. More free content that 80% of Americans love love LOVE.

          T-Mobile just needs to be careful in this gray area because it CAN lead to unintended consequences for consumers down the road.

        • Fabian Cortez

          You fail to see the unintended consequences of BingeOn.

          That is up to the FCC to determine as the chairman (Tom Wheeler) clearly stated in November 2015: “What we’re going to be doing is watching the Binge On product. Keeping an eye on it to measure it against the general conduct rule.”

          Let’s pretend for a moment. BingeOn becomes a huge success. T-Mobile becomes the number one carrier with over 120 million subscribers. All the other carriers have now decided to create their own version of BingeOn and basically all cell providers now whitelist “preferred” content providers that meet their technical requirements.

          I don’t deal in potentials; I deal with reality and facts.

          Who’s to say that eventually BingeOn will no longer be a switch? Maybe all video should be optimized for mobile devices. 9 out of 10 mobile connections have the encryption technology enabled because unlimited high-speed data has become “economically unsustainable” for cellular providers and they must throttle in order to control congestion.

          Now where does this lead us? Can I make this point any more clear? POTENTIALLY a move like this could stifle innovation in technology.

          And that is when the FCC will need to step in. After all, they clearly stated that future plans with respect to zero rating will be put “under the microscope on a case-by-case basis” after approving net neutrality rules for wireless.

          So your fears of an internet owned by corporations is duly noted.

          I can guarantee you that unlimited high-speed data on T-Mobile is going to disappear sooner rather than later. All these perks for limited data customers make unlimited data less attractive and necessary.

          When unlimited high-speed data goes to the wayside, more perks will be added. More free content that 80% of Americans love love LOVE.

          I am not discussing unlimited data.

          T-Mobile just needs to be careful in this gray area because it CAN lead to unintended consequences for consumers down the road.

          Not when it remains an option.

        • Mark

          No, you are a typical American who does not stop to think about the unintended consequences of well intentioned ideas.

          T-Mobile has made great strides in the wireless industry and I remain a customer because they do not charge overages and they offer perks other carriers do not rival.

          Unlimited talk, text, and data in North America and unlimited data in virtually every country in the world, all without overages, was a game changer. I applaud T-Mobile for breaking boarders with wireless.

          Wi-Fi Calling is huge and is a great benefit to all customers.

          Not charging overages and throttling data after a set threshold is a big win for customers and provides choice.

          Unlimited music and video streaming from SELECT PROVIDERS that cooperates with T-Mobile is a big win for consumers in managing data usage, however, it is the ONLY MOVE that can create UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES if not carefully checked (stifles innovation, stomps out smaller players, elimination of unlimited high-speed data, etc).

          Music Freedom and BingeOn are features with a hidden agenda. They offer more bang for your buck and allow for a smoke and mirrors game away from the real issue, that unlimited is “not sustainable” to cellular providers and they must innovate to remain competitive.

          I do believe that all detectable music and optimized video streaming should be whitelisted and not just those that work with T-Mobile. If T-Mobile can optimize the video on their end, they should zero rate that data if BingeOn is enabled. That would help appease most people and the principles of Net Neutrality. If T-Mobile benefits from optimizing video and streaming music from non-participating providers, they should zero rate that data to help consumers save on data.

          I would hope that T-Mobile has consumers best interests in mind in all that they do, however, they are a corporation that needs to make as much money as possible in order to satisfy shareholders and the top executives.

        • Fabian Cortez

          No, you are a typical American who does not stop to think about the unintended consequences of well intentioned ideas.

          That is irrelevant to anything being discussed. Likewise, it’s a blanket statement that you cannot prove. Please prove that a typical American “does not stop to think about the unintended consequences of well intentioned ideas.”

          Unlimited music and video streaming from SELECT PROVIDERS that cooperates with T-Mobile is a big win for consumers in managing data usage, however, it is the ONLY MOVE that can create UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES if not carefully checked (stifles innovation, stomps out smaller players, elimination of unlimited high-speed data, etc).

          This has already been addressed in my previous comment with respect to the FCC.

          Music Freedom and BingeOn are features with a hidden agenda. They offer more bang for your buck and allow for a smoke and mirrors game away from the real issue, that unlimited is “not sustainable” to cellular providers and they must innovate to remain competitive.

          This is not a hidden agenda. John Legere was very clear about how people who stream 1080p or even 1440p to their phones waste data.

          The benefit is to the consumer (no data impact), the content provider (page clicks), and T-Mobile (network relief).

          I do believe that all detectable music and optimized video streaming should be whitelisted and not just those that work with T-Mobile. If T-Mobile can optimize the video on their end, they should zero rate that data if BingeOn is enabled. That would help appease most people and the principles of Net Neutrality. If T-Mobile benefits from optimizing video and streaming music from non-participating providers, they should zero rate that data to help consumers save on data.

          T-Mobile explained the issue with YouTube:

          “Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, T-Mobile VP of Engineering Grant Castle explained that the problem is a technical one. 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.”

          As far as other services are concerned, it would be near impossible for T-Mobile to have included every single service out there. So it is better for services to join up. They included the most popular and even attempted to get YouTube included. This is very similar to Music Freedom where users suggest certain services to be included.

          I would hope that T-Mobile has consumers best interests in mind in all that they do, however, they are a corporation that needs to make as much money as possible in order to satisfy shareholders and the top executives.

          T-Mobile’s entire un-carrier “revolution” is based off of solving customer pain points; it’s the foundation. Every single new thing they launch is customer-focused and driven.

          If you do not agree with what they’re doing and/or you feel they are going in the wrong direction, then you are free to switch to another carrier as you are not bound by any service contracts. Likewise, we live in an environment where we have options.

        • Mark

          T-Mobile knows exactly when you are streaming video in almost all cases. That is why they optimize YouTube and all other video sources they can detect.

          I believe that any video source that T-Mobile optimizes, whether included in BingeOn or not, SHOULD NOT count against a users data plan. That is my only issue with this program. T-Mobile chooses which providers to whitelist but still optimizes all detectable video. That is the gray area here and that of which can cause issues down the road.

          I know it is hard for you to see viewpoints other than your own (you’re the top commenter on these forums as of late it seems). I applaud your total dedication behind Team Magenta. You would make a great Public Relations Official for the company.

        • Dan

          Why do you think unlimited data will disappear?

        • Mark

          My reasonings for unlimited data eventually disappearing are due to what is happening in the market. Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile all prioritize data to those customers who use less data. The more data you use (over 25GB) on an unlimited plan, data speeds can be reduced when competing network demands occur.

          T-Mobile likes to throw in extras for limited plan customers as well. Music Freedom and BingeOn help to monitor data usage and make unlimited data less appealing to most customers.

          I could very well be wrong (I’ve been wrong many times), however, the way unlimited plans get treated as well as the introduction of zero rated services, this is the direction of the industry at this time.

        • newcastle

          We want to join T-Mobile’s BingeOn program. T-Mobile will not let us join the program because we do not use a preferred video codec for our videos that can be optimized under T-Mobile’s BingeOn umbrella.

          Doesn’t work that way. The technical guidelines ask a video content provider only to make it easy for T-Mobile to detect the video content. It has nothing to do with your cool-ass codec. It doesn’t go that deep. If your codec is playable on mobile devices, either provide the signature or common http requirements, and you’re in.

          Considering that there is no money exchanged between content provider and T-Mobile, the benefits are HUGE for small companies and incentifies subscribers to consume.

    • It’s the detection that’s the issue. Right now, it’s for commercial services that opt-in to T-Mobile’s program and implement a check for it. There will always be personal or nonprofit video providers that will not be able to join Binge On. T-Mobile hasn’t worked with me on adding something like my Subsonic personal private media server, even though it is clearly identifiable as music and video and is in fact streamed directly over HTTP as such. It would be trivial to identify such data, but it continues to count as data usage and is not zero-rated. (Granted, I have unlimited data, so this doesn’t bother me.)

      The part that violates net neutrality is that even though “anyone can apply”, T-Mobile is only interested in letting in commercial video providers like Netflix, Hulu, etc. That’s the part that draws in customers. That’s where the companies can mutually benefit each other and make more money. Something like YouTube that uses UDP, or something encrypted, will probably never make it to the zero-rating whitelist as it currently stands.

      • Fabian Cortez

        Something like YouTube that uses UDP, or something encrypted, will probably never make it to the zero-rating whitelist as it currently stands.

        Technology changes and evolves.

        • That’s exactly my point. Technology improves, but if I were to launch a service with an innovative new adaptive bit-rate coded that COULDN’T be identified by the arbitrary technical standard that T-Mobile is imposing, then I’d have to choose between sticking with the old one that works and is zero-rated, or the new one that is better but not zero-rated.

          But there’s no need for a hypothetical example when there’s already HTTPS and encryption.

  • Acdc1a

    “For example, she suggests a “zero-rated low-bandwidth mode” that would operate at the same speed as Binge On and would not touch a user’s data, but would let them do whatever they’d like online at that speed.”

    I like this idea…a LOT.

    • Guest 2

      A Binge On plan:

      Talk, Text and Unlimited Web at 1.5Mbps

      $55

      Watch all the videos you want.

      Small (BIG) print: The human body needs some exercise from time to time. We are not responsible for your health.

      • Acdc1a

        Yes…and I think this could be a possibility where they sell speed tiers in the future.

  • rhianntp

    Net neutrality violates a free and open internet .. In that case thank God for T-Mobile!

    • PC_Tool

      Net Neutrality does no such thing; just the opposite, in fact.

      Keep in mind: There are the “principles” of Net Neutrality (something ever changing and people can pick and choose from) and the FCC Rules of Conduct regarding Net Neutrality, which are pretty straightforward.

      The issue here is Zero-Rating which, to some folks, violate the “principles” of Net Neutrality, but does not in any way violate the FCC’s rules (Zero Rating is allowed, but to be “monitored”on a case-by-case basis).

      A lot of folks seem to be confusing the ideals with the actual rules. Sometimes this can be an honest mistake, other times it would seem they are doing it purely to confuse the issue and make the debate an emotional one verses one based on reason.

      • rhianntp

        The point is the government has no such business telling ISPs or content providers how they should run their services. They have been doing just fine for the last 30 years with simple market forces in control..

        • PC_Tool

          “just fine”

          *laughing*

          Yeah. Okay. You bet.

        • rhianntp

          Your user name is perfect

        • PC_Tool

          So original.

          You sure showed me. Watch out, guys. rhianntp is a firecracker!

  • Super Legal Team…

    Have no fear T-mobile Super Legal team (lawyers) will defend every point and if need, re-visit every point of net neutrality to update and/or change their policy.

    • Adam

      No lawyers will be evolved. This annoyance is not even enough to make me switch.

  • Android_God

    John fluffers REPORT IMMEDIATELY! You are needed, STAT!!!

    • Fabian Cortez

      John fluffers REPORT IMMEDIATELY! You are needed, STAT!!!

      Please don’t be so disgusting and filthy.

      • Medion

        It took you over 40 minutes to report. John will be disappointed.

        • Guest 2

          LOL

          I though I was the only one taking notice of the time and the whereabouts.

          You know, sometimes it’s more fascinating to observe than it is to interact.

        • Fabian Cortez

          It took you over 40 minutes to report. John will be disappointed.

          Your personal issues with me are just that: personal.

          Keep them to yourself. ;)

        • Medion

          You bring this on yourself. If you can’t understand that, that’s your problem.

        • Fabian Cortez

          You bring this on yourself. If you can’t understand that, that’s your problem.

          I am dealing in facts. You are now officially trolling.

          Again, please keep your personal issues with me personal, i.e. to yourself.

        • Medion

          You’re posting on the internet. Each one of your posts are unique. I don’t care about you, and I hold no grudge. I have no personal issue with you.

          This forum is full of you responding in derogatory ways to posts that you disagree with. I’m merely doing the same.

          To bring it down to your level: If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. It’s that simple.

        • Fabian Cortez

          You’re posting on the internet. Each one of your posts are unique. I don’t care about you, and I hold no grudge. I have no personal issue with you.

          This forum is full of you responding in derogatory ways to posts that you disagree with. I’m merely doing the same.

          To bring it down to your level: If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. It’s that simple.

          You don’t care about me? Great! Then it seems illogical for you to continue to troll me and reply.

          But continue to reply to me with nonsense and information unrelated to this article. It shows just how much you “don’t care about you, and I hold no grudge. I have no personal issue with you.”

        • Medion

          By your logic, you are also trolling. Let me know when you’ve realized that.

        • Fabian Cortez

          By your logic, you are also trolling. Let me know when you’ve realized that.

          Yes, pointing out that an individual making a comment about a sexual act as being “disgusting and filthy” is absolutely trolling… That’s some really great logic you have there.

          The same logic that affords you to continue to worry about me due to your personal issues with me, even though you claim you “don’t care about you, and I hold no grudge. I have no personal issue with you.”

          Are you sure you want to attempt to deal in logic? After all, you’re the one that replied to me.

          I’ll just leave it at that and let you stew about it. Have a great evening!

        • Guest 2

          Will you really leave it at that, even if he replies to you?

          I want to see that.

          Will you reply to me?

          You know sometimes it’s very hard to let others have the last word,

          Do you think I’m doing just that?

        • Medion

          It’s a mental condition. He NEEDS to have the last word. Last time I admitted that I was trolling him just because of his need to have the last word, and he kept replying. He’s just so much fun :)

        • Fabian Cortez

          It’s a mental condition. He NEEDS to have the last word. Last time I admitted that I was trolling him just because of his need to have the last word, and he kept replying. He’s just so much fun :)

          Ah, a serial troll who admits it.

          Now I can rest my case. :)

          Thank you for publicly admitting to it. Now hurry up and find another comment of mine to reply to since you’re an admitted troll. I’m waiting.

        • Medion

          But you won’t rest your case. You can’t.

          And trust me, if there’s another person on this board as dumb as you, I’ll tease them too.

        • Fabian Cortez

          But you won’t rest your case. You can’t.

          And trust me, if there’s another person on this board as dumb as you, I’ll tease them too.

          Keep it up! You’re doing great! Especially the personal attack!

          Hurry and find another post to troll me on! I’m enjoying your “logic” here!

        • Guest 2

          We are not trolls Fabian, that’s why we are not going after every comment you post. That’s why we are only posting under these thread.

          You asking him to go after every comment you make is like a provocation, but I think that’s not your intention.

          Cheers.

        • but

          you keep trolling him and have the last word like you say he likes to have which makes you worse then him
          you also do this to other people so how does that make you special ??
          Lol and the best part is when you say you dont have something personal but it seems you do ….. most of your posts are to him or talking about him and thats troll behavior
          i guess he must be doing something right if it gets you this way without being paid lol

        • Medion

          I’ll admit, there is a dual hypocrisy. The difference is that I see it while he doesn’t. However, what I’m curious about is how an anonymous poster is coming to his defense so shortly after I posted on a dead thread, hmm? Also, feel free to point out who else I’ve “trolled” like Fabian, as you claim.

          I fully expect you to follow Fabian’s MO of responding without answering my questions.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Will you really leave it at that, even if he replies to you?

          I want to see that.

          Will you reply to me?

          You know sometimes it’s very hard to let others have the last word,

          Do you think I’m doing just that?

          Guest 2, you’ve been trolling since you started posting under that name. Knowing the internet, you’re probably a frequent commenter simply using a guest account.

          Reveal yourself. ;)

        • Medion

          So yes, he will keep replying. Not that it was ever really a question.

        • Guest 2

          I kind of like Fabian, he’s aggressive but never crosses the line. He even put a smiley face when he replied to you after the 40 minutes comment. Sometimes I think maybe we are not handling the situation properly.

        • Medion

          I like having him around. He disagrees with everyone, then gets mad because they won’t agree with him. Tells everyone that they’re the minority, then can’t grasp why he’s being teased.

          So he’s fun, and yes, rarely crosses the line.

        • Medion

          You could have simply said, “no, I can’t understand that.” But hey, have a good weekend as well. I sincerely mean that. I won’t waste my time stewing over this, nor would I expect you to.

          It is funny watching this go over your head though:)

        • Fabian Cortez

          You could have simply said, “no, I can’t understand that.” But hey, have a good weekend as well. I sincerely mean that. I won’t waste my time stewing over this, nor would I expect you to.

          It is funny watching this go over your head though:)

          Thank you and hopefully your logic of “I don’t care about you, and I hold no grudge. I have no personal issue with you” will kick in even though you continue to insist on replying.

        • Medion

          OK, so you think that I am replying to you because I care, right? So, why do you reply? I already know, just want to hear it from you.

        • Fabian Cortez

          OK, so you think that I am replying to you because I care, right? So, why do you reply? I already know, just want to hear it from you.

          Here, I replied again. Now quickly find another post to troll me on! I’m impatiently waiting!

        • Medion

          If I were to intentionally troll other posts, that would be disrespectful of the staff here. I’m trying to keep it contained.

          I noticed you avoided the question. You really struggle with simple questions :)

      • Android_God

        Ironic that you should be the first one to reply

        • calvin35

          This post made me laugh out loud. Thank you so much for that.

  • Guest 2

    I don’t want to start a new whole thread of discussion, meaning I may not reply to your reply, I just want to point out two things:

    1. We don’t know exactly how Binge On works, we know it is not a video optimization like we were told, we know it is throttling at 1.5Mbps, but what I don’t know is if only video files are affected like many are saying or entire applications whether they are encrypted or not. According to the P3 report video apps and mixed media apps like Facebook and Web Browsers are affected.

    2. I have an example of the “educational content” the professor is talking about, that some of you may know. The Internet Archive (archive dot org) is a ” non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more” where, among other things, people can upload or download content, including video. The videos are very different formats and resolutions and one can pick and choose MANUALLY which one you want to watch or download. The first problem I see is: what a non-profit with little resources can do to make all their content Binge On compatible, there is no switch for them, no option for them, either they do it or the videos will take forever to load or download by those people who don’t even know what Binge On is. The second problem is that when people who don’t know about Binge On go to this site they will think something is wrong with the site or with their phones.

    To those who what to understand more I recommend Sasha Segan’s opinion piece on Binge On at PC Mag.

    Thanks

    • Shawn Philpot

      “The first problem I see is: what a non-profit with little resources can do to make all their content Binge On compatible, there is no switch for them, no option for them, either they do it or the videos will take forever to load or download by those people who don’t even know what Binge On is. ”

      Binge On does not effect downloads of any kind, only streaming.

      • Ordeith

        Binge on affects downloads of files that have video content.
        Binge on affects all downloads while a device is playing back video if a split tunnel isn’t available.

    • Fabian Cortez

      1. We don’t know exactly how Binge On works, we know it is not a video optimization like we were told, we know it is throttling at 1.5Mbps,

      Well isn’t that quite the oxymoron?

      • Medion

        It’s not. He’s stating that we don’t know the whole picture, but we do know one part of it.

    • David Thoren

      We know it’s just straight throttling the services that haven’t joined BingeOn. We have no idea how the services that have joined BingeOn are handled

  • Shawn Philpot

    The people who have argued Binge On as a service which violates Net Neutrality have done a bad job in one key area: not naming the content providers who are affected. Instead a proverbial boogey-man has been created. The only ones who are really upset about it are crying on tech sites. My wife, who has no clue what any of this is, hasn’t said one thing about video not being able to stream on her Samsung s6 edge and I purposefully left Binge On active to see if she would say anything. She hasn’t.

    The millions of customers that T-Mobile continue to add don’t seem to care, either.

    • Fabian Cortez

      The people who have argued Binge On as a service which violates Net Neutrality have done a bad job in one key area: not naming the content providers who are affected.

      Actually, two key areas: “not naming the content providers who are affected” and not naming the consumers who are affected as well!

      And those who feel negatively-affected can turn it off.

    • Medion

      They named one (two, but one has since become irrelevant for the sake of their argument).

  • TMOTECH

    Why does anyone care what a Marxist professor from a liberal University says about anything. It has no bearing on how the FCC feels.

    • Adam

      Although Stanford undergrad has a reputation of being a cake walk, the law school is pretty good.

    • nearvanaman

      People have different views. That’s the very basis of our democracy.

      • riverhorse

        Yah but universities have the duty to not spread fud.

    • riverhorse

      Exactly. The FCC hasn’t called the fire dept, yet this loony bin claims to see smoke that they cannot.

      The reality actually is that without Binge On, Tmobile implodes under the weight of its own success.

  • UMadBruh

    more free advertisement

  • matt

    i wrote her. if you have an ipad and you have poor credit and cannot pass a credit check you do not get binge on. if you have an ipad and can pass a credit check you get binge on

    a customer paying $35 for 6 gigs at the end of the billing cycle gets binge on.
    a customer paying $35 for 6 gigs at the beginning of the billing cycle is denied binge on

    t-mobile says “connect me” does not get it

    nobody else sees to notice how they discriminate against the poor.
    if prepaid ipad gets binge on they should say so.

    a customer who pays 35 for 6 gigs at the beginning of the billing cycle is called “data pass”
    a customer who pays 35 for 6 gigs at the end of the billing cycle is called “simple choice”

    only “simple choice” plans are eligible.

    customers who subscribe to pay in advance for ipad or internet should move their plans to post paid. you are losing out on data stash and binge on and you are not saving any money.

    • Adam

      There is no business reason for this discrimination.

      • sikety

        ANYONE can get a post paid, regardless of credit. You just might be asked to put down a fully refundable deposit.

    • Ordeith

      Being poor doesn’t mean you have poor credit. Being bad with money (regardless of how much you have) is what causes that. Credit is built (and destroyed) by your demonstration of paying your bills. Don’t take on bills you can’t afford to pay and you’ll be fine. If you have an iPad and consider yourself poor what you probably have is poor judgement.

      • Chris

        Not just paying bills though. Utilization of that said credit. Paying bills monthly but having high utilization still gives you on just a “good” credit and still won’t give you an excellent one.

        • Ordeith

          high credit utilization (not paying off your debts) is a sign that you couldn’t afford the debt. Why would a company chose to extend more credit to an individual that clearly can’t afford to manage the credit they have?

      • Adam
        • Ordeith

          The content of that link only reinforces my point. I hope that was your intention.

        • Adam

          From the link:
          income under $30K -> 619 average score
          income over $150K -> 780 average score

        • Ordeith

          And there’s a lot of detail behind that, that essentially says that income is not a factor in the score, but that people with lower income tend to make poorer decisions and over extend themselves at a greater rate.

          correlation does not imply causation

        • Adam

          It is the results that matter.

        • Ordeith

          What matters is that income is not a consideration for credit score and it shouldn’t be used as an excuse, either.

        • Adam

          No one is saying this discrimination is intentional. Or even that there are never business reasons to discriminate.

          There is no disputing that the less you make, on average, the lower your credit rating. The factors that go into a poor credit rating are much easier to eliminate when you have excess cash. Although income is not directly used in credit scoring, all the factors that are used have a relationship to income. It would be more acculturate if you said, “Income is not directly considered.”

        • Ordeith

          It could also be speculated that the lack of self control and discipline that is reflected in a low credit score might also be contributing factors in limiting earning potential and depressing income.
          being poor is not an excuse.

  • I would definitely have no qualms with a zero-rated ~1Mbps throttle toggle. Similar to when you run over your data cap, but you can basically enable a “low-speed” data session to save your “high-speed” bucket.

    Similar to how home internet is “unlimited” but with speed caps, T-Mobile could stand to gain from enabling a throttle toggle.

  • Ordeith

    T-Mobile, still in the wrong.
    Just like their music shenanigans could have been resolved by just raising the throttled limit above 60kbs to something that would support music services, so too can Binge On be solved just by raising the throttled rate to 1.5mbps. Video would still stream (Binge On limits it to the same rate now) Music would still stream, and low quality video and high quality music would appear unlimited regardless of the source. That is net neutral.

    • Adam

      They could sell data in high, medium, and low speed buckets. Although I’m no sure the average customer would understand the difference, It sound to me like a better application of the KISS principle.

      • SirStephenH

        The problem with that is that unlike wired there’s no way to guarantee a basic level (speed) of service over wireless.

        • Adam

          The buckets would have to be based on max speed instead of min.

          The bigger problem is if the max speed bucket was used first, overall data usage would still be high.

    • RLB63

      Greedy. AT&T and Verizon charge if you go over. Here if you go over at least basic things will work like email, web browsing, GPS.

    • fentonr

      So, turn it off if you hate it, what’s the big deal?

  • fentonr

    Binge On might violate net neutrality rules, but it doesn’t violate the spirit of net neutrality. The whole purpose of net neutrality is to ensure that anyone can access anything and that ISPs don’t restrict access to certain content or make certain content work better. Because Binge on can be turned off, and because any service can participate in Binge On (including Verizon’s video service, by the way) T-Mobile isn’t providing preferential service to anyone. If you, as a video content provider choose not to participate, that’s on you, not T-Mobile.

    • Chris

      “or make certain content work better.” ding ding ding, and that’s where BingeOn violates the spirit of net neutrality. If 720p or 1080p is essentially bettering the content, then why restrict a video to 480p?

      • RLB63

        Because this is a CELLPHONE service. You don’t notice ANY difference on even a tablet. The screens are just so small that there isn’t any real difference. However the 720 & 1080 use up DRASTICALLY more data. The point is that it frees up bandwidth for other users without having to put up more towers. Thereby raising your cellphone bill to pay for them and then maintaining them.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Because this is a CELLPHONE service. You don’t notice ANY difference on even a tablet. The screens are just do small that there isn’t any real difference. However the 720 & 1080 use up DRASTICALLY more data.the point is that it frees up bandwidth for other users without having to put up more towers. Thereby raising your cellphone bill to pay for them and then maintaining them.

          Or better yet, and here’s the kicker: if you do notice the difference, you have the CHOICE/option to turn it off.

          A simple concept that the vocal few still fail to comprehend.

        • kamikaze

          Don’t think having an option to turn it off negates the possibility of this being a net neutrality violation, nor does it offer an escape clause

        • Fabian Cortez

          Don’t think having an option to turn it off negates the possibility of this being a net neutrality violation, nor does it offer an escape clause

          I agree. The possibility of anything exists in anything.

          This is why the FCC does not have any issue with existing zero-rated plans and will review new plans, such as Binge On, carefully on a case-by-case basis.

          This is why John met with the FCC recently.

        • SirStephenH

          “You don’t notice ANY difference on even a tablet. The screens are just so small that there isn’t any real difference.”

          Not everyone’s as blind as a bat…

      • fentonr

        Because the user won’t see the difference but users will see the difference of less congested networks. I go to cities all of the time that used to have good service but the network has gotten so clogged that it works like garbage now. Personally, I don’t care what resolution my video is as long as it looks good but I care very much that I’m able to use my phone.

    • You just went ahead and ignored all the arguments she presented! Not sure about the actual rules, but it certainly does violate the spirit of net neutrality.

      By way of comparison, do you have to ask anyone’s permission before creating a web page? No. Before uploading images to your site? No. Before posting audio to your site? No. Before posting a video? Oops, now noone’s going to watch that, because it’s not on Netflix, and it’ll eat through their traffic! How exactly is that not “make certain content work better”? Doesn’t Netflix “work better” as a result of BingeOn?

      Now in 2017, one may have to manually apply with 4+ different companies (in the US alone) to have one’s video zero-rated etc. If you are a small user, a new service now exists, that charges you an extra fee to post videos on their site that’s automatically zero-rated on all of these providers (a fee is charged in order to ensure compliance with everyone’s zero-rating rules).

      She is correct — Binge On is aptly named, and is only intended to produce the short-term positives, with long-term negative implications.

      • fentonr

        I understand her points and yours, I just don’t agree with them.

        • Except that she has a valid and articulate argument. How could you not agree with a valid argument? Do you find the premises of the argument to be false?

          The report, for example, appears to claim that it is not possible for YouTube to join at this time, due to restrictions imposed by T-Mobile.

          You do know that a whole bunch of educational content is available on YouTube, right? Conference talks etc. And some smaller-scale artists specifically derive income from posting original videos on YouTube and getting paid for ad impression?

          Are you saying that her analysis is just wrong, e.g., all such content is NOT being disadvantaged by not being zero-rated, and by being outright blocked after the initial high-speed allocation, all the while commercial services get a free ride for unlimited use? Which exact part do you disagree with?

  • Bradley Karas

    Haters gonna hate…players gonna play…

    • Medion

      Posters gonna post…

      • AngryBadger

        Combos gonna combo…

        • Zacamandapio

          Eaters gotta chiet.

        • John Jacob Schmidtt

          Data users gonna use data

        • Fools gonna be fools!

        • Guest 2

          Drinkers gonna save the world.

  • Guest 2

    Has anyone read the entire study report by the Stanford University?

    Or do we think we know enough already?

    I only read parts of it for now.

  • vinnyjr

    Just another Ding Bat looking to make some headlines. Binge On is a great program that allows customers to View much more content with a limited data allowance. It’s freaked free & if you no longer want it just shut it off. Any & All video providers are welcome to join Binge On, it’s a great program. There are no Net Neutrality Issues being stepped on, T-Mobile & John Legere have done a great job explaining Binge On, it’s just the same Trolls looking to make headlines and none are even T-Mobile Customers. Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere.

    • WTF9999

      Thanks for shilling for t mobile, nice to know where your head is up…

      • RLB63

        Nice to know your head is in the sand. There is a very limited amount of bandwidth. When people WASTE bandwidth other people go slower. Unless you are violating your contact, you are using your video on a tablet or phone. You won’t notice the difference on a small screen. There are probably some that have hacked their phones to watch videos on their tv’s. For those data hogs I don’t feel sorry.

        By the way I have unlimited data and haven’t seen a reason to turn binge off at all yet. Why should I waste a resource someone else might want to use…

        • Acdc1a

          I also keep it on but I tether it as well.

  • mingkee

    Binge On is one of the working solutions to handle increasing video consumption over limited bandwidth.
    Apparently, they missed how Binge On works.

    “van Schewick goes on to make suggestions on how T-Mobile could change its service. For example, she suggests a “zero-rated low-bandwidth mode” that would operate at the same speed as Binge On and would not touch a user’s data, but would let them do whatever they’d like online at that speed.”

    • peharri

      I think what she’s saying is that any content would be zero rated (free) if the user switched on that mode, not just video from a specific list of video suppliers. At the moment, all detected video is throttled, and some, but not all, of that video is zero rated.

      What I think she misses is that T-Mobile’s aim is to protect its network so that users can get a high speed data experience. Video is notorious for saturating towers (or other network aggregating/routing points) causing problems both for those trying to stream, and those trying to do more normal applications, which are typically bursty.)

      So making a free, throttled, mode for everything is simply going to increase the number of video users before the network gets congested and unpleasant for everyone.

      I /suspect/ the reason T-Mobile requires video providers work with them before being zero rated is to that the throttled video doesn’t look awful, which it will unless special care is taken to encode it optimally at the lower bitrates. They probably also want participants to treat 1.5mbps as an upper limit they should try to avoid getting anywhere near.

      The author of the report is (in my opinion) wrong that it’s a violation of network neutrality, and probably wrong about the solution, but that said she’s right to raise the fact that the participant-zero-rating model is problematic, at least, as T-Mobile has implemented it.

  • Rob

    “zero-rated low-bandwidth mode”

    What is she smoking?! This is EXACTLY what net neutrality rules were put in place for – to prevent priority traffic lanes!

    Binge On is an opt-in service, I don’t see the issue. It’s a value add service for T-Mobile customers and T-Mobile made it easy as can be to turn it off and on in the new software (and also finally lets you see your data stash balance as well).

    Creating a zero-rated low bandwidth mode would literally be exactly what the FCC passed net neutrality rules to prevent operators from doing.

    • Ordeith

      Binge On is an opt-out service – and that is the primary issue people are having with it.

      • Rob

        Those that care about it know to turn it off. The vast majority of T-Mobile’s customer base doesn’t have a clue and they’re perfectly happy with it. Those of us that have larger blocks of data or do care turn it off. Again, I don’t see the problem with it.

        There is one annoying thing though – you don’t get your data stash if you have Binge On turned on which I only recently found out about.

        I think what T-Mobile needs to do is ask every new customer what they want by default but for old customers, it’s a lot more complicated.

        Note that I believe that T-Mobile should have not enabled it by default for unlimited data subscribers. That was sneaky in my opinion.

        • AS118

          To be fair, I don’t feel that’s really true. Most mobile users are very technically ignorant, and don’t pay attention to their carrier’s news, and I would guess that they wouldn’t know about Binge-on, but notice that their video suddenly looks worse, and that their video download speeds are bad.

          Then rather than educating themselves about Binge-on, they’re probably more likely to complain that T-mobile’s video quality and download speeds suck, and maybe switch carriers. All without even getting a clue that binge-on exists or at least how it works even if they find out that it exists.

          I’ve found that it’s never good to assume that the average customer is knowledgeable or competent, especially when it comes to tech products or services. It’s one of the reasons I feel like Binge-on should have been opt-in. A lot of people are just going to be like “WTH, why is my video quality suddenly crappy? T-mobile SUCKS”

        • Rob

          That’s what I’m saying though. Most customers don’t know any better. By the way, the video doesn’t look that horrible with Binge On turned on, I used it for awhile. It’s also a great way for customers in high congestion or low bandwidth areas to be able to watch videos without them constantly stopping to buffer. If the FCC declares zero-rating services as a violation of net neutrality, it is going to have a domino effect that in the end just screws the customer.

        • guest

          My thing is, if Binge On was opt-in, too many existing customers would see the commercials and assume that they are allowed to watch certain video without it touching data, binge watch an entire season on Netflix without turning it on, and cry to T-Mobile that they have no more high speed data left.

    • kamikaze

      Zero Rated low bandwidth mode means non-chargeable low speed Internet … it’s not a violation of FCC Net Neutrality if speeds are kept to a limit for ALL services… how else do you think ISPs sell 10Mbps, 20Mbps plans etc? The speeds can be kept under a limit as long as all traffic is equally treated. As an example, you can’t have Netflix streaming free at one (lower) speed while Rob’s Video stream is throttled and adds to the data cap.

      • Rob

        ISPs only offer that one single speed though. What is being proposed here is having two separate speed tiers on the same service. If you have ever used a VPN, you can easily see how little effort it would take to get past the slow lane and into the fast lane…

  • Logical Song

    Hmmm — since the average IQ around here has seemed to settle in the range of 70 to 80, here are some examples of why “opting out” versus “opting in” are not just slight trifles or interpretations. This isn’t just splitting hairs. T-Mobile has made a stupid marketing and product move, and is gradually going to back-track because of its ill-advised foray.

    One quick example — and again — I will keep it simple for the Fabian / Vinny JR simpleton types… Virtually every single new car sold in the US each year (15 million vehicles, give or take) comes with a varied and multi-function anti-skid / traction control system. 100% of these vehicles are delivered with these safety systems in what we can term the “opt in” mode. For the vast majority of drivers, this is probably a good thing. Even though you can literally flip a switch on your dash, or in some cases, go into the vehicle’s system menus, to disable, or “opt out” of traction control, it’s typically not advised, and the vehicle will then alert you that you have disabled or “opted out” the system.

    Sure — traction control isn’t some legislated feature. But we can all agree — it makes sense for 100% of us to have it activated, except for some real rare occasion, or unless it’s track day somewhere.

    So in the world of auto safety — it is reasonable and expected that “opt in” is the superior choice. In the world of T-Mobile’s weary and crappy network — binge on should have been introduced as a feature, just like text, 5GB of data, or their bogus Asurion program, which one has the choice to “opt in” if it is a good fit for them. Just don’t opt me in because it’s good for the company.

    • calvin35

      Unfortunately Binge On is of no use to T-Mobile if it’s not opt-out.

      • Guest 2

        Maybe not. I think the 480p bingers, after now knowing how 1.5 Mbps throttling works, are gonna opt-in if and when Binge On becomes an opt-in service.

        Yes, some of them will complain like cry babies, but on the other hand others will be able to say: “just turn it on, and live your life”.

        Then video watchers will be happy (480p-ers and others), the rest of the customers will be happy, and Net Neutrality will be protected against the likes of AT&T and Verizon whom are trying to copy T-Mobile.

        • Hugo Garcia

          Opt in or opt out is there that much of a difference, right now anyone who wants to can opt out, i dont see it as that big of a deal that its opt out instead of opt in

        • Guest2

          Correction:

          Anyone who knows about Binge On and knows it can be disable can “hunt down for the switch” to disable it.

    • Guest

      You try start off with cutting people down to make people think you are superior or know what you are talking about. But, your example is no more than just saying how something make sense to be opt out but tmobile doesn’t fit the case. Wow, what a clever statement of discovery. Yet, the last of your statement just breaks it. You said their networks suck and it does and more so they should have it opt out. I could see people benefit from it, so your very last statement is saying like saying it only good for the company is false. I don’t how much more well it offset the amount of extra blinger use. I could see it can help the congestion too. In the end, the company doesn’t owe you or promise you anything really, coverage, speed, or anything at all. I do say they are being a bit dishonest here, I think not a very big deal and it does offer a lot more value vs other carriers. Why would you think others are copying blinge on despite all the controversy.

  • A|E

    Why no one is complaining when T-Mobile increase the tethering DATA to everyone without asking first or opt-in , opt-out as we have to hear this everytime this issue come up;
    May be T-Mobile should get rid of Truly unlimited for all so we don’t have to listen to this nosense. I’m a Truly-unlimited plan and I like it since no other carrier can give me a better deal than this. No contract so if I don’t like it , I can move on.

  • pengko

    simple. t-mobiles next move will be provide 4g lte at your allocated amount you purchased then slows down to 3g 1.5mbps internet after you passed it. No more slow downs to 2g dial up speeds. Binge on for videos is probably just a vehicle they are testing for that new uncarrier move. This is why they are offering those 3 free months of unthrottled internet free until march 2016 and opting everyone it… it is to test if their network can handle the 3g throttle and their expansion capacity if they do so. They will probably will announce it during the superbowl commercials. All the other carries will hate them.

  • AS118

    A zero-rated low bandwidth mode sounds like a good idea, actually, and would be provider-neutral. That said, my concern with binge-on (besides it being opt-out instead of pt-in, especially for unlimited customers) is that it’ll eventually end up congesting T-mobile’s network.

    Sure T-mobile’s doing stuff like music freedom and binge-on to make it seem like you don’t need unlimited, and I’m guessing that they’ll use it as an excuse to take unlimited plans away, and then unfortunately take away music freedom and binge-on as well.

    Given bandwidth limitations, I just don’t see how they’ll keep stuff like music freedom and binge-on (even at 480p) going, especially with unlimited plans still being available. Something’s probably going to give. Maybe not now, but in the future.

  • Guest2

    From the study:

    ” Once customers reach their caps and have used up any unused rollover data from prior months), all of their Internet traffic, including video from Binge On providers, is slowed down to 2G speeds (about 1/100 of the 4G LTE speeds). 13 ” (page 8, 40, 41, 42)

    Looks like 480p-ers need to read the report more than anyone else.

  • Guest

    I understand both sides. But, the hater keeps pushing it and totally nullify it benefit. Haters are over-killing it, they have to understand why many still loves it and not trying hard people to think the way they do or totally defaming it. It made a lot of positive change to the industry, although this move may not be best but I really don’t think it is that great of a deal, you can turn it off or suggest others to. I mean the iphone backgroud data would probably be a much greater deal but no one really say anything about it. Haters got to understand, you aint going to change anything, so why waste time and it would be more ironically if you are still with tmobile. You need to learn to respect other choice and values and not just say they are dumb and ignorant. I mean there just so much in life to complain about then this and least you have an option to opt out or leave entirely. If you make a big deal out of this, I can’t imagine how much grudge you live with in life. A lot of carrier and business do much worst kind of things, and if you can’t change it, then doesn’t help to whine, just leave.

  • Kumar

    Before you complain look at what other carriers have to offered. All they been doing is think of every idea they can to squeeze every pennies out of you, different overage price base on plan n bundle plan. They are thinking of ideas to deter you from the lowest tiers. T-Mobile on the other hand are offering free goodies, like beef up network for Super Bowl, free calling to disaster zone, while other just all idea is profit oriented.

  • frankinnoho

    Oh gods!
    First, this’s a lawyer talking. Lawyers are not philosophers, they are hired guns who make arguments. Murderers, drug dealers, rapist and other ne’er-do-wells use them all the time.
    Second, what she said was it MAY BE illegal. Orrrrrr, it MAY NOT BE illegal. Typical lawyer speak.
    Third, she made some arguments that could be interpreted in a damaging manner.
    Therefore, what she’s really saying is “Lawyer-Up, Buddie,” there’s gonna be a party at the bar association tonight!!!!!!!

    • Eric D

      Makes me wonder if some carrier didn’t make a nice donation to the school.

  • shogunreaperr

    “For example, she suggests a “zero-rated low-bandwidth mode” that would
    operate at the same speed as Binge On and would not touch a user’s data,
    but would let them do whatever they’d like online at that speed.”

    That’s definitly what should happen.

    if they can suddenly decide their network can support unlimited data at a set bandwidth then why don’t they do that for everything?

    I’d gladly take an unlimited at lower speed than limited at a faster speed.

  • caucasionally

    This is a bunch of hogwash. Let it go. Or turn it on if you want. Either way you have a choice. T-Mobile gives away free stuff and people complain. These Stanford folks probably have Verizon and pay way too much for their ten gigs and are jealous. One line on Verizon with only ten gigs and a note 5 on device payment is.. $129+tax..Or $140+tax with insurance. I’d be butthurt too.

  • kappen

    every time I see people complain about binge on you can tell from their post they aren’t T mobile customers. I for one, as a tmobile customer, like binge on. I can’t even tell that the quality is being reduced on my Iphone or Ipad. They also just added the # codes to turn easily turn it off and on. Nobody even seems to mention the sling and vudu discounts either. I don’t agree that it should be done on everything because then I would spend most of my time turning it off and on, but for video its great.

    • Guest2

      ” I don’t agree that it should be done on everything because then I would spend most of my time turning it off and on”

      But it is, not on everything, but on a lot of things. Check the P3 report and search ‘mixed media’.

      When it throttles mixed media, it’s throttling Social Media apps, web browsers, most gaming apps, probably messaging apps as well and who knows what else.

      You’re just not noticing the extra few seconds it is taking your Facebook or browser to load.

    • Eric D

      I agree, I was constantly going over my data watching Netflix. Now I can keep my data for gaming ext. I do believe they shouldn’t of enabled it for Unlimited customers, but hey I’m not an unlimited customer.

    • This is not a discount. It’s throttling.

  • Charmed79

    I just don’t get the people complaining about this? If you do not want it on, turn it off!

    • Eric D

      I think the problem is people complaining who are not actually T-Mobile customers. But I honestly see less complaining now than before. Hopefully it continues to go down.

    • The description of the service is deceptive and is automatically on. It’s an opt-out. There was no opting in.

  • My thoughts

    As Verizon user I feel this violate Net Neutrality. The FCC needs to get involved here and protect consumer against corporate greed!

    • Alan

      Understand, but FCC is already involved. I just wonder if you are posting on the wrong place, as a Verizon user or just a internet user in general? I mean as a Verizon user, should worry about Verizon first because they are doing the same thing.

    • gpt2010

      And Verizon protects consumer needs?

    • Botiemaster

      10/10 troll would read again

    • Jax

      Is that why I can’t watch the NFL live on my mobile phone? Because Verizon is so fair?

  • peharri

    As long as T-Mobile doesn’t reject any participant for any reason other than a refusal by said participant to stream according to the technical standards the others have agreed upon, I don’t see that this violates net neutrality.

    To be sure, Binge On is problematic. The very fact the details of how to participant are an industry secret rather than published publicly, and that participants have to sign up, rather than be automatically included if they conform to the standards, is T-Mobile violating much of the spirit of the Internet which has always been built upon consensus, equal treatment (attempts to reduce abuse excepted), and open standards.

    But a violation of net neutrality? I don’t see it.

  • Botiemaster

    All I see is a bunch of QQing by comp because they don’t want to provide free data, ever, to compete.

  • andrew

    there hating on bing-on because there jealous its brilliant what tmo did they cut the competition so low that there mad. they other providers cant compete because of there structure. if you make money buy charging customers excessive amounts of cash for data why would you give the biggest consuming services away for free! good job tmo.

  • Jax

    I just want to know, now that T-mobile took away those argument points and people now had the opportunity to see how it all works, why was everybody arguing over a lame report in the first place?