T-Mobile raises concerns over video distribution practices in letter to the FCC

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Ever since the launch of Binge On last year, video has been a big deal to T-Mobile, with T-Mo working with video providers to add them as Binge On partners and making Binge On one of its highlight features. Now T-Mobile is showing its interest in video even farther by suggesting video content policies for the FCC to examine.

In its letter to the FCC, T-Mobile lays out four policies that it thinks need a closer look. The first is that most favored nations (MFN) and alternative distribution methods (ADM) provisions make it hard for mobile and over-the-top providers to get programming. T-Mo argues that MFN provisions allow multichannel video programming distributors — or traditional TV providers — to get better distribution deals than new and smaller distributors, preventing new providers to get access to a large variety of programming.

Meanwhile, the ADM provisions that are in place may restrict a programmer’s ability to have its content distributed through alternative platforms. Obviously this is concerning to T-Mobile, as its a relative newcomer to video distribution, and the ADM provisions are often written up in a way that prevents a programmer to provide its service through over-the-top and other distribution methods.

T-Mobile also asks the FCC to take a look at bundling requirements and how they affect providers’ ability to offer programming that customers want. T-Mo says that there are complaints that distributors are often forced to carry programming that neither they nor they customers want in order to get access to programming that they do want. T-Mobile is arguing that bundles force providers to carry and deliver programming that customers don’t want, which “might limit its ability to offer innovative program services tailored to what customers really want.”

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Another thing that T-Mobile says could hinder its ability to offer desirable program services is a difficulty of getting access to programming at competitive rates. There are concerns that some providers face challenges when it comes to getting programming with “economically reasonable” terms, and that on average, new providers pay much more for access to programming in comparison to larger providers.

Finally, T-Mobile suggests that the FCC continue to take a look at set-top boxes. Some say that set-top boxes and the issues associated with them, like system carriage and channel lineup, could have an adverse effect on those that want to disrupt the video programming marketplace.

While it’s unclear right now what plans T-Mobile might have for video in the future, this letter to the FCC shows that T-Mo is still very much interested in video distribution. The FCC is still taking comments about the video marketplace, and the topic isn’t on the agenda for the Commission meeting that’s taking place on April 28, so it’s still up in the air as to when we’ll find out which issues the FCC will take a look at.

T-Mobile’s full letter to the FCC can be found right here.

Via: FierceWireless
Source: FCC

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  • Kar

    The EFF sent a complaint to the FCC two weeks ago, asking it to investigate T-Mobile, Verizon and others.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Link?

      • Kar

        eff(dot)org/files/2016/04/07/finalzeroratingsign-onletter.fa929bef59a5423089a496b4f909fb97(dot)pdf

  • VN

    So, T-Mobile wants to be seen more as a video distributor and less as an ISP?

    Screw the internet then, just use the airwaves to distribute commercial videos and music. Thank you T-Mobile, thank you John Legere.

    • Fabian Cortez

      So, T-Mobile wants to be seen more as a video distributor and less as an ISP?

      Screw the internet then, just use the airwaves to distribute commercial videos and music. Thank you T-Mobile, thank you John Legere.

      And there it is, just like I previously said. You’ve trolled me and now you’re back to trolling vinnyjr.

      Guest 2/VN, try being original, will you?

  • Joe

    How about less with the letters and more with processing my damn BOGO claim for the S7. It’s been 6.5 weeks since I submitted it and it’s still on pending approval. I just want my debit card so I can pay off this second phone!

    • keepitreal25

      Really its been two and half bill cycles. You know are getting the card. When the terms state 8 weeks, then that’s the timeline. Chilllll

    • keepitreal25

      And before you reply negatively , just know Im messing with you because I didn’t understand how t-mobile sticking up for all wireless consumers in regards to this articles topic, had anything to do with your s7 rebate :)

    • Considering the BOGO deal is across several carriers, I’m sure it’s a Samsung promotion via Tmo. The debit card is probably coming from Samsung.

  • Hiro

    “T-Mobile also asks the FCC to take a look at bundling requirements and how they affect providers’ ability to offer programming that customers want. T-Mo says that there are complaints that distributors are often forced to carry programming that neither they nor they customers want in order to get access to programming that they do want. T-Mobile is arguing that bundles force providers to carry and deliver programming that customers don’t want, which “might limit its ability to offer innovative program services tailored to what customers really want.””

    Finally, someone is bringing this up. Having worked for a cable company, I can attest to how much of a huge issue this is, one that we hated, and one that is a huge negative impact on customers. As much as it’s easy to hate on Comcast, etc (and many times, rightfully so) that is one area that isn’t your providers fault – it’s the programmers fault, forcing the hand or pulling ESPN, etc completely if they don’t carry a channel 5 people in the country would watch… which raises the cost for everyone.

    • Your Mi Boy Blu

      Most likely, T-Mobile wants to be regulated like a cable company. These were typically regional companies when they started and had to acquire local franchise rights.

      If I remember correctly, the upcoming 600Mhz auction made 30Mhz of spectrum available for smaller companies. However, the FCC lacked the foresight to also limit T-Mobile and other smaller companies from bidding on the additional 60-80Mhz available.

      Its a great opportunity for a well-funded cable company to get into wireless.

      T-Mobile often writes letters like this about “unfair market practices” to regulators when it wants make ads about services other than cellular. FCC should be regulating them based on quality of service KPIs like dropped calls, bad coverage areas and complaints instead of getting into new business.

  • Richard Darrington

    How about the home Wi-Fi data caps uverse is about to start inforcing.