EFF says T-Mobile One seems to violate net neutrality

One day after the announcement of T-Mobile One, the new plan is giving some people concerns that it could violate net neutrality.

EFF senior staff technologist Jeremy Gillula told the Daily Dot that, based on what his group has read about T-Mobile One so far, “it seems like T-Mobile’s new plan to charge its customers extra to not throttle video runs directly afoul of the principle of net neutrality.” He added that T-Mobile One’s video throttling could also violate the FCC’s Open Internet Order that says that “ISPs can’t throttle traffic based on its type, or charge customers more in order to avoid discriminatory throttling.”

Gillula did say that the EFF is still gathering info about T-Mobile One. When asked about T-Mobile One and its effect on net neutrality, an FCC spokesperson said that the agency is conducting an “informal policy review” and that “Chairman Wheeler said the Commission would keep an eye on new developments in this area and we are continuing to do so.” T-Mobile has not issued a comment on the matter.

This isn’t the first time that T-Mobile has been accused of violating net neutrality. In the months following last year’s launch of Binge On, there were several accusations of net neutrality violations. The EFF chimed in on Binge On, too, publishing a report that said that Binge On was just throttling.

The FCC took a look at Binge On, too, with Chairman Tom Wheeler calling Binge On “highly innovative and highly competitive.” The FCC later met with T-Mobile regarding Binge On and had a meeting that was described as “productive.”

T-Mobile eventually made it easier and more clear for customers to toggle Binge On, and since then, the criticisms of the service appear to have died down. Now accusations of T-Mobile violating net neutrality have sprung up again, though, with T-Mobile One. The new plan automatically reduces all video streams to a max resolution of 480p and asks that customers pay $25 per month per line if they want high-definition video.

During a Facebook Live stream held to discuss T-Mobile One yesterday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere responded to a claim that the new plan violates net neutrality. Here’s what he had to say:

“Listen, we have made it painfully clear from the beginning, we are pro net neutrality. This is all about customer choice. So if a customer buys this program, we will, based upon the offer itself, deliver them video at standard definition. If they want Ultra HD and they upgrade and pay the $25, we will give them that, too. That’s choice.

“We actually believe that there were questions associated with how we got here, and this is a very strong statement of responding to what we think are the things that are very important from a net neutrality standpoint. I’m glad to have that discussion, but it is clearly not an anti-net neutrality position.”

T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert went on to say that T-Mobile One is about “handing a massive savings” to customers. Sievert said that one percent of T-Mobile customers have turned off Binge On, and so if those customers want high-def video, then can pay $70 for T-Mobile One and $25 for high-def video and they’ll be at the same $95 price of the current Simple Choice unlimited plan.

Source: Daily Dot