Since T-Mobile announced Binge On (allowing customers to stream video on select services without it using their data) back in November of last year, there has been quite a bit of backlash towards the carrier in regards to the new service. And it all comes down to Net Neutrality – as well as how the carrier is “optimizing” video streams. Seeing as video data is being handled differently from other data being used on T-Mobile’s network, many have said that it violates Net Neutrality, although the FCC did come out shortly after Binge On launched and stated that it in fact does not violate Net Neutrality. Now a new study coming out of Stanford believes that Binge On might be illegal.
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The study coming out of Stanford suggests that the service can kill the competition. A few examples that were cited were the fact that Vevo is supported in Binge On, but not YouTube or Vimeo. Another was the fact that Ustream is supported, but not Periscope or Meerkat (and as much as T-Mobile’s CEO loves Periscope, you’d think it would be added). There are many other examples listed in the study, and the fact that if other ISP’s and wireless carriers start to do something similar to Binge On, it could help some video streaming services get more customers and stream more than their competitors. Which still affects Net Neutrality in a way.
While the FCC has come out and stated that Binge On does not violate Net Neutrality, they might come back around and revisit Binge On and change their minds. Binge On is a great service – although it’s had a pretty rocky start – many are still not too happy about it optimizing all video streamed on T-Mobile’s network. For example, YouTube is downgraded to 480p or DVD quality, while it’s not part of Binge On. And thus making the experience for many users, not that great. T-Mobile’s CEO has been on the offensive regarding Binge On, quite a bit lately. We’ll probably hear from him pretty soon regarding this study from Stanford as well. If you’d like to check out the study, hit up the source links down below.