If you’re a T-Mobile Simple Choice customer with Binge On opted in, you might be surprised to find that some video is being throttled. That’s because T-Mobile is slowing connections to all video sites, even those that aren’t in the Binge On program. The company has been attempting to justify this move by saying that it’s “optimizing” the content to make sure that users can watch it without going over their data caps. But the EFF and many customers aren’t buying it.
The controversy over T-Mobile’s Binge On feature is a big deal. The company is promoting it heavily, hoping that it can lure subscribers away from competitors like AT&T and Verizon, which lead the country’s wireless industry in terms of number of US subscribers. But it also runs afoul of net neutrality rules, which require that all Internet traffic be treated equally. Binge On violates that principle in two ways: First, it’s limited to video, so other types of large downloads and data don’t qualify for zero-rating. Second, it reduces video quality to 480p for everyone, even those who don’t participate in the program.