T-Mobile says that describing what Binge On does as throttling, which is exactly what YouTube did, is “misleading.” In a statement to DSLReports, a T-Mo rep said, “We aren’t slowing down YouTube or any other site. In fact, because video is optimized for mobile devices, streaming from these sites should be just as fast, if not faster than before. A better phrase is “mobile optimized” or a less flattering “downgraded” is also accurate."
When YouTube complained about Binge On, it said that while cutting data costs for customers is good, “it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent.” That last bit is what’s important. When T-Mobile launched Binge On last month, it automatically turned the service on for all users. Even if they didn’t qualify for the free streaming from 24 video services, customers would still have their video “optimized” to save them some data. While T-Mobile does say that Binge On is automatically turned on, it doesn’t make that super clear, nor does it clearly explain how Binge On can be disabled.
It’ll be interesting to see how T-Mobile responds to these criticisms of Binge On. It’s unlikely that T-Mo will do away with Binge On completely, especially since CEO John Legere said today that he expects Binge On to add more free services in 2016. The company does have an upcoming meeting with the FCC, which wants to discuss concerns that’ve been raised about Binge On. Perhaps we’ll see T-Mo make it more clear how consumers can turn off Binge On if they’d like?