The Binge On saga continues today with a new report that skewers T-Mobile’s service as “just throttling.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation conducted some tests using a T-Mobile phone on the magenta carrier’s 4G LTE network. The tests included streaming an HTML5 video using the web browser, downloading a video, downloading a video file without a video extension, and downloading a file that was not a video. The EFF’s testing revealed that all video content was slowed to around 1.5Mbps, regardless of whether the video was being streamed or downloaded. T-Mo confirmed that it can also determine if a file is a video even if there’s no video file extension.
Today’s report also says that the video wasn't actually being altered in any way. Instead, T-Mobile is simply altering the throughput to around 1.5Mbps and leaving the provider to adapt and serve up a lower quality video. If it can’t, then the user will see stuttering. T-Mobile confirmed that it doesn’t perform any optimizations other than reducing the bandwidth, despite its previous assertion that describing what Binge On does as “throttling” is misleading.
T-Mobile does say on its Binge On product page that not only is the service is automatically enabled, but that it also “optimizes” almost all video that doesn’t come from the free services like Netflix and HBO. However, the problem is that most folks don’t know this, leaving them to wonder why their YouTube videos aren’t higher quality than 480p. Even though T-Mo admits that Binge On is automatically enabled, the carrier needs to instead make it opt-in so that only folks that actually want their videos to be optimized will get them that way. T-Mobile could also stand to make it more clear how to disable Binge On.
What has your experience with Binge On been? Do you enjoy the service or have you disabled it?