What’s the deal with T-Mobile’s Binge On program? Nothing really but some groups are attacking the service as if a majority of subscribers are not happy with it. YouTube first complained that the carrier is downgrading video streaming quality to which T-Mobile quickly responded that it’s not but is only mobile optimizing them. No formal complaint has been filed yet with the FCC but the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) made an early effort to check the claims.

The results of EFF’s tests pointed to the fact that T-Mobile is just throttling and not really mobile optimizing. While there seems to be nothing with the supposed mobile optimizing, some people are saying that even non-Binge On subscribers are also receiving low-res videos by default.

Mobile opttimization is different from throttling. Unfortunately, EFF is insisting that what T-Mobile is doing is that–throttling–which is illegal.

T-Mobile is still getting a lot of support. In fact, over 50 streaming services are joining the Binge On program. The carrier recently added 14 more free streaming options including A&E, Curiosity Stream, Fandor, FuboTV, FYI, HISTORY, Kidoodle TV, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Club Newsy, ODK Media, PlayStation Vue, and Tennis Channel Anywhere. That can be exciting for a lot of Binge On customers but we’re certain other groups will react some more. T-Mobile saw an increase in mobile video viewership. People are watching 12% more videos and 23% longer than usual while the number of viewers increased to about 66%. This Un-Carrier move is proving to be a success but not everyone is happy.

And so T-Mobile’s rockstar CEO John Legere finally reacted and posted his video response and set the record straight on Binge On.

The CEO doesn’t understand why this is an issue and according to him, groups are just confusing the public because Binge On customers are given new options to get more videos for free. They are given ultimate control of their data plans or about three times more by not paying any extra cost. Binge On is free so a lot of customers in the US love it. Even video streaming service providers are signing up to get on the Binge On bandwagon so they can expand their reach.

Watching the video above, we can feel Legere’s frustration about those special interest groups who are said to be offended by the move. Legere reiterated that T-Mobile is only optimizing the videos for mobile at a bit rate designed to stretch mobile consumption. He said that it is not throttling because by definition, throttling is “slowing down data and removing total control” from the customers. He noted that Binge On is neither.

T-Mobile insists this Binge On is for the benefit of the people. As to why some groups are complaining, he’s just confused because the program actually gives more power to customers by providing more videos for free.

There you have it ladies and geeks, Legere is frustrated and confused. Honestly, we’re also fine with the so-called mobile optimization because really, we all just want to watch more videos for free. We won’t mind any downgrading or slowing down as long as the video we want to see is streaming and available right in front of us.

SOURCE: T-Mobile (1),(2)

  • Jeff Messer

    If you’re OK with it then you’re kind of part of the problem. Why should T-Mobile be giving some companies a free pass while other sites count against your data plan? Ok fine, do “optimization” but do it on ALL video then, and don’t charge customers for video. The problem is that it’s a solution the carriers are creating artificially by introducing data caps, forcing customers to adapt to the silly idea that there are only “so many bits available” and then acting like they’re doing everyone a favor by picking and choosing who gets thru for free and who doesn’t. We (the public, consumers, mobile advocates) should not be “ok” with the idea that the carriers can alter how and what quality of data is delivered to us. As I tweeted to Mr. Legere, “…if I order a product from Amazon, I don’t expect UPS to open the package and give me a lesser quality version.”

    • OtherOptionsExist

      Then don’t use it. Go to Verizon or AT&T where you cap out at some arbitrary amount of data. Or stay with TMobile and turn it off. Beauty of capitalism is choices. You don’t like it go somewhere else.

      • Jeff Messer

        I’m on AT&T right now, so…exactly. 🙂 I left Verizon for similar issues, I agree the competition is great. The problem is it’s all well and good to say, “go to another company,” until they start adopting similar practices and you have no where else to go. If you think what T-Mobile is doing is good, I’m sorry but you’re not thinking about the big picture and where those kinds of policies inevitably lead. Personally I think we need to get to a point where we pay $X for our plan, and we use the device. All of these limited minutes, limited data issues need to just go away entirely. I would give T-Mobile major kudos if they came out and said, “Ok we hear you, we’re going to keep BingeOn, and if you sign up for our service, all video services won’t count against your plan.”