Mobile's Binge On has been throttling everything, according to EFF

Mobile's Binge On has been throttling everything, according to EFF

The digital advocacy organization tried streaming and downloading videos from sites that are not affiliated with T-Mobile's Binge On by using a smartphone on T-Mobile's wireless network and found that their download speeds were significantly slower than they were when downloading and streaming the same content over an encrypted connection, so that T-Mobile couldn't tell what type of content the testers were accessing.

In late November, T-Mobile announced a new video optimization program, dubbed "Binge On".

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has called on the FCC to bring T-Mobile to account after confirming that the mobile provider is throttling all high-definition video streams down to DVD quality, in possible breach of current regulations about net neutrality. T-Mobile automatically enabled the Binge On feature for customers, but users soon realized that T-Mobile was degrading the quality of all video content, even if the content provider was not a Binge On partner.

The final finding is that comparing the hash files of video files downloaded via Binge On to the same files downloaded with the service disabled returned identical results.

"In other words, our results show that T-Mobile is throttling video streams, plain and simple".

Yet now, an EFF investigation into the service appears to disagree with T-Mobile's comment.

The service lets users download unlimited amounts of low-resolution video from partners such as Netflix.

The EFF said they reached out to T-Mobile to better understand the process. T-Mobile has taken heat from net neutrality advocates (and YouTube) for meddling with Internet content and setting a bad precedent, even if customers may be excited by the lure of "free stuff". The T-Mo execs also said that YouTube's stance on Binge On is "absurd". "It also means that videos are being throttled even if they're being watched or downloaded to another device via a tethered connection".

Tests showed when Binge On was enabled, all video streams and downloads degraded to 1.5 Mbps.

The carrier responded by saying that they did not throttle YouTube, but rather they were "optimizing" the platform for bandwidth. If video is more than 480p, the effect is just uneven streaming or stuttering.

T-Mobile objects to the suggestion that the company is "throttling" a user's data, and insists on sticking with the term "optimize", but the EFF correctly points out that the lack of any processing other than a hard cap on video bitrate makes "throttling" the only logical description. The EFF argues that Binge On should be opt-in instead of opt-out, "with clear disclosure that opting in will throttle all video traffic".

"It also accuses the telecom giant of violating the Open Internet Order created by the FCC, which says that IPS "...shall not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of Internet content, application, or service...subject to reasonable network management".

Garde unhappy with penalty call in Villa draw
Villa are a good team and I remember the first game and how hard it was to beat them (Leicester won 3-2 after being 2-0 down). Rudy Gestede rescued a point for the rock bottom hosts and denied the Foxes the chance to move further clear at the summit.