T-Mobile, America’s uncarrier, claims that its Binge On program allows its customers to stream an unlimited amount of video from select services without taking away from their data caps. And that’s true.
But according to the Electronics Frontier Foundation, what’s also true is that Binge On throttles streaming speeds on literally every other HTML5 video service out there, degrading video performance across the board no matter where you stream. Boo.
The EFF tested T-Mobile’s Binge On service with a variety of services and videos, and found that the program throttles all HTML5 video to 1.5mb/s, not just that of their Binge On video partners. Worse, it doesn’t optimize the video it’s throttling to play smoothly at 1.5mb/s… it just slows it down, and hopes that the video can somehow keep up.
As Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing points out:
This isn’t just a violation of Net Neutrality and a violation of T-Mobile’s regulatory obligations – it’s also a deceptive trade practice that punishes users who watch video from non-Binge-On services twice: first, by slowing down their video; and second, by charging the data against the user’s account as though it hadn’t been deliberately degraded.
This makes Binge On a pretty crappy deal… one T-Mobile customers are signed up for by default. However, you can opt out. Login to your T-Mobile account through a web browser and find the option to toggle it off here.