By Kevin Carty
January 4, 2016 at 3:08 pm ET
T-Mobile USA Inc.’s Binge On program violates the Federal Communication Commission’s net neutrality rules, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which cited the results of its own testing.
Under T-Mobile’s program, certain video streams do not count against customers data caps for mobile phones.
“Our results show that T-Mobile is throttling video streams, plain and simple,” Jeremy Gillula, a staff technologist at EFF, wrote today in a statement. “It’s pretty obvious that throttling all traffic based on application type definitely violates the principles of net neutrality. It also obviously violates the FCC’s Open Internet Order.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based advocacy group that focuses on privacy and civil liberties pertaining to the internet and digital technology, said its tests show T-Mobile was lowering the streaming and download speed of all videos, regardless of whether the video provider had decided to opt into Binge On. EFF says that constitutes throttling, a process prohibited by the FCC in which a broadband provider lowers the speed of internet content to reserve more internet bandwidth for other purposes.
Last month, the head of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau wrote a letter to T-Mobile requesting details about the Binge On program by no later than Jan. 15.
T-Mobile has pushed back against claims that the program amounts to throttling. In a Dec. 26 statement, John Legere, T-Mobile’s president and chief executive officer, said allegations of throttling are “flat out not true. We’re giving customers the ability to control how they apply their high-speed data towards mobile video.”
Kevin Carty previously worked at Morning Consult as a reporter covering tech.