Public Knowledge Finds Binge On Changes a Step Forward

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Today, T-Mobile announced a Binge On update that gives video providers more choice over how the program’s video optimization applies to their content. According to T-Mobile, “Now video providers can choose to have their content stream at native resolutions without Binge On’s mobile optimization.” The company also claims that video providers will have the option to manage their content streams themselves. Public Knowledge supports these changes as a step forward but adds that more should be done to benefit consumers.

The following may be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:

“It is good to see T-Mobile moving in the direction of more choice and control -- both for consumers, and for video providers. T-Mobile is correcting some of the mistakes it made both with the design and the roll-out of Binge On. Allowing video providers to opt out of the program and control the quality of their streams addresses some of the concerns Public Knowledge has expressed before.

“However, policymakers need to monitor Binge On and programs like it carefully. Data caps, zero-rating, and throttling (even if justified in terms of network management) can all be abused to harm consumers, discriminate between online services, and can harm investment.

“When reviewing these issues, policymakers should pay special attention to instances where the potential for these harms is more apparent -- for example, where data caps are not justified by the network architecture, or where providers are zero-rating their own content or services. Concerns like this led Public Knowledge to filing its recent complaint about Comcast's Stream TV.”

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