T-Mobile CEO Addresses 'Binge On' Criticism

T-Mobile said more than 50 video streaming services have lined up to join the company’s controversial (but optional) zero-rated Binge On streaming program that delivers video at DVD quality (480p or better) without counting against the mobile subscriber’s monthly data caps using a bandwidth-saving proprietary adaptive bit rate system.  

T-Mobile launched Binge On last November with partners that included Hulu, Netflix, Starz, HBO, Showtime, Vudu and Sling TV, among others. T-Mobile said 38 are now formally on board following the recent additions of A&E, Lifetime, History, PlayStation Vue, Tennis Channel Anywhere, FuboTV, Kidoodle TV, Curiosity Stream, Fandor, Newsy, ODK Media, Lifetime Movie Club, and FYI, among others. The full list is available here.

During Binge On’s early days, video streaming via  T-Mobile is up 12%, with “one popular service” seeing a 66% bump in daily viewers who are watching 23% longer on average the provider said.

Amid criticism from network neutrality advocates and OTT providers such as YouTube, which claims that T-Mobile’s approach is akin to “throttling,” T-Mobile has steadfastly maintained that Binge On falls within the scope of the FCC’s new open Internet rules.

T-Mobile CEO and president John Legere addressed the recent rash of criticism about Binge On in a blog post and via an accompanying video (see below). “There are people out there saying we’re ‘throttling.’” He wrote. “They’re playing semantics! Binge On does NOT permanently slow down data nor remove customer control.”