Google backtracks on T-Mobile US' Binge On - Mobile World Live

Google backtracks on T-Mobile US’ Binge On

17 MAR 2016

Google eased its hard line stance over T-Mobile US’ controversial Binge On streaming service, as YouTube and Play Movies joined the US operator’s growing partner list.

Alphabet (Google)-owned YouTube was a notable absentee from the initial list of partners when Binge On first launched in November, and its participation comes after well publicised criticism of the service by the internet giant.

At the end of last year, Google accused Binge On, which allows T-Mobile US customers to stream certain video without eating into data allowances at a lower quality, of throttling and degrading YouTube traffic, even though it was not a partner.

Google then threw support behind claims made by industry group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) that T-Mobile US was indeed throttling all video on its network, which led to a strong reaction from CEO John Legere, who argued customers had the choice to use the service.

Outspoken Legere has since moved to curb such concerns, and updated settings on the service to make it easier for customers to turn off Binge On, following his spat with EFF.

In today’s statement, T-Mobile US said it was also making it easier for customers to see which video services were not being optimised by Binge On, and said it is working with providers to give them the “ability to manage their video stream themselves”.

In addition, video services that want to exclude their content from “mobile optimisation and/or free streaming” can email T-Mobile directly.

In its own blog post, Google said the changes made by the operator in recent months “can help ensure the program works well for all users and the entire video ecosystem”.

T-Mobile today claimed Binge On customers can now access more than 50 video streaming services, with Google joined by other new partners, including Discovery Go and Fox Business.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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