YouTube has hit out at T-Mobile US’ recently launched video streaming program, Binge On, claiming the service is throttling or degrading its own traffic.
YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc (Google), was a notable absentee from the list of 24 video streaming services available on T-Mobile US’ Binge On upon launch in November.
The service allows T-Mobile US customers to stream video from the selection of services, including Netflix and HBO, without eating into their data allowances, despite running at lower quality.
Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports YouTube has now taken issue with T-Mobile US, claiming Binge On is effectively interfering with its traffic by lowering the quality of video that isn’t part of the program, including YouTube clips.
“Reducing data charges can be good for users, but it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent,” a YouTube spokesman said.
YouTube’s comments could also raise a new issue for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), after the regulator said it will continue to examine the service, despite seemingly giving it the all clear amid concerns that it went against net neutrality rules.
Net neutrality regulation, adopted in February, is designed to ensure that operators and internet providers do not prioritise certain content over others.
T-Mobile has said in the past the service is in line with regulations and is open to all video streaming that meets its technical requirements.
YouTube has however so far been excluded from Binge On because of a “technical problem”, reports WSJ.
T-Mobile claims the software that detects certain streaming video to exclude it from data limits can’t always be identified as YouTube videos.
The operator, the US’ third largest by connections, also reportedly declined to comment on YouTube’s complaints, stating that its customers “love having free streaming video that never hits their data bucket”.