T-Mobile’s innovative and contentious video streaming compromise took additional heat this week … when it was disclosed that YouTube, a non-Binge On partner, is being served to customers at 480p by default – irrespective of LTE speed and coverage. As to how many customers noticed the reduced quality on their own or are aware they can opt out of Binge On, we just don’t know.
Google’s YouTube complaint:
Reducing data charges can be good for users, but it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent
And T-Mobile’s response:
Using the term “throttle” is misleading. A better phrase is “mobile optimized” or a less flattering “downgraded” is also accurate.
I assume most consumers are satisfied with T-Mobile’s favorable rates over lesser quality cellularly-served video given the relatively small screens and abundance of WiFi. But it’ll be interesting to see if this runs afoul of FCC net neutrality guidance, should the situation escalate and despite their initial blessing.