Report: Binge On provides T-Mobile customers with "lower quality videos and unexpected charges"
David Choffnes, the researcher who led the team that wrote the report, claims that Binge On violates net neutrality because it slows down video from one provider while other providers are not affected. The report says that this is unfair to the provider whose videos are slowed down. For its part, T-Mobile has always dismissed the entire net neutrality issue by pointing out that its subscribers can always disable the feature. But Choffnes argues that Binge On is turned by default. The researcher says that this is unfair because not every T-Mobile subscriber is knowledgeable enough to figure out how to disable the feature.
More damaging to T-Mobile was the researcher's discovery that while using Binge On, YouTube was streamed in 360p resolution. When the feature was disabled, resolution went up to 1080p (FHD) resolution. The report says that according to T-Mobile, 480p is available for Binge On, but only when a specific Android device is employed, and only for specific providers. We have to admit that this is the first we've heard about only one Android model providing 480p streams for Binge On, in light of previous comments made by T-Mobile CEO John Legere; in the past, the executive has brought up the 480p DVD quality video for the service.
Lastly, Choffnes questions what his report calls T-Mobile's "simple" detection process that is used to separate a Binge On provider's video streams from a non-provider's video. In one case, he says that his team found a Binge On provider whose videos were labeled incorrectly allowing it to stream in HD by mistake. The researcher also says that T-Mobile subscribers can game the system so that non video content can be used without it counting against their high-speed data. The Northeastern University research team was able to develop software that allowed any web content to be viewed for free. "We realized we could make any network traffic zero rated by just putting the right text in the right place. That is a security vulnerability—it's potentially an open cash register that people can take from," said the researcher.
No doubt we will get a statement soon from T-Mobile. When we do, we will pass it along to you.
source: Phys.org via BGR