Just the other day, T-Mobile CEO John Legere released a video that explained some things about Binge On
. T-Mobile was not as clear as it should have been when introducing the new feature
. One major issue was settled when the executive made it clear that when Binge On is enabled, all video goes through the "optimization."
If a video streamer is part of the Binge On program, watching the stream won't cost you any of your precious data. If the content provider is not part of Binge On, the video is still optimized to DVD quality (480p), and you use only one-third of the data that you normally would have consumed. Of course, you can always disable the feature with the caveat that you will be using your data to stream all videos.
Today, Legere posted an open letter to consumers that gave some more explanations about Binge On, explaining that it is turned on by default so that T-Mobile customers don't have to go around looking for it. In fact, the executive said that this is why all of T-Mobile's new features are launched on by default.
As for those who argue that Binge On is a violation of net neutrality rules, Legere says this is not true because the customers can turn it on or off at will. "Customers are in control. Not T-Mobile. Not content providers. Customers. At all times," says the Chief Executive. "Stream in HD for a movie, and go back to stretching your data bucket when you are done. It is 100% up to you – the consumer."
"We use our proprietary techniques to attempt to detect all video, determine its source, identify whether it should be FREE and finally adjust all streams for a smaller/handheld device. (Most video streams come in at incredibly high resolution rates that are barely detectable by the human eye on small device screens and this is where the data in plans is wasted). The result is that the data in your bucket is stretched by delivering streamed video in DVD quality - 480p or better (whether you have a 2GB, 6GB or 10GB plan etc.) so your data lasts longer. Putting aside the 38+ services for which we provide FREE data for video through Binge On, as discussed below – this “stretching” of your data bucket is estimated to allow you to watch UP TO 3X MORE VIDEO from your data plan than before. This is a huge step forward...Binge On gives you FREE data that doesn’t hit your data bucket at all when you stream or watch from any of our participating video services (38 of them to date & counting).… We want to keep growing this list and already have over 50 services interested in coming on board. We don’t charge any video streaming companies to participate and every service provider is WELCOME! All the partner has to do is a minor amount of technical work to help us identify their video data reliably.-John Legere, president and CEO, T-Mobile
In the open letter, which you can read in its entirety by clicking on the sourcelink, Legere apologized to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the original critics of Binge On
, for offending the organization and its supporters. He noted that both T-Mobile and the EFF are fighting for consumers.