WSJ: Sprint's throttling of video speeds violate FCC's net neutrality rules

WSJ: Sprint's throttling of video speeds violate FCC's net neutrality rules
According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Sprint's practice of throttling video speeds for unlimited customers might attract the attention of the FCC.

Today, Sprint announced a new new plan that, at $80 per month, includes unlimited minutes, texts, and data, as well as a smartphone-lease tax. As it turns out, this unlimited plan is not actually unlimited, as the terms mention that videos will be delivered at a lower.

According to a Sprint spokesman quoted by the WSJ, Sprint has been throttling video speeds on some of its plans - both unlimited and limited - since July 2013. Chances are that the carrier would have preferred for its throttling practice to remain buried in the fine print of its terms, but it was forced to openly recognize that it caps video speeds by the adoption of the new net neutrality rules.

Under the new net neutrality rules which were put in place on June 12, no carrier is allowed to throttle internet speeds for an entire class of services. More to the point, the new net neutrality rules should prevent Sprint from throttling video speeds in general. Furthermore, the new rules also specify that throttling is only acceptable as a network management tool when the network is congested, and that the practice should not be used as a default. In its defence, Sprint claims that it is downgrading video quality in an attempt to improve the overall quality of its network.

It remains to be seen how the FCC will react to Sprint's new plan, although the outcome doesn't look too good for the third-largest carrier in the US. Just last week, the FCC proposed a record-breaking $100 million fine for AT&T. According to the FCC, AT&T misled customers by promoting plans as "unlimited" and then capping speeds when subscribers passed a certain data threshold during a billing period.

source: WSJ

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11 Comments

1. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

T-Mobile is next, they keep throttling my sh1t!

4. engineer-1701d unregistered

HAHAHAHAH SPRINT YOU ASS i thought i seen the video streaming at 600kb on the bottom of the screen, i hate sprint they suck so bad most of the time no signal and super slow loading pages like 3 min but the tmobile has all of these things like unlimited data plus 1 gb of lte and if i buy extra its blah blah price, fcc should hit tmobile up on the 60 unlimited plan because its 1bg of lte then throttled back to 2g speed, and unlimited 2 g speed what the hell happened to 3g in the middle of it,.

8. DonkeySauce

Posts: 194; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

Yep, Sprint already removed the throttling, so it's truely unlimited for real now.

2. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

That's why I still keep my old SERO-P plan. Still THE BEST plan from Sprint. No data throttling on video, plus I can still buy subsidized phones, unlimited data, free night and weekends, free mobile to mobile, unlimited text and 500 minutes to landlines (which I never go over 100 minutes/month on) all for $50/month. The last promotion, I got my Note 4 on launch day for $50 after $200 Samsung rebate plus $50 Best Buy rebate. I just wait until a good promotion comes up after my 20 month requirement to get a new phone.

5. engineer-1701d unregistered

what zero plan my 450 unlimited from 2002 is the plan i am on and its 60 plus all this other s**t

10. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

It's SERO-P. It was an old plan that you had to use a Sprint employee's email address to get the plan. It could have been ANY employee, as even an Ex-VP of Sprint gave out his email address for people to sign up. It was $30/month for non-smartphones and $50/month for smartphones. Sadly it is no longer offered and the only way to get the plan now is to actually work for Sprint and leave the company (SERO actually means Separated Employee Referral Offer) or to buy have someone with the SERO plan transfer his account to you.

9. palmguy

Posts: 978; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Dang a SERO plan. Thought they were extinct. Now that's old school.

11. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

That's is one of the many reasons why I still keep it: because of the price, the ability to still buy phones on subsidy, and no limitations on data speed. Where I live, I have no problems on data speed. Most areas I go to have LTE now or WIFI and I rarely hit 3G areas (which are admittedly are still crap in an age where 3G is slowly being phased out). I also have T-Mo on my other line and I actually get BETTER service on Sprint vs T-Mobile, especially when I travel between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, which is once or twice a month,

3. gameday78

Posts: 48; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

https://youtu.be/jphXLfKO2yg Guess they were not telling the truth...

6. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

FYI Sprint has removed the 600kbps speed limit on streaming videos in response to publc outcry:https://twitter.com/sprint/status/616055758870945792 "We heard you loud and clear and we are removing the 600 kbs limit on streaming video. #Allin and we won’t stop."

12. technitude

Posts: 263; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

Even Google throttles videos on YouTube. A lot of videos would take seconds to download the entire contents, but Google doesn't do that, They slow down video downloads, once you receive the next minute of data. In other words: Throttle (like the type this article is talking about) I guess this is the type of quality reporting you get from a Verizon owned site. And don't blame the WSJ, this (PhA) is a tech site with people supposedly wise to how technology works. The WSJ, is not.

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