Stanford Law Professor Says T-Mobile Binge On Violates Net Neutrality

"The battle rages on over T-Mobile Binge On, a new service idea from T-Mobile that allows customers to watch streaming video without eating their data. The latest squall comes out of Stanford University where law professor Barbara van Schewick has published a paper on why Binge On violates net neutrality. John Legere has maintained and defended Binge On saying that it does not violate net neutrality because T-Mobile gives the customer the choice to turn Binge On on or off. The paper also claims that T-Mobile is likely violating the FCC’s general conduct rule.

Also, van Schewick says T-Mobile Binge On is distorting competition because it is zero-rated, which is makes video creators more inclined to use it due to more consumers using it. She also states T-Mobile Binge On limits users choice in that it allows unlimited streaming of some services but not of others.

Speaking of the providers, van Schewick says that the services included with Binge On serve up mostly commercial video rather than user-generated or educational content. “Binge on stifles free expression,” she claims.

van Schewick also argues that Binge On harms innovation because the providers must work with T-Mobile and, in some cases, make tweaks to their service to meet T-Mo’s technical requirements. And though T-Mobile says that providers only need to do a “minor amount of technical work” to join Binge On, van Schewick says that the requirements to join are “substantial.” She argues that the requirements exclude services that use the User Datagram Protocol, “making it impossible for innovative providers such as YouTube to join,” and that they also work against providers that use encryption.

The report is rather extensive and in detail, van Schewick does provide solutions that T-Mobile could consider taking to fall in line with net neutrality. You can read the full report at the link below if you have some extra time this weekend."