Last week T-Mobile announced a new service they would be offering called Binge On. Basically Binge On allows T-Mobile subscribers to watch and stream video from their mobile devices without it eating into their data plan. Considering how much data videos can take up, no doubt this was a very welcome move.
However there were some concerns regarding the service as not every video outlet would be supported. Granted there are quite a number to choose from, but this brought up the debate of paid prioritization, where bandwidth is allocated and prioritized to companies who pay for it, which in turn would violate net neutrality.
No official complaints have been filed but it looks like the FCC has decided to get ahead of it anyway. During an FCC meeting today (via TmoNews), the commission’s chairman Tom Wheeler was asked about Binge On in which he actually praised the service offered by T-Mobile, calling it “highly innovative and highly competitive,” and that it is in line with the agency’s “pro competition and pro innovation” stance.
Wheeler also noted that they examine issues with zero rating on a case-by-case basis, and in T-Mobile’s case “it appears as though this particular offering does not violate the paid prioritization rate line rule”. However T-Mobile isn’t 100% cleared yet as Wheeler states, “And so what we’re going to be doing is watching the Binge On product, keeping an eye on it, and to measure it against the general conduct rule,” but for now it looks like there shouldn’t be any issues.