As Its CEO Continues To Claim It Doesn't Throttle, T-Mobile Spokesperson Confirms Company Throttles

from the guys,-guys,-guys... dept

The T-Mobile throttling saga is getting worse. Their PR people have totally stopped responding to me after I pointed out how they were lying about their claims to be "optimizing" video when they were really throttling. And then the company's CEO, John Legere insisted that claims that T-Mobile was "throttling" were bullshit (and then, bizarrely attacked EFF).

But, at the same time, a nameless T-Mobile spokesperson told Wired that, yes, just as all the tests have shown and just as we explained to you on Monday, T-Mobile is deliberately slowing down the delivery of non-partner videos, which by any definition (other than T-Mobile's) is throttling:
T-Mobile customers who activate the company’s controversial Binge On video service will experience downgraded internet connection speeds when viewing videos on YouTube or other sites that don’t take part in Binge On, a T-Mobile spokesperson confirmed today. They’ll also experience slower speeds when trying to download video files for offline use from websites that do not participate in Binge On, at least until the customer deactivates the service.
Of course, even that statement is wrong. It's not for "customers who activate" Binge On. T-Mobile automatically activated it for everyone, and then let you call in to customer service to deactivate it.

But the way that T-Mobile tries to insist that this is not throttling is now to argue that because users can turn it off that's why it's not throttling. Yesterday we noted that tricky sleight of mouth when Legere added an unnecessary clause to the definition of throttling. Here's John Legere's statement yesterday:
What throttling is is slowing down data and removing customer control. Let me be clear. BingeOn is neither of those things.
And again, there are two major problems with this statement: (1) As his own company's spokesperson is now admitting, yes, they absolutely do slow down the data and (2) "removing customer control" has nothing to do with the definition of throttling. Especially when they made the initial choice for all customers.

And, just to add to this, let me remind you what a T-Mobile spokesperson told me via email just a couple of weeks ago:
Using the term “throttle” is misleading. We aren’t slowing down YouTube or any other site. In fact, because video is optimized for mobile devices, streaming from these sites should be just as fast, if not faster than before. A better phrase is “mobile optimized” or “lower resolution.”
And yet now the company is admitting that they are, in fact, slowing down YouTube, not "optimizing" it or making the resolution lower. As I said at the time, T-Mobile is flat out lying. And now two statements from the company directly contradict each other, and the company's CEO is still insisting that the company isn't doing what the company admits it's doing.

I've seen some corporate snafu meltdowns before, but this is reaching epic levels -- and that's bad news for a company that had spent so much time building up a reputation as a "straight shooter." Good reputations are hard to build, but easy to let slip away....

Filed Under: bingeon, john legere, net neutrality, throttling, zero rating
Companies: t-mobile


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  1. icon
    canuhearmenow (profile), 11 Jan 2016 @ 1:11am

    Re: Sad thing is, what T-Mobile is doing may be useful

    "The problem is just the lying and confusion about it."
    Yes, 'they' keep wanting to call it 'throttling' because it sounds way worse then 'optimizing'.

    A few years ago, frakken Google wouldn't even let you download an app, let alone play video, over mobile data. Now they insist must be allowed to serve 4K over the same? 'They' need to get their story straight!

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