Google Agrees To T-Mobile's "Binge On" Terms Because They're "Opt-Out"

T-Mobile's "Binge On" service allows more video apps to stream media to devices without using up the customer's data allotment. While for the end customer this may seem like a really great deal, (who doesn't like so-called free data?), it continues to hold the door open for internet services to charge different amounts of money for different internet services. True Net Neutrality requires that all internet be treated the same – here that's just not true.

T-Mobie's latest update to their Binge On program includes Baeble Music, Discovery GO, ESNE TV, FilmOn.TV, Fox Business, Google Play Movies, KlowdTV, Red Bull TV, and – perhaps most important of all – YouTube.

T-Mobile suggests that with more than 50 video providers on their list, they've got "70% of all video T-Mobile customers stream." That's a lot of data.

The company directs focus away from the fact that this program treats some businesses (video streaming companies, in this case) different from others by pointing fingers at their mobile data provider opponents. They suggest that "while Verizon and AT&T punish their customers with overages and chase their own misguided video apps, T-Mobile customers can watch all they want from the best video services out there."

The reason we look down upon services like this is the unfair advantage it gives to the services willing to look the other way when it comes to true neutrality. T-Mobile makes clear that companies are benefitting directly from this program VS their competitors who've chosen not to participate:

"One video provider has seen the number of active viewers spike 90% and watch-times nearly triple from customers with limited high-speed data."

You'll also want to read the fine print before you get pumped up about how much free video you're going to watch.

"Detectable video typically streams at DVD quality (480p or better) with Binge On unless video provider opts-out; on opt-out,high speed data consumption will continue as if Binge On were not enabled. For best performance, leave any video streaming applications at their default automatic resolution setting. You may disable Binge On at any time, but will lose Binge On benefits. Video streaming from participating services does not count toward full-speed data allotment on our network with qualifying plan. Third party content and subscription charges may apply. Some content, e.g. ads, may be excluded. Once full-speed data allotment is reached, all usage slowed to up to 2G speeds until end of bill cycle. See streaming services' terms & conditions." – T-Mobile USA

The fact that Google has begun participating in this Binge On program with T-Mobile is a good sign... sort of. It's a step in the right direction. According to Google, this week they've begun participating in Binge On because of the following:

You can read the rest of the message from Christian Kleinerman, Product Management Director, YouTube in the Google Public Policy Blog.

The services mentioned above are part of Binge On as of this week.