YouTube Claims T-Mobile’s ‘Binge On’ Plan is Throttling Videos

T-Mobile has won a host of US customers due to its liberal policy towards internet data usage, selling itself as the nation’s “un-carrier”, with particular plaudits aimed at its Binge On data plan, which allows free streaming of online videos (but at lower resolutions) without eating into customers’ data allowances. YouTube, however, have blamed the policy for throttling its videos down to 480p, despite the service not being an affiliate of Binge On, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywalled, via BGR and MacRumors).

“Reducing data charges can be good for users, but it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent,” a YouTube spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.

This assertion has been corroborated by The Internet Association, which says that T-Mobile’s Binge On “appears to involve the throttling of all video traffic, across all data plans, regardless of network congestion.”

When asked for comment, T-Mobile did not address the issue directly, choosing instead to boast how its customers enjoy “free streaming video that never hits their data bucket” and “the quality of their video experience and the complete control they have.”

T-Mobile’s Binge On plan is currently under investigation by the FCC to determine whether it adheres to the new net neutrality laws in the US.

YouTube App Now Incorporating 1080p and 480p Streaming Options

A long-standing suggestion has now been added to the latest update of YouTube’s android application – the ability to stream in 480p and 1080p quality settings.

Activating these options is easy. Once your video has started streaming, press the three dot menu at the top right of your device, tap the ‘gear’ icon that appears and your available resolutions will be displayed.

Please bear in mind that not all YouTube videos will support 480p or 1080p playback – this is mostly due to them being low quality and/or old.

To take full use of this feature, you will need to be viewing compatible video uploads and update your client to the latest revision (Done automatically or through manual update in Google Play). We’re told this update hasn’t yet been rolled out to everyone however, so don’t stress if your phone isn’t currently displaying these settings, it will come in due time.

Image courtesy of Joshua Worth