Saga Continues…. Throttling: Content vs. Carrier

Saga Continues…. Throttling: Content vs. Carrier

Youtube says traffic throttling is a no no
YouTube says T-Mobile shouldn't be throttling traffic - without implicit consent!

The next episode in the saga continues, and no I am not referring to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Wall street Journal reported that Youtube are downright mad (Darth Vader style) at T-Moible for throttling their users traffic:

“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 said, according to a Wall Street Journal article (here – subscription required).

We covered the Binge ON story here.  While YouTube was notably left off the list of video content providers that would be zero-rated, they are still including in the optimization.   Here are the other video content providers:

Netflix, HBO NOW, HBO GO, Hulu, Sling TV, Sling Box, ESPN, Showtime, Starz, Movieplex, Encore, T-Mobile TV, Vevo, Vessel, Univision Deportes, Major League Baseball, Go90, DirecTV, Fox Sports, Fox Sports GO, NBC Sports, Crackle, VUDU & Ustream

T-Mobile’s announcement was very clear, customers can switch off the service at any time.  Youtube can hardly state that T-Mobile shouldn’t alter a users’ video traffic without explicit consent if they do the same.  From Youtube’s own website…

To give you the best viewing experience possible on your computer, YouTube adjusts the quality of your video stream from standard definition (such as 240p or 360p) to high definition (720p or 1080p), based on the speed of your Internet connection (bandwidth). This is why you may notice that the quality of your video changes as you watch videos.

The reality is this is a tough one for content providers to come out against guns blazing.  The operators is doing something that will benefit the vast majority of end users and T-Mobile’s users like it.  You are asking yourselves, where’s the problem? Two possibilities I can see…

One argument when throttling HD or 4K video to larger screen, where the user is looking for the quality, but I figure this is more relevant to throttling on fixed networks, not what we are talking about here.

Another argument may that certain content creators not want their “brand experience” to be devolved to 480p.  For example, Disney may not want anyone to view the Star Wars episode 7 on 480p – they may claim it completely ruins the intended experience/product. But alas that is also not the case here.

So, where’s the problem? As Obi-Wan said to Luke in the Return of the Jedi… you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.


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