If done right, maybe almost OK. If effectively gives preference, Legere deserves a jail term. T-Mobile says it’s allowing any video provider to stream to (some) T-Mobile customers for free. The customer gets the stream without being charged for the data. They claim:
Open to Everyone, No One Pays
With Binge On, our doors are open to all streaming providers who want to participate. We’ve proven our track record with Music Freedom. No one pays us, and we don’t pay them – and everyone wins – especially customers. We’re not here to play favorites. Like Music Freedom, Binge On is open to any legit streaming service (with lawful content) out there – at absolutely no cost to them. They just need to contact us and work with us on the technical requirements, optimization for mobile viewing and confirm we can consistently identify their incoming music or video streams.
Dan Gillmor saw the news articles, which suggested only 24 services would be included. If true, it would be the most egregious example in U.S. history of an ISP giving major preference to certain programming. Dan tweeted T-Mobile is shedding network neutrality if it gets away with this. FCC needs to intervene right now. http://usat.ly/1QsLziW. I can understand the urgency; as soon as I saw this I dropped everything and researched.
Two things must be absolutely firm: That everyone can get in without cost and that multiple services like Akamai and small business oriented Video Hosts/CDN’s are included (also without charge.) Many smaller video producers don’t have the resources/ability to meet requirements, even technically reasonable ones. If CDN’s can handle everything, including the interconnect and the encoding, that may not be abusive. The video hosting/CDN market is competitive enough the charges should be reasonable. Optimizing for mobile reduces bandwidth required by a lot, possibly half or more. An automated service could do that for remarkably little if competition sets pricing.
A massive boycott is right if the rules – like Facebook’s – has the effect of keeping out others.