How many times have you seen the dreaded email from your mobile phone carrier, warning you that the data cap is fast approaching, and before your very eyes, an overage charge is coming. $15 for an extra GB seems completely ridiculous, and T-Mobile agrees.
There were rumors circulating a few weeks ago that the cell phone carrier was planning on eliminating data usage monitoring on services such as Netflix, HBO, Sling TV, Hulu and others, meaning users are free to stream with reckless abandon and not worry about being dinged for going over a relatively arbitrary number. T-Mobile released an official statement.
“Un-carrier X marks the next step in this revolution, and it is massive,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “Today, we’re not only doubling your data in Simple Choice, we’re making your data work a lot harder for you! With Binge On, video streams free from 24 streaming services to start, and more to come! Only T-Mobile would find a way for customers to watch unlimited HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV and more…without eating into their LTE data, while the Duopoly is squeezing consumers with overage fees and over-buying! T-Mobile is un-leashing entertainment and giving customers exactly what they want!”
Certainly an exciting announcement for T-Mobile customers, and likely will lead to many more making the switch.
Now the political concerns here…
For proponents of Net Neutrality, this move by T-Mobile actually does raise some concerns, as it directly changes the way specific internet data usage is charged to consumers. In other words, this is a major win for Netflix, but what about other, smaller services hoping to compete? The concept that data should be agnostic as it travels through the series of tubes we call the internet is somewhat neglected here with this strategic move by T-Mobile.
And if T-Mobile is allowed to make such a change in the way data is transferred and counted, then others can use such a precedent in far more malicious ways. This could allow companies such as Comcast to directly change how data is counted against their incoming caps as well, and could make it much harder for Netflix to affordably send movies and TV shows to their subscribers.
While we applaud T-Mobile’s move here in doing what’s right for their customers, there are of course developing concerns in the Net Neutrality legal battles that will likely be ongoing in the foreseeable future.
This is a developing story, we will report more as we gather more details.