T-Mobile's John Legere Goes Full Berserk Mode On Twitter, Asks EFF ‘Who the f*** are you anyway?’
In case you haven't been following, T-Mobile recently rolled out a program called Binge On that allows customers who are signed up to a qualifying Simple Choice plan to download unlimited video streams without it counting against their data caps. Binge On debuted with two dozen video partners, including big names like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go, and recently announced that a bunch more are joining the party.
So long as you're streaming from a Binge On participant, the video won't affect your cap. Where the controversy comes in is how that video is delivered. T-Mobile downgrades the video streams so that they use less data, but claims that "you get the same quality of video as watching a DVD -- 480p or higher." Critics who think the program skirts too close to a net neutrality violation say T-Mobile is throttling data, plain and simple.
Count EFF among the critics. In a Q&A session on Twitter, Legere fielded questions about the program, one of which came from the non-profit digital rights group. EFF poked the bear by asking if Binge On alters video streams at all "or just limits its bandwidth."
That set Legere off. In a video response, he briefly explained Binge On's proprietary technology, and then took a NSFW jab at EFF, which you can see below.
Just as critics think the issue is pretty black and white, so does Legere, he just happens to be on the other side. As far as Legere is concerned, T-Mobile found a way to benefit customers by optimizing, not throttling data.
"Binge On does NOT permanently slow down data nor remove customer control," Legere says. "Here's the thing, mobile customers don't always want or need giant heavy data files. So we created adaptive video technology to optimize for mobile screens and stream at a bitrate designed to stretch your data."
As for the critics, Legere says they're a bunch of special interest groups leveraging net neutrality as a way to get media coverage. Whether or not that's the case, it's worth noting that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is not only aware of Binge On, but praised the program.