Netflix launched a speed test tool a while back in part because ISPs have been caught in the past doing shady things with Netflix traffic. The fast.com speed testing tool this week revealed Verizon has started throttling Netflix, and users report YouTube is also affected. So, what gives? Verizon says it's just testing some "video optimization" technology, whatever that means. Read More
We've covered the FCC's dance with Net Neutrality and Title II regulation for ISPs in the past, and it looks like chairman Pai has come out with a few more statements about the return to a future of deregulated internet regional monopolies. The FCC is in full propaganda mode today, churning out piles of information (or misinformation) on the subject after Pai announced his plans to stop ISPs from following Title II regulations. Companies like Verizon are more than excited to jump on the bandwagon for deregulation, too. After all, captive markets are profitable markets, and now the FCC is happy to support them. Read More
The practice of zero-rating data has been increasingly popular in recent years with programs like T-Mobile's Binge On. However, government regulators have not been entirely accepting of the practice. In light of the FCC's new leadership, Verizon has ramped up zero-rating with free data for Fios video streaming. Read More
AT&T announced a major development following its merger with DIRECTV, adding to what is quickly becoming a byzantine mixture of offerings for those who want a cable channel package. The latest service, called DIRECTV NOW, can best be described as a streaming version of DIRECTV's satellite channel lineups. In other words, DIRECTV NOW is a bit like a beefed-up Sling TV. Read More
What's better than unlimited data? You guessed it: unlimited data you can use to stream videos, music, and games at the same speed you can stream anything else. Well, Sprint has decided to offer us lucky consumers the opportunity to use unlimited data for the things that motivate most of us to consider these plans in the first place. Of course, you have to pay $20 more per month, per line for that right. Read More
Net neutrality is a tricky beast. The informal principle is usually applied to the idea of data providers charging more for specific services, but it can also extend to telecoms giving away specific services (and, by extension, charging more for everything else). That's the attitude of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, known locally as "Trai," expressed in a statement today. The regulator says that it will not allow any service provider to "offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on basis of content," more or less aligning India's wireless and landline data industry with the principles of net neutrality. Read More
Listen, I don't really have a problem with Binge On itself - it's a pretty nifty value-add for T-Mobile customers that allows them to throttle all their video streamed over mobile data to 480p, in exchange for some of that video (Binge On partner services, like Netflix, but notably not YouTube) not counting against their plan's data cap. I consider this a "pretty fair deal." In exchange for reducing the burden of video bandwidth on T-Mobile's network, you get to stream all the [partnered] OK-quality video you want. It's nice!
But T-Mobile has come under fire - and I think rightly so - for the fact that Binge On is an opt-out service that does not explicitly disclose to subscribers just what they've automatically signed up for. Read More
The European Commission has been trying to establish a Digital Single Market (DSM) that makes goods and services accessible to everyone in the EU and broadens the reach and potential of start-ups, businesses, and governments. The legislation has been marching toward its approval and application, and today marks the first step on the path toward the DSM. The European Parliament, Council, and Commission have agreed, after almost two years of proposals and negotiations, on the first crucial pillar of this plan: a single market in telecoms.
That means two important changes in the telecom industry are about to be implemented in the EU: the end of roaming charges and the establishment of an open Internet. Read More