John Legere Gives Non-Answer to Question about T-Mobile Throttling YouTube Content then Follows it Up with a Profanity-Laden Tirade Against the Electronic Frontier Foundation

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The embattled CEO pretty much gave a non-sensible answer to a direct question about why he’s lowering the resolution of YouTube streams then went on a profanity laden tirade against the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Question #1:

“.@JohnLegere Does Binge On alter the video stream in any way, or just limit its bandwidth? #AskJohn” — Electronic Frontier Foundation

Answer:

“So what BingeOn does …it includes a proprietary technology and what the technology does is not only detect the video stream but select the appropriate bitrate to optimize to the video …their mobile device, that’s part A of my answer.

Part B of my answer is who the fuck are you anyway EFF? Why you stirring up so much trouble and who pays you?” — John Ledgere

 


 

Question #2:

@JohnLegere Why are you lowering the resolution of streams (YouTube) that are not part of the Binge On?” — @polo421 (Twitter)

Answer:

“Okay, good question

“Why you lowering the resolution streams that are not part of Binge On?”

Binge on is just not the 38 services that are streaming free, binge on is ability is stretch the use of your data bucket across all video streams and highly important are these other none free streams like YouTube that you talked about” — John Legere (Twitter)

 


 

Question #3:

“@JohnLegere I think the biggest question that needs answering is exactly what video optimization technology is being used for Binge On.” — Kevin Tofel (Twitter)

Answer:

“The biggest question… Why is that your biggest question?

What it is, is its video detection and its uhh… optimization of the video stream for mobile devices and by the way, its video that’s being optimized and the rest of your services work exactly the same.

And by the way, its fully at the customer’s control” — John Legere (Twitter)

 


 

Question #4:

“@JohnLegere I really like the idea of Binge On but it detracts from my experience with single-bitrate streams/downloads, can it be improved?” — @AvohkahTamer (Twitter)

Answer:

“I think that is a good question to close on I’m glad you like the idea and of course we’re going to constantly work to improve it. Lets keep this dialog going, we’re going to kind of finish this part. I am going to be on later and do a periscope and do some more Q&A but lets keep the dialog open. Of course we’ll work to improve it constantly.” — John Legere (Twitter)

He did answer a few other questions including one about porn but he continued to ignore my questions about the photo he tweeted of his chief lobbyist posing in a photo with an FCC commissioner at the consumer electronics show.

He ultimately ended the Q&A shortly after 1PM PT but stated that he would keep the conversation going. Its unclear if he will stand by his remarks about the EFF.

Update (8:33PM PT): It appears Legere walked back comments he made about the Electronic Frontier Foundation earlier today

He also did a Periscope session later on where he said he would like to meet with the EFF.

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FCC commissioner poses with T-Mobile lobbist at CES amid calls for investigation into ‘BingeOn’ and net neutrality practices

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Earlier today T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere tweeted a photo of FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wearing a magenta jacket posing with T-Mobile’s chief lobbyist Kathleen Ham who was also wearing a magenta Jacket which is T-Mobile’s trademarked color.

Interesting enough a federal judge recently ruled in T-Mobile favor and against AT&T and ordered the telecom giant stop using the color magenta or better yet Pantone 676C over fears that it might cause consumers to confuse the two companies.

So, was this just an unfortunate coincidence or a show of solidarity on the FCC commissioner’s part?

At this point so much is unknown but it does bring into question why the CEO of T-Mobile would find it necessary to tweet a photo of his chief lobbyist posing with a FCC commissioner on the heels of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) ‘blasting’ the company over its practices with ‘Binge-On’ and calling for an FCC investigation over possible violations of the agency’s recent net neutrality rulings.

(BBC) In tests, the EFF found video download speeds were slower when Binge On was enabled

 

The EFF isn’t the only group accusing the telecom giant of scrupulous business practices when it comes to BingeOn which T-Mobile claims its offering ‘unlimited’ bandwidth to users on Hulu, NetFlix, HBO, Ustream, ESPN and others.

Recently Google accused the T-Mobile of throttling it’s parent company YouTube’s videos and lowering their resolution, even though Google/YouTube doesn’t agreement with T-Mobile and is not included with the Binge On lineup.

In response, an unnamed T-Mobile rep told DSLReports that “Using the term ‘throttle’ is misleading,”, the rep went on to say that they are ‘optimizing’ videos for mobile devices.

“We aren’t slowing down YouTube or any other site. In fact, because video is optimized for mobile devices, streaming from these sites should be just as fast, if not faster than before. A better phrase is ‘mobile optimized’ or a less flattering ‘downgraded’ is also accurate.” — Unnamed T-Mobile Representative (DSLReports)

I did ask the CEO of T-Mobile and the FCC Commissioner via twitter to comment on our concerns about possible conflict of interest but so far they have not responded.

What remains to be seen is if T-Mobile is indeed violating the FCC’s net neutrality rules as articles by Consumerist, Slate and the BBC seem to suggest, if they will face any fines or other penalties from FCC.

Update (9:18PM): JohnLegere has since deleted his original tweet and re-posted it, we’ve updated the article to include the updated tweet.

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