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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

YouTube up in arms over T-Mobile throttling video streaming to 480p

YouTube up in arms over T-Mobile throttling video streaming - SlashGear: "Binge On offers unlimited video streaming that won't be counted against a subscriber's data allowance but at the expense of pixel resolution. To be specific, videos are reduced to 480p quality, not even 720p. At first glance, that might be an understandable compromise to keep Binge On users from clogging up bandwidth and affecting everyone else.

 YouTube's beef, however, is that, like many other content providers, it didn't have any choice in the matter. It is not one of the 20 or so video streaming services that T-Mobile has announced to be exempt from the data cap, a list that includes Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and more. And yet YouTube videos automatically get throttled to 480p.

In short, not only do users get lower quality videos, those videos still count against their data allowance." 'via Blog this'

Indian Regulator Temporarily Suspends Facebook’s Free Basics: ToI

Indian Regulator Temporarily Suspends Facebook’s Free Basics, Says Report | TechCrunch: "Now the Times of India reports that Reliance Communications, one of Facebook’s partners, has agreed to temporarily halt Free Basics on its network after receiving a request from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

 This is a big deal because the TRAI is set to hold a hearing on net neutrality next month before issuing a final decision that may force Free Basics to undergo major revisions to continue operating in India.

 A Facebook spokesperson said “We are committed to Free Basics and to working with Reliance and the relevant authorities to help people in India get connected,” but did not confirm if the service has been temporarily halted. TechCrunch has also contacted Reliance and the TRAI for comment.

Information about Free Basics is still available on Reliance’s site.

The company, India’s fourth-largest telecom operator with about 110 million users as of June, made Free Basics available to all its subscribers last month." 'via Blog this'

Monday, December 21, 2015

FCC wants details on AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile data plans

FCC wants details on AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile data plans | Reuters: "FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told reporters that commission staff sent letters on Wednesday to AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and T-Mobile Inc "to come in and have a discussion with us about some of the innovative things that they are doing."

The letters, which the FCC made public on Thursday, seek meetings with "relevant technical and business personnel" by Jan. 15.

"As you may be aware, concerns have been expressed about these programs, for example, some have argued that sponsored data unfairly advantages incumbent content providers," the letter to AT&T said. "We want to ensure that we have all the facts to understand how these services relate to the commission's goal of maintaining a free and open Internet while incentivizing innovation and investment from all sources."" 'via Blog this'

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Zero rating: TRAI now seeks views on differential data pricing in India

Net neutrality: TRAI now seeks views on differential data pricing - IBNLive: "According to a TRAI official, some of the operators are offering plans where they give discounted tariffs to access certain applications like WhatsApp, Facebook and the like, and there are certain platforms that allow access to certain websites free of cost.

Airtel Zero is an open marketing platform that lets customers access a variety of mobile applications for free, with data charges being paid by start-ups and large firms. Similarly, Facebook's allows access to certain websites without mobile data charges.

TRAI said the objective of offering such schemes is claimed to be the desire of various service, content or platform providers to enable users, especially the poor, to access certain content on the Internet free of charge.

The stakeholders can send back their comments on the consultation paper by December 30 and counter comments by January 7." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Harold Feld: Amazingly Short (For Me) Quickie Reaction To Oral Argument

Wetmachine » Tales of the Sausage Factory » My Amazingly Short (For Me) Quickie Reaction To Oral Argument: "FCC was pushed fairly hard on its rationale for including interconnection when it had decided not to classify the service identified in the Verizon case (the one between edge providers and the broadband access provider).

At the same time, both Judge Tatel and Judge Srinivasan seemed open to the FCC’s response that the rule as adopted looks to whether the BIAS common carrier is behaving reasonably to fulfill its promise to the subscriber that it will deliver to the subscriber “all, or substantially all” content available on the Internet.

So I still give the FCC a reasonable chance on being sustained on this as well.

Wireless More Murky, But FCC Win Still More Likely Than Not. All the judges pressed both sides fairly hard on the wireless issues. " 'via Blog this'

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Specialized service Comcast Streaming TV: Really that bad for net neutrality?

Comcast Streaming TV Service: Really that bad for net neutrality? | BGR: "We already knew that Comcast’s new service didn’t count against its data caps, but the devil is in the details. “Stream TV is a cable streaming service delivered over Comcast’s cable system, not over the Internet.” In other words, Stream TV is an IP TV service, but it’s delivered over the same managed network as Comcast’s standard TV service rather than over the Internet.

 It might seem harmless enough, but we can now see that Comcast is exploring — and finding — new ways to deliver services that get around the FCC’s net neutrality guidelines in ways the company’s rivals cannot compete with and will not ever be able to compete with. Not only does Comcast have an advantage over rivals like Sling TV, it has an advantage that is impossible for rivals to overcome. 

Whereas T-Mobile’s “Binge On” bends net neutrality by offering subscribers access to T-Mobile’s streaming TV service without having that data count against their caps, it also at least includes some rival services in its scheme. This is still a huge problem for net neutrality, but it is without question the lesser of two evils. Can Stream TV rivals use Comcast’s managed network to deliver service that won’t count against Comcast customers’ data caps? Of course not, and so Comcast will always have the upper hand here." 'via Blog this'