EFF thinks T-Mobile could be violating net neutrality with new data plan

T-Mobile One's way of handling video streaming could put the carrier in hot water.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

T-Mobile chief executive John Legere speaks at an Un-carrier event in San Francisco in September, 2014.

(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

Electronic Frontier Foundation believes T-Mobile's new "T-Mobile One" data plan could violate net neutrality principles because of how it allows customers to use data.

"From what we've read thus far it seems like T-Mobile's new plan to charge its customers extra to not throttle video runs directly afoul of the principle of net neutrality," Jeremy Gillula, EFF's senior staff technologist, told the Daily Dot.

Net neutrality activists have a problem with T-Mobile One's way of streaming video, as it has videos limited to 480p quality. Customers can pay an extra $25 per month for high definition viewing.

T-Mobile has cut out monthly data tiers from its plans, and instead, will charge a flat rate for unlimited talk, text, and data. T-Mobile says it will throttle about 3 percent of customers who use more than 26GB of mobile data per month. Customers can also stick with their previous T-Mobile plan.

The EFF is reportedly weighing to file a complaint with the FCC. We have reached out to T-Mobile for comment.

Under T-Mobile's new plan, the first line on an unlimited plan is $70, the second is $50 and additional lines are $20 a month up to eight lines with autopay. Without autopay, those prices are increased by $5.

Gillula added the FCC's Open Internet Order may be violated with T-Mobile One, because it "explicitly [says] that ISPs can't throttle traffic based on its type, or charge customers more in order to avoid discriminatory throttling."

This isn't T-Mobile's first run in with the EFF. In January, the donor-supported organization said T-Mobile's BingeOn video service is nothing more than simple bandwidth throttling. The EFF publicly blasted T-Mobile after testing video playback: "our results show that T-Mobile is throttling video streams, plain and simple."

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