Announced several days ago, the latest plan by T-Mobile brings an end to tiered plans and offers only one, unlimited plan. But after reading the fine print, the EFF says the plan violates net neutrality.
Net neutrality is a topic that deserves its own article. However, the basic principle is that internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the internet the same. They shouldn’t discriminate based on user, content, website, platform, application, hardware or mode of communication. Unfortunately, this goes against the type of rabid capitalism that Silicon Valley holds dear.
The new plan removes tiered data plans and offers unlimited data. It sounds good on the surface, but this does away with cheaper plans, including Pay-As-You-Go. The plan doesn’t cap 4G LTE data based on a monthly allotment. Instead, customers who use more than 26GB of data per month – about 3% – will have their speeds throttled.
Net neutrality activists are more concerned about how T-Mobile will treat streaming video. Customers will have their videos limited to streaming in 480p quality. In order to watch videos in a higher quality, you’ll have to fork over an extra $25/month per line.
Senior staff technologist of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told the Daily Dot:
“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.”
In a bold move, T-Mobile CEO John Legere challenged the EFF, saying:
“Who the fuck are you, anyway, EFF? Why are you stirring up so much trouble, and who pays you?”
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) January 7, 2016
A spokesperson for the FCC said that “the Commission’s informal policy review is ongoing. Chairman Wheeler said the Commission would keep an eye on new developments in this area and we are continuing to do so.”