US based carrier T-Mobile is zero rating video streams of subscribers using Crackle, Encore, ESPN, Fox Sports, Fox Sports Go, HBO Now, HBO Go, Hulu, MLB, Movieplex, NBC Sports, Netflix, Sling TV, Sling Box, SHOWTIME, STARZ, T-Mobile TV, Univision Deportes, Ustream, Vessel, Vevo, VUDU, and says more services are being signed up. Zero rating refers to the practice of making a specific set of services free of data charges for users and is a violation of Net Neutrality. The move is reminiscent of Airtel Zero, a service that Bharti Airtel was launching in India, which, to begin with, would allow Flipkart to pay the company to make its service free for users. Video services are a key challenge and opportunity for carriers in India: they have the highest usage and clog the network. For example, for Airtel and Reliance Communications, video constitutes close to 40% of their traffic. With increase in speeds, as users move from dialup-level speeds to broadband speeds, much of the growth typically comes from viewership of video. Thus, the argument that is typically posited (one we've heard often), is of charging these service providers a "congestion charge". Our take on this move: 1. It's eerily similar to Facebook's Internet.org/Freebasics: It's as if T-Mobile copy pasted Facebook's Internet.org approach: Binge On is open to any streaming video provider who meets the technical requirements, which are available online at www.t-mobile.com/bingeon. And it’s completely free for video streaming providers to join. The technical requirements mandate lower resolution video only: Powered by…
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