As expected, Netflix today introduced cellular data controls to its mobile apps that will allow mobile users to adjust the settings of their Netflix video streams. The release of the feature comes just weeks after the disclosure that Netflix throttles the transmission of video it makes available to AT&T and Verizon because of those carriers' data overage charges.
Netflix's policy of degrading content for mobile carriers that charge their customers extra for data overages is controversial, but it doesn't violate net neutrality laws, according to FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly. But it may be cause for a federal investigation.
AT&T is shocked — shocked! — after Netflix admitted to lowering video resolution without customer knowledge on the mobile networks of AT&T and Verizon.
A federal judge handed AT&T a legal victory last week when he ruled that a lawsuit against the company's throttling practices for unlimited data must be decided in arbitration instead of a class-action lawsuit. The ruling, highlighted by MediaPost, will allow AT&T to sidestep a public and potentially expensive battle against a class-action lawsuit and instead deal with the issue through an arbiter.
Sprint was criticized by several technology news sites for marketing a new $20 per month plan yesterday as "unlimited" even though after 1 GB of high-speed data usage, customers will see their speeds reduced to 2G speeds for the remainder of their billing cycle. Sprint counters that it is providing customers with choice and will not charge overage fees, and that if customers want more high-speed data, they can simply purchase more.
Verizon Wireless customers who have managed to hang onto unlimited data plans will not see their speeds throttled even if they use large amounts of data, according to Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo.
Sprint said it will start throttling the speeds of customers on its unlimited smartphone data plans who use more than 23 GB of data in a billing cycle for the remainder of their billing cycle, but only at times and locations where the network is constrained.
AT&T Mobility quietly increased the amount of data customers on its legacy unlimited data plans can burn through before they see their speeds throttled. Previously, the upper limit was 5 GB but the carrier has increased the threshold to 22 GB in a change that takes effect today.
Verizon Wireless confirmed that in June it quietly stopped throttling the data speeds of customers who were on legacy unlimited data plans on 3G devices and who crossed into the top 5 percent of data users when they were on high-traffic cell sites.
AT&T has called a proposed $100 million fine levied against it by the FCC for alleged throttling "unprecedented and indefensible."