An open letter by John Legere, T-Mobile’s outspoken and often profane CEO, cements what he has been saying for weeks–that he really wants you to use “Binge On,” a new streaming feature that has taken heat for allegedly slowing down video download speeds. Binge On allows T-Mobile customers to stream content from specific video and audio partners without eating into their data plans.
In his statement, Legere sang the praises of Binge On for the umpteenth time, maintaining that the service is good for consumers. He also pledged his support for the tenets of net neutrality, which critics said T-Mobile had violated by throttling video traffic:
T-Mobile, my entire leadership team, and I have been advocating for consumers since the launch of the Un-carrier – and that will NOT change. We are forcing this industry to make changes, to be more transparent and to be more competitive. I won’t apologize for that. I think it is absolutely in the consumer’s best interest!
Equally important to note is this: T-Mobile is a company that absolutely supports Net Neutrality and we believe in an open and free Internet.
Legere went on to address a recent video in which he lashed out at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a consumer advocacy group that investigated claims against Binge On and found that T-Mobile was, in fact, capping all videos at the same quality level–regardless of whether the content was included in the program. He apologized for the outburst, in which he asked “Who the fuck are you anyway, EFF, why are you stirring up so much trouble?”
I will however apologize for offending EFF and its supporters. Just because we don’t completely agree on all aspects of Binge On doesn’t mean I don’t see how they fight for consumers. We both agree that it is important to protect consumers’ rights and to give consumers value. We have that in common, so more power to them. As I mentioned last week, we look forward to sitting down and talking with the EFF and that is a step we will definitely take.
True to form, Legere also took a moment to note the things he will not retract. “Look, by now you know that I am a vocal, animated and sometimes foul mouthed CEO,” he wrote. “I don’t filter myself and you know that no one at T-Mobile filters me either (no, they don’t even try). That means I will sometimes incite a bit of a ‘social media riot’, but I’m not going to apologize for that.”
A Wall Street Journal article from December drew attention to T-Mobile when it reported on YouTube’s grievances that Binge On was compromising its video streams.