Binge On lives up to its name

John Legere

T-Mobile ruffled a few feathers when it introduced Binge On, a controversial streaming service that allows customers to watch an unlimited amount of video from participating providers without it counting against their data caps. It’s controversial because critics claim it’s a net neutrality violation, while T-Mobile CEO John Legere has adamantly denied such claims.

For now, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is on T-Mobile’s side, though it’s examining so-called zero-rated video services, of which Binge On isn’t the only one.

Controversy aside, Binge On is proving popular among T-Mobile’s subscribers. The company today said that those on qualifying plans are already watching more than twice the video than before from the free services with Being On.

“Binge On is our most disruptive Un-carrier move yet. It has literally changed the way millions of people are watching video – they’re watching more, more than twice as much as before, and most importantly, they’re watching without worrying about bigger bills or surprise overages!,” Legere said in a statement. “Binge On is the Un-carrier solution to satisfy Americans’ growing appetite for mobile video – and the facts are telling us that customers love it!”

This is just the beginning. T-Mobile continues to add more streaming video partners to the Binge On fold, including Amazon Video, Fox News, Univision Now, and WWE Network. The new additions bring the total number of partners to over 40, among them big names like HBO Now, Hulu, Showtime, and Sling TV.

Binge On works by “optimizing” video to mobile devices it’s streaming to. While the video is downgraded, it’s always at least 480p (DVD) quality.

According to T-Mobile, customers have streamed 34 petabytes of free video since launching Binge On. The wireless carrier also claims that one of its partners is seeing a 79 percent jump in daily viewers since joining Binge On.

Binge On is activated on qualifying accounts by default, though users can disable it if they want to. T-Mobile’s also rolled out some changes to make it easier to do so—just dial #BNG# (#264#) on your phone and hit send to check your settings, #BOF# (#263#) to turn it off, and #BON# (#266#) to turn it on.

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