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AT&T to offer voluntary streaming video throttling option early next year

By Shawn Knight
Nov 11, 2016
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  1. AT&T on Friday announced a new data-saving feature that’ll let wireless subscribers stretch their monthly data allotment by voluntarily electing to reduce the quality of video streamed over the Internet while on a cellular connection.

    Stream Saver, as the service is called, will downgrade most high-quality video to standard definition quality (capped at 1.5Mbps, or around 480p / DVD quality) when activated. AT&T says that due to the way some content owners deliver video content, Stream Saver won’t be able to detect and “optimize” all video.

    AT&T says subscribers will be able to toggle the feature on and off at will without incurring any charges.

    Worth noting is the fact that once AT&T activates Stream Saver, it’ll be enabled by default for all standard postpaid accounts – even those with “unlimited” data plans – as well as those with GoPhone accounts. Business customers will need to check with their account manager regarding eligibility, AT&T says.

    It’s unclear at this time how Stream Saver might impact DirecTV subscribers that also use AT&T. In September, AT&T exempted DirecTV from mobile data caps. Just the other day, however, the FCC told AT&T that zero-rating DirecTV from data caps may violate net neutrality rules.

    AT&T said it will inform customers once the feature is available early next year and include directions on how to manage it.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Booster Posts: 200   +44

    Why would anyone with unlimited want to use this?
     
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,169   +577

    Because it is now the default option. The whole "unlimited" data thing for phones kinda already had a couple of asterisks around it already.
     
    wastedkill and psycros like this.
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,319   +709

    "In September, AT&T exempted DirecTV from mobile data caps. Just the other day, however, the FCC told AT&T that zero-rating DirecTV from data caps may violate net neutrality rules."

    It also exposes the whole data congestion argument to be a total scam. If the mobile networks were really that inadequate then they would be auto-throttling ALL THE TIME and not just when you exceed 22gb/mth or whatever the current threshold is. It sounds like maybe - just maybe - AT&T is starting to accept reality and Stream Saver may well be the first step towards realistic bandwidth management. Nobody needs 1080p on a mobile connection - you can't even appreciate it on a small screen (including laptops). Its inevitable that all mobile data will eventually be unlimited and, with the exception of data-hogging video, unthrottled and available on all your devices without extra fees.
     
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,549   +2,894

    Sure I will voluntarily throttle. Firstly though give us enough to cover our usage, so we have enough bandwidth to throttle. As it is we are continually being disconnected from games and have to buffer any videos we watch. There is no way we can throttle with so little bandwidth. At&T can offer all they like. But if everyone has sh.t service like we do, there will be no takers.
     

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