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T-Mobile's CEO does damage control, apologizes to the EFF

John Legere's open letter details how Binge On works.

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere has published an open letter on the company's website, and it smells like an attempt at damage control after getting some real backlash. As you might know, he's been making good use of his colorful vocabulary to defend his company over accusations that it's throttling YouTube videos these past few weeks. In the process, he lambasted Google and accused the Electronic Frontier Foundation of being a paid mouthpiece.

In the surprisingly expletive-free missive, he claims that Binge On is a "VERY 'pro' net neutrality capability," because you can switch it on or off whenever you want. The T-Mobile uncarrier feature allows you to stream 480p videos without eating up your data, but it can only do so for specific services like Netflix. That doesn't sit well with net neutrality advocates who believe that it makes certain apps more appealing than others. The FCC cited that as one of its reasons when it summoned the company to talk about its data exemption scheme in December.

Legere also apologizes to the EFF for posting a video asking "who the fuck" the organization is and who's paying it. His response was triggered by the non-profit digital rights group's question on Twitter, asking if Binge On alters the video stream in any way or limits its bandwidth:

Look, by now you know that I am a vocal, animated and sometimes foul mouthed CEO. 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.

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.

While we may never know why the CEO suddenly decided to publish this letter, he said he decided to write it up for the sake of the data exemption feature:

Unfortunately, my color commentary from last week is now drowning out the real value of Binge On – so hopefully this letter will help make that clear again.

[Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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