In a bid to promote so-called content “bingeing”, Three has announced the scrapping of data charges for major services like Netflix.
Streaming on the go has always been fraught with risk; as high-definition video becomes widespread,it’s now very easy to hit your mobile tariff’s maximum data allowance. In fact, according to a recent study commissioned by Three, nearly 40% of Brits admitted that they worry about streaming off Wi-Fi for exactly this reason.
That’s why Three says it has announced ‘Go Binge’ a new service that promises to “unleash a wave of unbridled mobile bingeing across the country”. With the service, you’ll no longer have to worry about data charges for Netflix, TVPlayer, Deezer or SoundCloud when streaming using a Three phone contract.
You’ll be able to watch your favourite Netflix shows on select Three contracts without having to worry about data restrictions
Speaking about the news, Three CEO Dave Dyson said: “We know that from our extensive insight that bingeing on content has become part of everyday life, yet people have been unable to do that on the go as much as they’d like due to fears of exceeding data limits.”
He continued: “
“With Go Binge, we are the first network in the UK to give people the freedom to use their data to stream their favourite shows and music without any boundaries and without worrying about restrictive data allowances and charges,” Dyson added.
We should note that any existing contract, SIM-only and broadband customers will first need to change to a higher price plan in order to benefit from the data charge remove. However, new customers on eligible plans will automatically have the service enabled.
Netflix was founded back in 1997, and began streaming media in 2007. As of April 2017, Netflix reported having more than 98 million subscribers globally, over half of which are in the USA
With Go Binge, you’ll get all-you-can-eat streaming access to Netflix, TVPlayer, Deezer and SoundCloud if you’re on an Advanced plan with a data allowance of 4GB or more. You’ll also need to pay for the relevant service too, mind; this isn’t waiving Netflix’s own fee, for instance.
It’s important to point out that Go Binge does raise the issue of net neutrality however, whereby some say that internet service providers have a responsibility to treat all services the same in regards to data speeds and allowances. By giving preference to select providers, Three could be seen as being stifling competition as other services may struggle to contend with new charge-free Netflix streaming.
We asked Mr Dyson whether he thought internet service providers had a responsibility to ensure that all internet traffic and services are treated fairly, and whether it was irresponsible of Three to scrap data charges for a select few providers.
Speaking to TrustedReviews, Dyson said: “
He went on: “This is not us selecting who we think is best. There are no barriers to other people joining. Obviously we wanted to get this off the ground as quickly as possible. We wanted strong anchor partners at launch.”
“This isn’t the end point. It will evolve over time, and will involve people who want to be involved,” the Three CEO added.
Our own Mobile Editor Max Parker had this to say: “”Three needed something to entice customers after the EU ruling mean its ‘Feel at Home’ service wasn’t quite so fantastic any more. And Go Binge seems like a decent alternative. It’s slightly annoying to see existing customers have to up their tariff to be included – surely loyal customers should always get the best deals? – and there’s always going to be questions asked regarding net neutrality, but the services already included seem impressive.”
“Not using up data while I stream an HD film on Netflix is great, but I would love to see YouTube and Spotify added to the list down the line.”
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What do you think of Three’s announcement? Let us know in the comments.