AT&T to “Optimize” Streaming Video by Default in 2017

Mikey Campbell at AppleInsider:

According to AT&T, Stream Saver saves on data by scanning incoming data streams and capping detected high definition content to 1.5 Mbps, roughly the equivalent of DVD video, or about 480p. The service will be turned on by default for new and existing customers when it launches in early 2017. […]

Stream Saver affects all postpaid rate plans, including Mobile Share Advantage, AT&T Unlimited Plan, Mobile Share Value, Mobile Share, AT&T 1GB Tablet Plan, AT&T 1GB Car Plan, Unlimited Data plan and others. It will also be applied to certain AT&T GoPhone plans, excluding those that serve connected vehicles. […]

Though the feature is switched on by default, subscribers have the option of turning it off —and on again —at no extra cost via myAT&T, Premiere, or by dialing 611 from a smartphone.

I have mixed feelings about this. I don’t like the idea that this is on by default, even if you have an unlimited data plan. But the fact that there is a way to toggle it on and off without incurring a fee is a plus. Hopefully the process of doing that is relatively easy, as I can see most customers toggling it on or off throughout the billing cycle.

Being that this is what T-Mobile does to make their Binge-On feature without overloading their network, this could be AT&T Laying the ground work for a similar feature in the future, which would be welcome by consumers, but could be problematic from a Net Neutrality standpoint.