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Netflix Adds Mobile Data Controls to Its Apps After Throttle Flub

Netflix is giving consumers more of a say over their mobile data consumption: The video streaming service introduced new settings within its iOS and Android apps Thursday that let consumers choose whether they want to burn through a little or a lot of data while binging on their phone.

By default, Netflix’s mobile apps manage streaming traffic automatically. However, consumers now also have the choice to override those settings and decide to restrict any streaming to Wifi connections, or enforce certain data consumption limits. A new “low” setting allows consumers to watch around 4 hours per gigabyte of data, while a “high” setting burns through the same amount of data in just one hour.

The new feature comes after Netflix admitted to automatically throttling the mobile data of its customers in March. Back then, the company said that streams over mobile networks were capping out at 600 kbps in order to protect subscribers from overage charges on their phone bills.

The admission led to a bit of a backlash, in part because Netflix has long resisted any attempts by service providers to interfere with its users’ streams. AT&T senior EVP of external and legislative affairs Jim Cicconi complained that the telco was “outraged” about the throttling. However, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said at the time that this kind of throttling wasn’t a violation of the agency’s net neutrality rules.

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