T-Mobile CEO John Legere fired off a flurry of messages this week on Twitter, defending his position on net neutrality.
Legere’s opinion on the subject is more interesting than others for one reason: T-Mobile has established itself as the “Un-carrier,” meaning it tries hard to be unlike other telecom providers. So, one might assume that to mean it would support net neutrality since its competitors generally are opposed to it.
It’s a good question, and one Legere was forced to answer on Monday after President Obama urged the FCC to regulate consumer broadband service to ensure that all traffic is treated equally.
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) November 11, 2014
Chris Ziegler at The Verge pointed out the conundrum: “Which is it, Mr. Legere: do you want net neutrality, or do you want to underwrite the same “light regulatory touch” espoused by the very companies you blast for their anti-consumer policies seven days a week?”
Legere took to Twitter to answer, writing 11 Tweets, all 140 characters or less.
But it’s a complicated question to answer.
Even politicians can’t decide what’s best. Following Obama’s statement on Monday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler reportedly said he preferred a more nuanced approach, according to The Washington Post.
Likewise, the issue gets a little murky for even less obvious reasons. For instance, a classic net neutrality rule could endanger T-Mobile’s Music freedom feature, which allows consumers to stream an unlimited amount of music for free. Generally, free music sounds like a pr-consumer concept, but in effect, that feature prioritizes some data packets over others, which could be construed as illegal under some net neutrality laws.
Here’s a summary of all of Legere’s tweets, which state that he’s in favor of less regulation because it enables more innovation, even if that’s something his competitors would agree on.
Here are his tweets as compiled by The Verge: