In what could be an opportunity for competing wireless carriers, Verizon has announced plans to throttle data
speeds on unlimited 4G plans. The company is blaming the move on ever-increasing consumer demand for high-speed data networks.
Tom Pica, Executive Director of Corporate Communications at Verizon Wirelesss, posted a story in the company’s news center suggesting the goal is to ensure the “optimal wireless experience” at a time when more consumers than ever before are turning to smartphones and tablets to drive productivity and improve quality of life.
“Three years ago, Verizon Wireless introduced a network optimization policy to ensure that all data customers would have the best network experience,” he explained. “To accomplish this, Verizon Wireless’ Network Optimization policy limits the data speeds of the heaviest 3G data users -- only select subscribers with unlimited data plans whose data usage is in the top 5 percent of all data users -- when those users are connected to cell sites experiencing heavy demand so that all data users will enjoy a quality wireless data experience.”
Most of Verizon’s users have transitioned to tiered data plans that cap their data usage. However, the customers whose unlimited data plans were grandfathered in when Verizon announced its network optimization policy may decide to take their business to rival wireless carriers.
How Will This Impact You?
While all major wireless carriers employ tools to manage the traffic on their networks, Pica said Verizon Wireless uses network intelligence to slow the speeds of “only some” of its heaviest users on unlimited data plans -- and only when those users are connected to a cell site that is seeing peak usage at any given time.
“Once the heavy usage eases, or the user moves to a different cell site, the user’s speeds return to normal,” he said. “Verizon Wireless’ practice of Network Optimization ensures that all customers have the best wireless data experience possible.”
Then the hammer dropped on bandwidth hogs. Starting in October, Pica said, Verizon Wireless will apply its network optimization policy to those who fall within the top 5 percent of data users on the network, have fulfilled minimum contractual commitments, and are on unlimited plans using 4G LTE devices.
“They may experience slower data speeds when using certain high bandwidth applications, such as streaming high-definition video or during real-time, online gaming, and only when connecting to a cell site when it is experiencing heavy demand,” Pica said, stressing that most customer will not feel any impacts. (continued...)
Posted: 2014-07-29 @ 3:14am PT
I have paid for "unlimited" data for years and that is what I expect. If throttled I will be moving from Verizon after more than a decade as a loyal customer. This isn't a government entity. If there is no fair side on the corporations part there shouldn't be from the consumer either.
Posted: 2014-07-29 @ 12:24am PT
Verizon should be banned from advertising 'unlimited' plans until they can actually deliver what they promise. Anything less is false advertising.