Verizon Wireless Throttling Unlimited 4G Data Hogs

On Friday, Verizon Wireless stated that beginning October 1, it plans to throttle the speed of a specific group of 4G LTE customers with unlimited data plans. The move is part of the company's Network Optimization policy that launched three years ago, which limits the bandwidth of the company's top 5 percent 3G customers.

"We understand that our customers rely on their smartphones and tablets every day. Our network optimization policy provides the best path to ensure a continued great wireless experience for all of our customers on the best and largest wireless network in the U.S.," said Mike Haberman, vice president – technology, for Verizon Wireless.

According to the company, it uses "network intelligence" to slow the speeds of its top 5 percent data gulpers still on the legacy unlimited data plans. These customers will experience a data slowdown if they're connected to a cell cite that's experiencing peak usage. Once that heavy traffic has subsided, or the user moves to a different cell site, then Verizon will sling the floodgates back open.

As for the new group of 4G LTE customers, users who will see the throttling on Verizon's network will (1) be in the top 5 percent of data gulpers (aka more than 4.7 GB in a single billing period), (2) have fulfilled their minimum contractual commitment, (3) are on unlimited plans using a 4G LTE device, and (4) are connected to a congested cell tower.

"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," stated the press release.

Verizon stopped selling unlimited data plans back in 2012, and switched to a Share Everything Plan that pushes customers into paying for pools of data that can be shared with other members of the same plan. Those on the Share Everything plans will not be affected by the Network Optimization throttling.

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  • dstarr3
    How exactly does one use so much data, outside of, say, watching YouTube or Netflix off of WiFi or something?
  • squirrelboy
    How exactly does one use so much data, outside of, say, watching YouTube or Netflix off of WiFi or something?
  • Steve Simons
    I'm at 11.8 GB this cycle. I use my iphone on my runs and have mapmyrun and pandora running for the entire hour plus I run or bike. It adds up quick. I don't have verizon though. Not having unlimited data is why I won't switch to them. It's just to costly to get 10+GB of data through them.
  • agentbb007
    I'm with Verizon and I pay by the GB so this seems fair to me. Wish I would have been with Verizon and signed up for the unlimited plan back then...
  • razor512
    With that policy, there will always be a top 5%. it is just their way to eventually throttle all users on the unlimited data package.
  • jdog2pt0
    I'm one of the few still holding on to my unlimited. This is just another way to make more money, plain and simple. Rather than invest into their network, they'd rather cut your service, charge you more, and make it seem like they're doing you a favor. It's absolutely ridiculous that we're letting the service providers get away with this. It's not just the phone providers either, comcast and the likes putting datacaps in place. What a joke.
  • jonathan1683
    just wait for net neutrality to go away, it's funny that the 5% is what bring their network to its knees and they just happen to be the ones not paying enough. I bet you can pay for 1Tb of bandwith no problems so long you are paying.
  • itchyisvegeta
    I go through 8 GB in a month easilly, just from Pandora, Netflix, and Hulu when I am jogging and/or at the gym.
  • ryguystye
    So how is this new policy different from the old one? If there's limited bandwidth in a given area, did Unlimited users get priority over Tiered users if the network was congested?
  • thundervore
    Wow, its like these cellphone carriers are competing to see who could piss off their customers the fastest just to see who would remain loyal.

    First they make us pay for data on a smartphone even if we do not use their data. (free WIFI at work, your own WIFI at home and if your a Cable subscriber there are free WIFI hotspots throughout the cities.)

    Now they want to throttle those with unlimited data?

    How about fair data rates!!! Why is it a company can charge $30 for a 3GB monthly data plan but at the same time charge $20 for 300MB a month data plan. If you convert the numbers, its 3072MB for $30 or 300MB for $20. An extra $10 should not give you 2772MB of extra data!!!