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As of Yesterday Verizon Started Throttling its Top 5% Data Hogs, Doesn’t Affect 4G LTE or Tiered Data Customers

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Back in February, there were reports of Verizon’s plans to start throttling (data speeds reduced) or using “Network Optimization Practices” on their top data hogs (5%).  Policies like this clearly are not taken well by customers, however, until today we had heard very little about them.  In our inbox, we just received word from Big Red on this new practice with every little detail you could imagine.  I’ll just say up front that the policy sounds like the end of the world, but from our understanding, it will only affect 3G customers on unlimited data plans.

Here is the main note we received showing that this new practice went live as of yesterday:

Beginning 9/15, we will start identifying customers who meet these criteria and will expand to others in the base after customer communications are completed. Network Optimization Practices only goes into effect when an Internet or Smartphone device with an unlimited plan/feature falls into the top 5% of data usage and is on a congested cell site.

Here is how the throttling “optimization” process will work:

Verizon Wireless is always looking for ways to give customers the superior experience they expect from our network – an amazing resource that – shared by tens of millions of customers. To achieve this, customers within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users, may have their data speeds periodically reduced. This reduction will last for the remainder of the current billing cycle as well as the one immediately following. This is to make sure all users enjoy high quality network performance even when on a congested cell site.

Who could potentially fall under this new practice?  Customers who meet all of the following:

  • Have a 3G internet or 3G smartphone
  • Have an unlimited or feature data plan
  • Are among the top 5% of data users
  • Are on a congested cell site

Reps are being told to offer these as solutions to customers who want to avoid throttling:

  • Upgrade to a 4G LTE smartphone
  • Migrate to a usage-based (tiered) data plan
  • Use WiFi more often

Verizon also wants everyone to know that they are not “throttling” like AT&T and T-Mobile are:

The difference between our network optimization practice and throttling is about network intelligence. With throttling, your wireless connection is slowed down for your entire cycle, 100% of the time, no matter where you are. Network Optimization balances the best possible experience on the network and for the customer. Network Optimization Practices is more precise and requires more management than throttling, however it provides the greatest balance for everyone. So, if you’re in the top 5% of data users, your connection is slowed only when you are in a congested cell site.

AT&T recently announced that they will be throttling 5% of their top data users beginning in October.

In addition, TMobile will be throttling customers who use more than 5GB of data each month.

And that’s pretty much that.  As of yesterday, Big Red will start to slow down its top 5% data users for essentially two billing cycles.  We are only talking 3G unlimited data customers here though, so 4G LTE peeps can relax.  For now.

Update:  Verizon has populated their Data Optimization page with a full FAQ.

Update 2:  Verizon reached out to hopefully help clarify the situation a bit.  They want to be sure you all understand that they are not technically “throttling” their top 5%.  Actually, they still are essentially throttling, just not 100% of the time like some carriers do.  They will only reduce the top 5% of data users when they are on a congested site.  Here is the quote they gave:

If you’re in the top 5% of data users, your speed is reduced only when you are connected to a congested cell site. Once you are no longer connected to a congested site, your speed will return to normal.

Any questions?

Cheers ___!

  • Due to VZW throttling, they have now falsely advertised to its customers about the practicality or fuctionality of their 4G LTE phones and network. Vzw advertised that with the new more efficient network of the 4G LTE, streaming videos to a 4G LTE phone would be effectively possible. My throttled Razr Maxxx is now slower than what my old 3G Droid when it comes to data speed. I’d seriously rather things go back the way they were before without the 4G LTE. I smell a lawsuit coming. Companies like VZW, AT&T and T-Mobile are raping their loyal customers, because with the new broader bandwidth of the 4G networks, these companies are using less resources and money to operate what they can do now on a 3G network scale, but now charge customers the same for a throttled data speed thats practically worthless for streaming videos and too damn much for a tiered data plan. Me personally it would cost me a good $200 in data fees to do now what i have had for years since pda phones were a thing.

  • One pissed off American

    I think this is complete garbage. It’s everyones right to get what you pay for, this “network optimization” was not part of my contract when I signed up for service. I hate to be selfish, I dont care how many other users I should be concerned about sharing bandwidth….they are not paying my cellphone bill. A rip off at $130 a month. VZ should take the millions of dollars they are ripping off their customers and put it towards an upgraded network infrastructure. Not ceo, cto, board of directors multi-million dollar retirement bonuses etc.

  • mjoinsd

    Love your feminine pink theme here….. That was sarcasm.

  • drpains

    Again and again isp’s want to steal from paying customers and customers online. also isp’s want to hinder inovation. The idea that your account you pay for is a community account. This type of thinking is nonsense. You pay for internet as a account addressed to you. if a isp wants to offer a speed up/down, the speed up and down should be able to run 24/7 365 as the customer chooses to access it. Bandwidth caps and throttling aka network management is not fair use its actual false advertising and not being realistic with. with internet need and usage for customers, business online and inovation online. It disgusting that isp’s want to cheat customers and force customers back to advertisment tv like cable and satelite. government pays for roads and should fund. internet building to expand abilities and allow any atartup isp to offer internet. instead of the current monopoly that wants to halt liberty freedom and inovation online.

  • FivePercenter

    The problem with this “first comments first” system is that no one will read this. Having said that:
    I am currently using Verizon 4G LTE on a Droid Bionic with a grandfathered unlimited plan. I was experiencing slow buffering on YouTube videos to the point of not being able to view them. I ran the SpeedTest app and found out that my downstream was .48 Mbps on 4G. Switched to 3G; 2.00 Mbps. I know it’s not an outage of any sort because my 4G upstream was 6+ Mbps.
    I don’t doubt that I would be in the top 5% of my towers’ users, but I don’t think at 3 AM there is a huge demand on the Verizon infrastructure.

    If Verizon claims to not throttle 4G, they are lying. I’m a Verizon 4G LTE customer with speeds that are a fraction of their 3G speeds. I am the 5%.

  • datahog99

    Geez.  I guess im a hog.  I am at 72GB and this is only my 16/30 day of the month

  • Jkeyser21

    The reason they shut the unlimited phones down is so they can make money by “allowing” the limited plans to go over….. just like as they team up with the free apps programs that require “a lot of data usage” for a simple app.  It’s all about you going over your allowed plan so they can charge you overages!!

  • Mo128

    I dumped Comcast because I watch a limited amount of TV — like only CNBC and BBC. I obviously have a phone, and Verizon 4G was jumping up and down saying the unlimited for 4G was indeed unlimited and without “throttling.”
    This weekend I began to feel the throttling. If it persists I will drop them like a hot rock as I did Comcast. I have been a VZW customer ever since Cingular bought AT&T Wireless division in the PacNW. We sold millions into that company, and suddenly I had no service on their own campus! Next day I was a VZW customer.
    There is no loyalty on Earth. Only family, and then ???

  • Feb 2012: guess what, Verizon throttled me exactly at the 4GB data point
    and I’m on an UNLIMITED data plan as one of the first adopters of 4G
    LTE Samsung Droid.  A Verizon tech told me they throttle users based on
    rate of usage, i.e. how quickly you use the 4GB.  If you use it in a
    week then look out.  Download speed dropped from around 6mbs to under
    0.2mbs.  They may have other criteria also.  This is the first time in
    years that I have ever used data at that rate, so I’m not an “abuser”.  I
    use my phone in tethered and mobile hotspot modes. I don’t recall
    seeing any warning of this in any of their advertising or policies, did

  • Searles O’Dubhain

    I use the unlimited data plan on a 3G and have been throttled continuously since the throttling went into effect. I only use my connection for Skype video calls to my wife and some browsing which results in (according to Verizon) about 6 gb of data bandwidth per month. Since the cellphone tower I use most often is located at the intersection of two major freeways, it is always “congested.”

    Amazingly enough, if I use my Droid2 as a WiFi hotspot, I almost get 3G speeds at that time, however (again according to Verizon) I use up about 3 gb of bandwidth in 2 weeks just using Skype video calls to my wife (maybe 2 hours max per day).

    I think their data optimization plan is not well thought out and seems to be based on stale information. I also think their usage statistics are fudged to their benefit without anyone actually being able to monitor them or regulate their practices.

    Needless to say we are looking into other services when our contract expires in April. Being one of the 5% is something I think everyone should get used to as corporate greed expands to fill the available space. It’ll soon be everyone that is being throttled based on the bottom line of their P/L statement (and we’re not talikgn reasonable profits here).

  • They are throttling the data speeds on my USB internet device, and the embedded Verizon chip in one of my laptops. I have a legacy unlimited plan (no longer offered), and I watch a lot of Hulu when I am on the road. I notice speeds dropping mid-month. With all the coverage the cell phone data plan throttling is getting, no one is talking about the internet devices used for PCs. 

    I also have a run a command line ping constantly to keep my connection established.

    It is amazing that as technology advances, greed is actually moving us BACKWARDS in this area. My internet was routinely faster three years ago. Now I feel I am back to dialup. 

  • Voip-small-business
  • Prozac4me

    I’m astonished that i’m hearing people say, it’s fair?!?  I’m not sure about you, but when unlimited means, no limitations!  I’m not sure what dictionary Verizon used to offer unlimited data plans!  I’m actually one of the persons that have an unlimited data plans, and I watch a lot of movies, and test linux OS’s, so I download around 30gb monthly.  This is strictly GREED!  If people like me are considered data hogs, and my network habits effect others, then maybe Verizon shouldn’t sale service as unlimited, and then blame connectivity problems on other users!  AOL did the same thing in the 90’s when they sold service to every Tom, Dick, & Harry, and then nobody could get online!

    I don’t see Verizon crediting my account, when I don’t use all my minutes…  It’s simply corporate greed, and what blows me away, is that they get people to swallow their crap!  If my download habits effect others, then they network optimizing should be to quit selling service to people, so their current customers won’t be effected, not point fingers at other users, and then penalize people for what they contractually obliged to do!!

    Start crediting my account when I don’t use all my minutes, or go over my data usage on my other phones!

  • Ryan Aman

    I have no issue with them throttling when you’re in the 5%, however I do have an issue with the announcement coming in the middle of the month.  I average 1.8 gb of data per month, but I moved at the beginning of the month and have not been able to have a reliable wifi because of interference and have had to rely on 3G at home instead of using wifi as I generally do.  This has caused me to get to 1.8 gb already, but I am probably already in the top 5% in my market…

    Now I would have greatly appreciated being informed by verizon at the beginning of the month notifying users that they would begin to be affected by this service.  You wouldn’t wait until the middle of the month to tell someone they are limited to driving 50 miles after they’d already driven 45, you would tell them at the begging of the month so they could modify their behavior to accommodate for this change.

  • I can’t upgrade to a 4G LTE yet – I’m not due to upgrade until November. Is Verizon allowing us to upgrade early without costs? 

  • Anonymous


  • I’m def. in it! I wrote on a forum ( i wish i could remember which one it was so i could jus copy and paste it) but way before Verizons throttling plan was even getting works i was recieving emails from top Verizon offices about my usage! They were pretty much telling me that i was using way to much data and they were gonna be watching my usage very closely. I do believe that legally or not they began throttling my data then. and this was mayb a year-year and a half ago! I do also remember my gaming speeds going from like 3.5-4Mb to like 1.5. At this time i turned my home internet off bcuz the price for school, gas, my phone bill, bills and other expenses were to much so i just used my phone for eveything it was capable of. So i dont think i was wrong for doing this at all. I paid for it, so why not use it when i’m in need of its services. Were getting penalized for actually using our phone for everything there capable of! Verizon makes these great (actually subpar compared to some) phones, and even worse plans that if you acutally use the features given you either get throttled or charged extra -_- BS!

  • Gary

    Do you have an idea as to how many GB the top 5% are using per month?



  • Themrjustinjones

    My Verizon 3G speeds stay around .5 mb/s I feel like I have been throttled from day one. Verizon you suck, I think you guys actually have to many customers and your trying to get some people to bounce. Its working

  • Craigg

    VZW told all that had unlimited broadband on their accounts that they would be grandfathered in. Unfortunately VZW now considers 2GB to be unlimited which is fraud. I think if they continue along this path they will open themselves up to lawsuits. A reasonably prudent person would not agree that 2GB = Unlimited nor would they agree that unlimited broadband is equal to a slow throttled connection. VZW is just scamming the consumer. If they want to sell metered data why don’t they just price it fairly at $10 per GB and be done with all this fraud.

  • Gvyt36785

    TMobile will be throttling customers? That sounds like it’s going to hurt…

  • SFC Airborne51

    See this whole thing is screwed up. I just moved from NC to WA state and drove 2900 miles in 14 days. During that time I used my 3G Droid 2 to watch several Netflix movies when I stopped for the night. I also listened to my Sirius/XM on my Cellphone while driving through my truck speakers. This 14 days of use put me at almost 9GB of data for half a month. I wasn’t being a hog, I was not downloading torrents, I was just using the services that I pay for on a device that I pay for. Now knowing how stingy the allocations are by Big Red I will probably be in that top 5%. I did not have wifi to use while driving cross country. I did use it in some of the hotels but only in half of them because the wifi sucked so bad I couldn’t even stream Netflix but I could on 3G. My point is now I will be punished for using a service that I paid for to use two other services I paid for and how is that fair? I’ve been a Verizon customer for 13 years and if I notice that I get affected by this then my loyalty to them may be about to become very short lived….

  • Entanglement

    looks like i won’t be affected for now at least.
    last month total usage was 215gb using  mobile hotspot to support 3 laptops & ps3.
    i only did that because i was moving so i had to disconnect my comcast.
    for first 20days, i did about 10gb/day until i settled into new place.

  • Anonymous


  • Androidman

    I thought they considered 5gb+ top 5%? Now its 2gb what a joke i just checked and i am close to 3 gb and i maily just surf and check emails i use slacker about 5 hours a month maybe.

  • skinja

    Verizon is using the PUBLIC spectrum. They lease the spectrum from US, you and me, via the FCC. This move is a clear violation of their lease. Why isn’t anyone talking about this?

    • skinja99

      Especially considering that VZW is not hurting for money. They make billions each quarter. So they should be investing in their own hardware upgrades.

      Since it is not like following the terms of their spectrum lease will break their bank.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    If you have to ask if you are in the top 5% you are not. The people that are.. they know who they are.

  • Anonymous

    Alternate solution: Switch to Sprint.

  • howdy

    For now…

  • Anonymous

    This will be interesting to see if the new iphone is 3g only if they throttle those users and not lte customers. I could see some highly angry people and maybe even apple getting involved if they do.

  • BS, they’ve been throttling for months.  I’ve personally been effected and my major consumption is pandora and google music while driving my commute.  And that only makes me angrier considering that service in my area is spotty at best, in Lawrence, KS!  And we have an nightly 3g drop out from 12 am to 1:30 am, guessing for a system restart.  Just happens that is my peak time.  If big red wasn’t the only provider to reach my house at all I’d be gone yesterday.

  • schwadb

    Sorry folks, but if you use more than 2 GB of data a month, you’ll be effected according to Big Red.  See excerpt below that was taken from their website.

     How will I know if I’m in the top 5% of data users?
    As of August 2011, the top 5% of data users were using 2 GB or more of data each month. How do I know if I will be impacted by Network Optimization? A good rule of thumb as of September 2011 is this: If you’re on an unlimited data plan, have a 3G device and are using more than 2 GB of data in a month, you’re in the top 5% of data users and will be impacted by Network Optimization when you’re connected to congested 3G cell sites.  Starting at the end of August 2011, if you are on an unlimited plan, are a high data user and had a contract prior to February 3, 2011, we’ll notify you through bill messages and on your My Verizon account if you may be affected.  

    • Anonymous

      Yeah that is just for 3g devices only though. it seems they wont throttle 4g devices.

  • hatethanet

    “Unlimited Data” was ALWAYS a false description from these carriers. It’s just that back in the day before iPhones and Android phones, they could throw this term around with no danger of customers reaching their network’s capacity. How much data can one possibly use in one month on a crappy old flip-phone? As phones get more advanced and network speeds keep increasing, more and more people are gonna haveta get that word “Unlimited” out of their heads when it comes to data use on their phones. If you use a ton of data, then you’ll have to pay the price. There’s nothing anybody can do about it (except complain, of course).

  • Dr. Seuss

    This sounds like Clear network’s “optimization”…. The very reason why I ditched them to join big red’s LTE

  • Duck Dodgers

    Top 5% is a LOT of data, we’re talking 20+ gigs a month. Most of us can relax. It’s hard to hit that cap on my desktop much less my smartphone (yes I stream netflix from my home network). You have to be tethering constantly or using your phone as your only connection to the web.

    • Granted

      Yeah and I’ve said it before, if you’re just a cheap ass, and use your cell data plan as your only source of internet, well, who gives a shit! That sense of entitlement is bullshit anyways, and you should stop being a cheap bastard and pay for broadband or DSL.

    • Smtxom

      Yea, this month. Then next month the top 5% will be people that use 15gigs and so and so on until we get to the people that use a gig a month like me but don’t use it tethered or anything. Top 5% doesnt set a tangible limit that we can use to measure our use against. Its just a free pass for Big Red to continue to throttle the top users no matter the actual about of users.

      • Anonymous

        Not really because the next month they would go back up to 20+gb’s a month

        • Anonymous

          Do you understand how much mobile data use is increasing year-after-year?

          Given past growth, most mobile users will be busting through 2GB/month in 15 months.

          • Anonymous

            What does that have to do with anything I said?

          • Anonymous

            Because Verizon’s “data hog” label is supposedly for anyone who uses more than 2GB per month, not 20+ and Verizon is going to keep “redefining” the top 5% figure as their unlimited customers are behaviorally conditioned to use less and less data each month. This is done because Verizon is throttling for TWO billing cycles, not just one.


            Let’s say we have 100 users. The 5 biggest data hogs use over 5GB of data one month and they get throttled. 1 of them decides to cut their usage in half and the entire data hog mean goes down. The 5 biggest data hogs now use a lower average and Verizon’s 5% mark gets lowered. As the data hogs cut back their usage  out of fear of being throttled, that 5% line gets lower and lower and lower. It starts choking more and more users over time. Eventually, users that are pulling 2.1 GB per month get throttled… next month, it’ll be 2.05… and so on.

            It’s very dirty.

          • Anonymous

            yeah well most aren’t going to cut their data back they just will until they are not throttled anymore which would be next month so yeah like I said people are still going to use the same data right after they are throttled.

          • Anonymous

            First off, the data hogs are throttled for TWO billing cycles so after they get throttled, they literally CAN NOT use that much data until that 5% figure is redefined after that 2nd billing cycle.

            If your data speed goes from ~800 kbps to 12.5 kbps for a full month, you can’t use as much data even if your device is pulling 24/7. That 5% is automatically lowered because of that little fact. Mobile device battery life and behavior patterns for mobile data usage won’t allow it. In order to keep the effect from happening, around 5 million Verizon unlimited data customers would have to keep their phones on chargers and CONSTANTLY pull data 24/7 every month regardless of throttling. That just doesn’t happen.

  • Javajoe1981


    How will I know if I’m in the top 5% of data users?

    As of August 2011, the top 5% of data users were using 2 GB or more of data each month.

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  • BillybobY

    i have a question….if im on a 4g bionic….and a unlimited data plan…..but! i am in a 3g city so im running 3g all the time…basically im a 3g unlimited customer….does that mean they could throttle me?

  • H8VZW

    People, Verizon considers 2GB to be the top 5%.

  • Snppr22

    I would love to know why this isnt illegal.

    I agree with the sentiment that this stinks of an underhanded scheme to try and force people to 4G or into tiered plans. When they throttle the top 5% (which no one will know if it is only 5%) those users will not be able to be in the top 5% for the next month+ so the next group will be throttled and so on and so on. And of course once people are unrestricted they will be able to bump the numbers back up and what not, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the top 10-15% of users are (close to) constantly throttled.  This would, presumably, mean that there is a significantly lower demand for data, saving Big Red some money.

    What I am about to say will sound blasphemous to many, but I dont understand why Google and Apple dont just burry their swords and team up to take on the big cell providers. I think if they developed cross platform apps that were exclusive to their network and moved iOS and Android to exclusive services that many people would go with. Obviously there would be nothing stopping them from screwing people, but right now I am much more inclined to trust either of them.

    • There is nothing illegal about data throttling. Not a single carrier will guarantee you high access speeds; usually it’s “our network can provide up to…”, with, possibly, some minimum speed guaranteed (like 512kbps).

      You need to remember that the carrier pays their traffic charges on a per gigabyte basis; they don’t have “unmetered” connexions with others. Cellular networks maintenance is an extremely costly business, too. Bandwidth for end users is always oversold, otherwise the carrier wouldn’t be able to provide even 2GB/mo to everyone. It’s based on the fact that most people actually use mobile data as they are expected to: sending emails and MMS messages, occasionally sharing videos and photos, surfing, sometimes browsing YouTube, etc.

      You need to take into account the fact that if certain customers constantly use massive amounts of data (example: watching HD movies or something of the sorts over 3G/4G at home instead of just using their home internet connection) are indeed affecting other customers by filling up a base station’s bandwidth. This affects everyone. But, of course, being cooperative is I guess not in the spirit of a true American.

      (Side note: I will probably never understand US-based mobile data users, because neither in my home country nor in the country I currently work in there are any true “unmetered” plans available. Usually you can buy, for example, 4GB/mo, and once you get past that quota your speed is throttled to 64kbps. Yes, you read that right: 64 kilobits per second, that’s 8Kbytes/sec. Sometimes it’s 16Kbps instead, varying depending on the carrier.)

      • Buskirkjr

        If downloading movies, sports, gaming , etc. Is bogging down their systems, then they shouldn’t b e marketing those tools to sign up customers

      • Nunyadamnbusiness

        Most of the civilized world has vastly better cell phone servive than the US. That likely includes the country that you’re in and the country that you’re from, especially if they’re in Asia. Service costs less, phones cost less, and they don’t have any of this nonsense of companies monopolizing bandwidth – so the coverage itself is better. LTE can be pretty fast, but with all of this throttling nonsense, who cares? Besides, many countries have faster networks anyway! The bottom line is this: it’s idiotic to demonize consumers for using their devices for what they’re clearly designed for. If television providers limited how much TV you could watch because, “You are in the to 5% of TV users,” how would you react?

  • Anonymous

    Just wondering what types of speed the Droid Bionic is getting over LTE:  Mine is averaged around 20 – 23 mbps dwn, 5-8 up


    • No clue about VZW, but GSM LTE phones within Latvia’s first LTE network get up to 98Mbps down and around 20-30Mbps up, if I recall correctly.

  • 1loudls

    the funny part is that i guess i used to think that the word “unlimited” actually meant that you had no limit.

    • Well, you don’t have a limit per se.
      You can still use the internet when you’re throttled. You aren’t cut off, and you aren’t billed for going over quota.

  • Anonymous

    Also it states that they have the right to include 4G devices at anytime, soi no one will be safe forever

    • hatethanet

      I expect Verizon to wait until a large number of customers upgrade to 4G phones and sign new 2 yr contracts, and then include 4G devices in the throttling.

  • Anonymous

    Its probly for like the people that live on fb and twitter, the social media sites will be ptobly be the only ones affected by this

  • Tang6812

    Sprint, here i come!

    • hatethanet

      I expect Sprint to join the throttling trend once they get more people on their network.

  • Jayb84

    damn good thing I just got my bionic earlier today…I actually asked the girl that worked there if Verizon was doing this. Because I could never find a solid piece of info on it until this post.

  • Sosin001

    I find it funny that this is acceptable to everyone. I know
    it might be slightly beneficial right now because we are getting screwed
    compared to other countries. Our internet access be it cable or cellular is snail
    like in comparison and now we get throttling and tiered plans… this is ridicules
    we are getting pushed back have to pay out our asses for shit that in the advertisement
    side of things sound so damn good.. so we fork out hundreds for shit we don’t get…
    Heres another option I propose to Big Red use the damn money we fork out to you
    every damn month and improve the freaking systems so we can use these current
    smart phones and future super phones to there damn limit.

  • Anonymous

    I might not have a problem with this if they didn’t charge for teathering.

  • Jon22

    From the link the top 5%

    How will I know if I’m in the top 5% of data users? As of August 2011, the top 5% of data users were using 2 GB or more of data each month

  • Gumbi

    According to the FAQ, the top 5% is anyone over 2GB per month.  It sounds like they pick a hard limit each month, and say anyone who goes over that gets throttled.

    • Charley

      How about that.  2Gb?  Just coincidentely what the level of the first Tier plan is.

      So I’m on unlimited data.  however if i use more than the current Tier 1 level, I get throttled for the next month, making it less capable of supplying the data service for the next billing period also.

      I suspect that it will not be long before the courthouse somewhere will be seeing some complaints.

  • Umfan1972

    How will I know if I’m in the top 5% of data users?……… As of August 2011, the top 5% of data users were using 2 GB or more of data each month…. Thats right from the update link

  • Anonymous

    I am surprisingly pleased with this. a dynamic 5% is the best part. No need to set a bar.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps it’s just my cynicism, but I feel like this will eventually become them throttling anyone with an unlimited plan and trying to bully them into switching to a tiered plan.

  • 4g rules

    Just how much Data do you use? I use on average 3-4 GB

  • Good thing Buffalo is by no means a “congested cell site”

    • Ain’t that the truth kid …hopefully get some 4g soon

  • Porno

    Love how you guys write this to make it sound like Verizon is sending you press releases – as opposed to you signing up for them on their website.

    • Anonymous

      This is definitely not a press release.

    • Granted


  • Staticx57

    Better than having a limit and being charged for it.

  • 4g rules

    On the phone the other day ago with Verizon I was told that 96.8 % of smatphone users use less than 2GB of data a month ??? That would not be me, Now my wife maybe 1gb/month though

    • Anonymous

      That is bs. Most people with a smartphone use atleast 2gb a month. Verizon just wants to make more money and slow people down so they don’t use the data they are entitled to with their plan.

  • Mikedeamicis

    who’s to say they don’t throw the 5% around loosely? so this month we “manage” the top five taking them out of play.now there is a new top 5% and they are out of play. or maybe they say 5% but are gonna actually throttle anyone they what wheneverthey wanted just tell them they are in the top 5% on a congested site. how would you prove otherwise? i’m not saying they are dirty bastard liars, just saying it could be the case.

  • Is this why my service has been terrible for the past 2 days?!

  • Howard5674

    They sure are screwing there customers again, Damn them , i am so pissed off

    • Anonymous

      Switch to another wireless carrier with true unlimited data (Sprint is the only one left in the US) and let them know your reasons. Switch as loudly as possible and take as many people with you.

    • I’m not renewing my contract with them anymore…I fully expect them to bully unlimited users into tiered plans at some point.

  • I’d like to see the actual statistics of how much data the top 5% users are actually using monthly.

  • Verizon is actually doing this the “right” way. Bravo. Throttling *needs* to happen, but in a calculated, controlled, and evenly prescribed way. The parameters by which they are enabling data throttling seem respectable, they seem to be based on “common sense” and are logical. They also offer some useful tips (obviously use WiFi more…) and it is interesting to see them pushing 4G phones on people. It makes sense, though – they probably have a TON of 4G capacity available whereas 3G is more congested, so switching more people to 4G puts less strain on existing 3G networks. Overall, this is pretty smart. I am proud to say I am a Verizon “employee family member” for once!


      For the amount of money i spend per month this DOES NOT NEED TO HAPPEN!!! ALL LIES TO GET PEOPLE TO SWITCH TO TIERED PLANS OR FORCE US TO. SHEEP ALL SHEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Buskirkjr

        I agree 110%. I pay over $180 a month for 2 phones with unlimited data 3G. (Outragous) customer svcs says verizon does not overcharge and we are not buying the head nuts in the co. new homes and yatchs because they have spent millions upgrading their systems. Let’s look at that statement. Verizon claims to have over 10 million customers. Multiplied by $100.00 a month,( An extremely low estimate I suspect) = $1000000000.00 a month gross for verizon. A billion dolllars a month gross. That’s 1 month. I realize there’s a lot of overhead involved but holy smokes. They can’t afford to upgrade and throttling is their answer? I fired t mobile years ago for unethical practices, verizon will be next. At least I can still use my ipad or kindel to piggyback wi fi from just about anywhere.

    • I agree I’m not a power user as many people are so for me I guess its a good thing. Because verizon 3g sucks

    • Anonymous

      Throttling does not need to happen at all, network improvements need to happen. Verizon doesn’t want to pay for 3G data usage overhead and wants everyone to migrate to tiered data plans. This is all to increase Verizon’s bottom line while reducing their overhead costs by forcing their users to sacrifice features. It’s the text messaging scam all over again.

  • I guess i’m okay…i do a couple hundred megs a month or so. I hit 1 gig once and that was a ton.

  • Jacob Bowen

    The problem I have is top 5% is not a concrete number, therefor you have no way to know if you are top 5% or getting close even.  Additionally, the 5% will fluctuate, so will your throttling fluctuate as well?  This is way to shady for me.  I also like the comment of having a 4g phone with no 4g service.  This should only apply in 4g areas.  VZW is pulling some real BullSh#t move here.  

  • Anonymous

    I also was told yesterday that Verizon will be adopting the UK’s way of doing business.  For those of you that dont know here is how it works.  You will buy you phone directly from the manufacture i.e Motorola. The carriers will only provide the service.  Said it would probably happen by the end of next year.  Sounds good to me I guess….as long as the prices for these phones drop.  

    • They will go up if you buy off contract phones…Motorola will sell phone therefore no contract therefore full priced phones….. I actually would not mind this tho I would rather just buy full price and pay per month

  • Robert White

    Just another step to eventually force all customers to sign up for tiered data. They will have to void my contract first. Then I’ll walk to whatever is the best deal. Which could possibly be US Cellular.

  • 123456

    I’ve used 6.60 Gb’s in 16 days this month……throttle me you greedy b!#@?#$

    • Granted

      I’m a little ignorant here because I basically just use my WiFi at home, but how or where do you go to see how much data you’ve used? Are you just looking at your monthly bill to get the numbers?

      • GWill

        Call #data

  • Rizzidy

    Scary stuff.  They are going to do this incrementally so that nobody complains too loudly each time.

  • Big Fat Dynamo

    This notice has been on every contract signed since the iPhone launch.

  • Relentless

    Looks like just another way for us to get out of our outrageously priced contract

    Can you hear me now?

    • Anonymous

      good luck with that. This is included in your contract may want to go read it.

  • Anonymous

    As horrible as this sounds, it really is a logical thing. 

    It actually brings market forces into the mix such that people will not waste a precious resource. You have some people who torrent and download huge files… this can negatively effects others but there is nothing making it affect them negatively (well until now). 

    Verizon’s implementation of only having throttling if you are in a congested network and only if you have used excessive data does make sense and properly places consequences on the bad behavior only when necessary.

    This is not to say that I like a cap then throttle, almost no user does(well it actually may help data connections in congested areas giving some benefit). It does not seem fair given that we have “unlimited” plans.

    In effect, this actually does in the economics sense make “the pie” bigger but we will have to see who gets the benefits, hopefully they use it to help make the data connection faster for those who do not abuse the service… but it could be used to allow Verizon to not put up more towers. Although given the push for 4G it seems like 3G towers would not be a priority either way, thus this may be a push so that they can sink more money into 4G towers… I actually would rather have this than more investment in 3G at the expense of 4G expansion.
    (this paragraph has lots of speculation and is up for debate)

    We shall see.

    • Jam120992

      yea, i use maybe 4 gb a month so i doubt ill be in the top 5% out of the 80 million customers

      • Anonymous

        Yes… We need to have transparency on what is going to qualify you for the top 5%

        • Gamer 28

          I’d like to know that as well. I use around 60-70 gigs of data on 4G (no tethering), I know this doesn’t affect me, but it’s nice to have an idea.

          • Anonymous

            Oh, wow… what are you using to get 60-70 Gigs of data?

          • Gamer 28

            Netflix at work all day, downloading podcasts, youtube, and a few roms every now and then.  I’m also never on wifi, even at home or school because I get 3-4 bars of LTE all the time.

          • Anonymous

            So here is the thing… you by using 4G instead of Wifi hurts others who want to use 4G but do not have access to Wifi. So for everybody else, please when you have Wifi use it.

            Actually… this is exactly what the throttling is meant to do. Make you choose Wifi when you have it to avoid throttling when you need 4G. 

            Also you may consider downloading podcast only on Wifi thus lowering your 4G use.

          • Ronen

            On a technological standpoint, using 4G is using resources but of a different kind. 4G systems can handle FAR more than what any one cell tower can deliver via range. They are also tied in with fiber backbones vs bonded DSL as most 3G still is. In short, hogging 4G doesn’t really impact anyone…for now. 

          • Anonymous

            Yes so until congestion is an issue unlimited use on it is not too much of a bad thing. I still bet in congested areas if you have a few people using 80 gigs a month you may notice a slowdown.

          • Anonymous

            I disagree wit this. He should be able to use 60-70gigs a month, its the plan he purchased and they provided. The reason why Verizon cannot support this is because they are too big. They cover too vast an area and maintain baseline quality service. Where as if they were more concentrated, the quality of service would improve and we the consumer would get an overall better product.

            Instead Verizon/AT&T became the size of USSR and are now enforcing a police state socialistic policy “equal service” for all with no alternatives. 

            This is how far capitalism has fallen. Thank your politicians for accepting the bribes aka”donations/lobby money”.

          • Jbarb

            …..BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!

          • Anonymous

            You seem to miss the point the by doing what he does screws everybody else trying to use the same connection… my argument is not that he should not do it because he is hurting the cell phone company but he should not do it because he is hurting other individuals. Pretty much… Do not be an ass.

            It is an immature stance to think that since one has the right to do somthing that it the must also be the right thing to do… 

            In reality this actually brings up exactly why Verizon should throttle the way it does on 3G on 4G also… to introduce proper market pressures and thus most everybody else will benefit.

            ” The reason why Verizon cannot support this is because they are too big. They cover too vast an area and maintain baseline quality service. Where as if they were more concentrated, the quality of service would improve and we the consumer would get an overall better product.”

            This all sounds nice but you are going to need to provide some evidence… as I see many more problems being created by small companies then it would supposedly solve. How about going out of network? Are all the companies going to have to support the connections of the other carriers?

          • Anonymous

            I’m saying neither are wrong or right. They have to be wide spread. Otherwise when I’m out of town it wouldn’t work. However, you should get what you pay for. If you want unlimited and pay for it, they should have the ability to supply it. Hence why I can get good speeds on a 4g tower. I go to a restaurant and order an all you can eat buffet. Should I only get some scraps because someone else ate everything before I got there? No. Should they be forced to eat somewhere else? No, they paid for all you can eat, but they can eat a lot more. The restaurant should have the ability to serve what it offers. If it can’t, own up to it. I shouldn’t blame the fat guy for not getting my food. I should blame the restaurant. If you feel the service isn’t capable of what it claims it is because of other people, tell Verizon. It’s a new service. It’ll get worked out.

          • speed3aller


          • RB

            That’s horseshit. I would much rather be able to travel the whole country and have Verizon service everywhere I go (with no roaming charges), than have slightly better connection speed in the small area I live in.

          • While he is a data hog he’s using the services given to him. I think it’s common sense to side with the consumer at all times and not take the corporate position on throttling….even if we are all sharing resources. We pay Verizon…they should always improve infastructure.

          • Anonymous

            This is why we can’t have nice things.

          • Jim712

            Archer. love it

          • Oops10gigs

            I’ve been stuck at my parents’ house for 3 days and have used 10 gigs ’cause they’re Internet sucks. Paid for unlimited I should get unlimited I agree. Oh and I have 3G -_- crazy.

          • Oops10gigs

            their* and didn’t realize this was 9 months ago lol.

          • My HEAVY use is about .75 gig! And I have an unlimited 3G plan….

          • Anonymous

            I’m sorry to tell you this but you are a freaking hog. You are like those fat ass people that weigh 500lbs and still eat too much!.

          • Gamer 28

            I’m not fat, I’m heavy boned. 😛

          • skinja99

            Gamer28, you paid for unlimited, so use it!

            Verizon limiting people is a violation of the terms of their lease with the FCC. 

        • Anonymous

          >> Yes… We need to have transparency on what is going to qualify you for the top 5%

          Frankly, I would rather they not tell, but keeping it at a reasonable top limit, adjusted as their network expands/improves. Say, Verizon comes out and says it’s 4Gb. You may find it an acceptable number to you, but who knows, may be 2 years later, with a 4G phone, you will find it unacceptably low.

          • Anonymous

            Top 5% is a number that changes, not a fixed amount through time. As people use more data on average the top 5% goes up also.  All I would want is a number that is approximately what is to expect so I can adjust my usage accordingly.

            (Also throttling data will reduce the data used by the top 5% at first)

          • Anonymous

            Yes, and then you have a new 5%. And so forth. In other words more than 5% will be throttled.

          • Anonymous

            Yes that is why I said initially it will reduce it… Then a steady state will be reached that climbs with average use.

          • DeathfireD

            See the problem with this is they are basing the top 5% off of how much they use within a specific cell site area. This sucks for people who are in an area where very few have smart phones or use their smart phone to the fullest. For example: Me, being someone who might watch a video online or listen to streaming music might get caught in that 5% just because everyone else in the area only sends IMs, checks mail, and posts on facebook. While this may be good short term solution for their network it’s ignoring the fact that they should be focusing more on expanding their network in those congested areas instead of throttling people or pushing them to 4G LTE which might end up running into the same problem when everyone makes that inevitable switch.

      • Kompy

        It’s not really how much you use. Even at 4gb a month, if all others use less than you, then you will be in the top 5%. It is how much you use compared to all others. If usage goes down each month, sooner or later you will in the top tier.

    • Anonymous

      This isn’t bad at all for 95% of people. In fact most will benefit from a slightly faster network.

      I am still curious about those on unlimited 4G like myself. Would I be “optimized” if I cracked the top 5%?

      • Anonymous

        My guess is that not putting the limit on 4G is a way for them to try to get more people into new phones and contracts… probably only will be like this for a limited time.

        • while a good guess, their FCC 700MHz license prohibits verizon from throttling LTE data

    • 454silverado

      5% to Verizon is 2GB.

      • Gibbga

        This article explains it now. I knew something was up, cause my speeds have completely bottomed out as of 2 days ago but only from my office downtown. Sad thing is I haven’t even used 1 gb of data this month.

        • You aren’t the only one…I have experiencing 1X downtown more frequently. Atlanta…

        • Mine has been like that for months, and I’m not even using a freaking gig.

      • Droooiiid

        I called customer service and they told me heavy use is over 50g

        • Jonathan-David Clark

          I’m being throttled, I live in a rural area and only have 4gb of use. This has made me mad. I don’t pay 115 bucks a month to get throttled after 4gb. Time to switch to another company.

    • BE

      The problem is with their 5% being generally placed at 2GB+.. I have already hit that mark for this billing cycle without a single file downloaded. Simply browsing the web via the Browser and Tapatalk. No torrents, no music, very few videos (it is football season), and I’ve still got 8 days left. Now I’m affected for both the rest of this month, and the next (where I will most undoubtedly re-enter that 5% mark again).

    • Raven

      I am all in favor of the basic concept.  I just think the implementation
      is very poor (stupid).  Rather than throttling to the end of a billing
      cycle and the next one it should be real time.  If the cell area
      congested throttle the top 5% now, if it is off peak in the middle of
      the night or whatever then stop throttling.  No need to keep track of
      who is throttled.  Just throttle the people that need throttling at the

    • This only works if you believe the myth that bandwidth is being strangled by certain users, which is absolutely FALSE.


      If folks don’t like to read, I will summarize: the low-usage consumers use far MORE bandwidth than the high usage consumers, because of the massive numbers of them. A few “hogs” don’t come close to using as much bandwidth as the majority of low-usage consumers. It’s just another way to get the public to buy into nonsense by having a scapegoat to blame. 

      There is also a good debate on whether the current bandwidth can even BE clogged by the existing traffic. 

      With Google and Apple and Microsoft and all the other giants using so much bandwidth as they move to cloud computing, shouldn’t this be a factor affecting consumers? Why is that never mentioned? Amazon alone uses more “bandwidth” than all the world’s torrenters, but we never hear about that. It’s not like Amazon built it’s own “tubes” around the world to separate it’s traffic from the rest of us.

      This is just crap spewed by the companies to justify rate hikes.

  • Cpomike13

    I’m going to be checking my speeds, and if I’m being throttled I’m suing!

    • Ssplawson

      You mad?

  • Doriroid

    Does this mean per contract or per line? If you have 3 lines and only one is a “data hog” do all 3 lines get zapped?

    • GWill

      I want to know the same thing

  • zee

    so if you throttle the top 5% a new top 5% will be created and soon enough there will be no point in having a smart phone or a reason for keeping big red around

    • Charley

      That is somewhat accurate assessment.
      However the real problem is that the people in the bottom useage group are using more data services.  That will tend to push the average up.  And the purpose of throtteling is to allow the many low quantity users to have acceptible service without having to install more VZW equiptment.

  • Mr.joe

    “So, if you’re in the top 5% of data users, your connection is slowed only when you are in a congested cell site.”

    From the sounds of it you aren’t throttled if the site isn’t congested.  If it is you are. 

    Doesn’t sound so bad to me.

    • DrewDoesAndroid

      It’s a lot better than overall throttling.  I think their solution is ok, however they really need to be more specific what the 5% is…

    • Maybe your downloading movies and games all day makes the site congested simply by your own use…
      Only Verizon get to say what sites are congested, and what constitutes that congestion…..

      • Anonymous

        There is no reason to throttle you if you are the only one using the cell tower.

    • Raven

      I am all in favor of the basic concept.  I just think the implementation is very poor (stupid).  Rather than throttling to the end of a billing cycle and the next one it should be real time.  If the cell area congested throttle the top 5% now, if it is off peak in the middle of the night or whatever then stop throttling.  No need to keep track of who is throttled.  Just throttle the people that need throttling at the moment.

  • Anonymous

    Good question what is 5%? What if I’m on a congested cell si they gonna tell me? Why throttle me for two billing cycles though?

  • Anonymous

    Throttled as opposed to what?  The 4g connection quality on my Thunderbolt in Brooklyn, NY is horrendous.  Makes the whole unlimited 4G LTE account thing worthless.  Forget about streaming video.  Too often I can’t stream Slacker!.

  • Anonymous

    Any idea what the the top 5% might be?  Are we going to be notified if we are one of those?  

  • Drcarpenter

    And for those of us that don’t have 4G coverage in our area? Sorry, but I’m not about to switch voluntarily to tiered data…

  • Tony Allen

    So what if I’m an unlimited data subscriber on a 4G LTE capable device, but I only live in a 3G coverage area… questions questions.. makes me wonder about what kind of bandwidth the top 5% are using

    • Anonymous

      A good question that I do not have an answer to heh. Had to stump me, eh?

      • Tony Allen

        Lol that’s what I do best.

    • Illinipoke98

      Was getting ready to post the same question.

  • victor manso

    WHAT?WHY?, Verizon The Big RED please don’t be the BIG S*****,  I love you but we need love too.
    How we can defend your speed against other when you slow down PLEASE!!!

  • guest

    How do we know if we are in the top 5%? Are they going to send us a text message or email saying we have been throttled? Not sure if you would have answers two those two questions or not, but I thought I would ask. Thanks for sharing this information with us. Love this site!

  • wonder if this will effect us who have throttling disabled in the services.jar file

    • Would like to know how to do this. I am on CM7.

    • Well if they attempt to throttle you and see that it isn’t working, it’ll be pretty obvious to them that you’ve modded your phone and your service could be in danger of being canceled.

  • So… how much data would you have to be using to make it into that 5%? 10GB, 5GB, 3GB, 2GB?

    • John Mougey

      thats what im wondering. how much data places u in the top 5%? I can burn through 3-4 gigs a day.

      • Anonymous

        Than you are certainly in it.

        • well shit, i guess im gonna have to cut back on tethering then, and gaming, and updating everything.

          • Anonymous

            If you really are tethering that amount… that is what the tethering plan is for. Gaming is probably minimal as well as updating.

      • Jam120992


      • Dan

        3-4 gigs a day, geez man. I only hit 2-3GB max monthly 

    • Its around 10-20GB. You all are fine, lol.

      • Gamer 28

        Netflix will eat up 10 gigs in less than a week. lol I don’t tether and jet I rarely will I use less than a gig a day.

      • Anonymous

        How do you figure?

  • Guest

    I’ve been trying to use Google Music and my data speeds make it impossible.  I can have 1-4 bars, it doesn’t matter.  I have skipping, freezing, you name it.  Maybe this will actually work to my benefit.

  • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      my favorite part was “Cheers”
      God I hope that was just sarcastic and not meant as a ringing endorsement of this practice.

      • Anonymous

        Overall I imagine this will benefit the majority and bring down a lot of people that illegally tether.  I can’t say I like restrictions, but I know I’m not in the 5% and I believe the service will improve because of this change.