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Verizon Makes It Official: Throttling Comes to Unlimited 4G LTE Customers in October

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Verizon took a minute this morning to confirm our report from yesterday, announcing that they are indeed going to include unlimited data customers with 4G LTE devices in their version of throttling, which they refer to as “Network Optimization.” Starting in October, if you fall into their top 5% of data hogs bracket and have unlimited data, you could see slowed speeds when attached to a cell site that is experiencing high demand. 

Verizon’s “Network Optimization” is different than other carriers’ throttling in that you should only see slowed speeds when on a cell site experiencing that high demand. Once you leave that site and attach to a new cell site without high demand, your speeds return to normal. Other carriers often throttle you no matter what throughout the end of a billing cycle. With that said, Verizon does note in their policy that if you are in the 5% of data users, they could slow your speeds through the current billing cycle and onto the end of the next.

In order to see slowed speeds under Network Optimization, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • Top 5% of data users (you use 4.7GB of data per month or more)
  • Enrolled on an unlimited data plan or feature
  • Have fulfilled their minimum contract term
  • Are attempting to use data on a cell site that is experiencing high demand

MORE Everything and other tiered data plans are not affected.

Verizon’s Network Optimization policy can be found here.

Via:  Verizon
  • Jon

    I’m wondering if this will apply to XLTE. Because technically that’s a separate network. For example 3G throttling took place in 2011 for 3G and just now for LTE. What about XLTE.

  • Austin

    Big red also “accidentally” forgot to throttle the business customers. Surprise.

  • Ryan Crockett

    I use over 80gb a month 4.7 is ridiculously low. I’m leaving verizon once I get the oneplus one. F*** verizon. Been with them for 14 years and now they are extremely greedy. They will lose all ttheir customers.

  • Thomas

    Go ahead Verizon, throttle me, how much slower can you get. XLTE “X”tra Slow.

    • PoisonApple31

      How do you know you are on XLTE?

      • Thomas

        Well since you can’t trust Verizon technically I don’t. My statement is based on that my area is covered in the XLTE release area advertised by Verizon and I have an IPhone 5S which is an XLTE device according to verizon. TODAY IS A REALLY GOOD DAY. 2.5 DOWN, .5 UP

        • PoisonApple31

          The only reason I ask is because in my area only part of the city has XLTE (where I live), downtown where I work its only LTE speeds.

        • Guest

          You have to have a phone that supports XLTE

          • Thomas

            Yes you do and I have the IPhone 5S which I stated above. And here is some more quality Verizon service BEFORE throttling.
            http://www.speedtest.net/result/3660614902.png

          • Thomas

            Yes you do and I have the IPhone 5S as noted above. 50322 zip code if you want to verify whether I am in a XLTE area.

          • Thomas

            This post does not seem to save so hopefully all of a sudden 3 don’t show up.
            As noted above I have the IPhone 5S and when in PA I got at least 10 down but not here in 50322

      • Jon

        If you have an android phone download an app called LTE Discovery. When it says band 4 you are on XLTE.

  • K F

    Verizon better get it together, the service has sucked for like the last couple months, 1X and 3G crap, and the data bar goes up alot faster than it did before, just ripping people off with data as well. Just when I thought they were the only good one

  • Jon Ericson

    Well s–t, I guess I do qualify for the top 5%, cause I tend to use about 4-5 gigs on average with my Note 2. Hell, I still figured that was LOW for most. Maybe thats why Youtube in certain areas for me, despite other stuff working, has gone to hell in the last month. :(

  • Jim H

    Let’s sue!

  • http://twitter.com/RuSsYjO RussyJo

    Throttling: v, attack or kill (someone) by choking or strangling them.
    “Verizon has announced that they will throttle those who have unlimited data on their network.”

  • morgan boyle

    first time i ever felt bad about being in the 95th percentile.

  • http://twitter.com/RuSsYjO RussyJo

    God. Damn. It. I’m at 15 gigs since the 8th, that is high for me (i got two new phones in a week cuz i’m a neanderthal and broke two screens) because I downloaded all my google music two times to my device. But it is a monthly occurrence for me to use about 6+GB. I also PAY for tethering.

  • CHRIS42060

    I’m actually incredibly surprised it took this long.

  • Loyal VZW customer(10yrs+)

    It’s pretty much confirmed. Just got off the with VZW, & the way the rep was fumbling over her words trying hard not to call what Verizon is now doing throttling, she referred to it as balancing data usage btwn customers with unlimited & those with tiered plans. It pretty much annoys me that Verizon would turn it’s back on its loyal customers (I’ve been with VZW 10yrs+). Now I understand that there are those that truly abuse the network, cancelling their home Internet & abusing the network doing 50+gbs of data a month. Those are the people that Verizon should throttle, not the customers that are simply going over 5gbs, that’s basically going to cover majority of the few that still have unlimited data. VZW has always been the pricier of the bunch when it comes to the competition, but I always justified paying the heftier prices because of the fact that Verizon was showing it’s loyalty to its customers by allowing us to keep our unlimited data plans & not forcing us into tiered plans, but now I can no longer justify paying almost $200 for 2 lines one of which is only a basic line(no smartphone). Good luck VZW, your gonna lose a lot of loyal customers with this move.

    • Jon

      I’m not going to bash somebody for using the unlimited data for home internet. Truth be told Verizon provides no evidence of network congestion. Why give people internet that’s as fast as home internet if this was actually a problem. Whatever average per second is given should be multiplied by seconds in a billing cycle and that should total the gb cap. This is why FCC should regulate all ups the same now and base it on the average speed you sell to the customer.

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    its a great phone.

    .

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  • Tazarine Tighanimine

    http://www.th3technical.com likes this ..thank you

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    Let’s just be perfectly 100% honest right now.
    Verizon could have us all at blazing fast 4G LTE speeds with unlimited data if they wanted to. They just love getting more money from us. {{-_-}}

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  • gotsmenobrainz

    Droid Life says in order to be “throttled” (network optimized) you have to meet all their criteria… if you you look at verizon’s page about the network optimization it does not say that unlimited customers who are on contract are exempt from this….. where is droid life getting this info from?

  • Skies

    I dumped Verizon (unlimited) for T-mobile yesterday after I see this news. I’m glad I did, I was surprise that the T-mobile has better signal than Verizon at where I live, I got 1-2 bar/s on Verizon and I get 3-4 bars (mostly 4 bars) on T-mobile.

    • fxrsniper

      T-Mobile throttles also

      • Skies

        Really? I didn’t know that. I am trying to use as much data as I can to see if T-mobile is throttling. So far I used about 7 gigs but haven’t see any slow down, still can watch YouTube, Amazon Prime Videos, etc. just fine.

        • fxrsniper

          I’ve got a lot of friends on t-Mobile I believe they do it in certain areas that are heavy usages. One of those friends works a corporate for T-Mobile

          • Skies

            Oh well, it does not really matter if they. Like I said, I get better signal with T-mobile in my area and it is cheaper than Verizon by around $40 for unlimited talk, text, and data.

  • gotsmenobrainz

    Stick it to Verizon. Upgrade thru the loophole on Best Buy website. Then when they send out the text on Agust 1st…. leave with a brand new phone and go to TMobile. How you say? Read their customer agreement:

    Can Verizon Wireless Change This Agreement or My Service?
    We may change prices or any other term of your Service or this agreement at any time, but we´ll provide notice first, including written notice if you have Postpay Service. If you use your Service after the change takes effect, that means you´re accepting the change. If you´re a Postpay customer and a change to your Plan or this agreement has a material adverse effect on you, you can cancel the line of Service that has been affected within 60 days of receiving the notice with no Early Termination Fee if we fail to negate the change after you notify us of your objection to it.

    The last sentence is your out without ETF fees. Tell then you use more than 5GB of data, will be “network optimized” and it will “adversely” effect you….and that you would like to cancel with no ETF fees.

    You have a nice new shiny phone at a subsidized price to take with you to TMO

    • Greg

      Does the Best Buy Loophole still work. I just tried it to see and there are messages every step saying that if you are on Unlimited you will lose that plan and be switched.

    • ja

      and it should stay pretty shiny too as you won’t be able to use it on T-Mobile.

      • gotsmenobrainz

        dont see why you couldnt use it on tMO

        • ja

          apologies for inaccurate wise-assery.

    • fxrsniper

      Wrong

    • devman

      Unless the contract specifies a service level agreement regarding speed, there is no contract breach. Since they do not cut off your data it is still technically unlimited.

  • Dustin Casper

    So after rolling out XLTE they’re going to start throttling people? So I think its pretty safe to say XLTE was a gimmick and they are just going to to this Network Optimization to cover.

    • monkeybutts

      XLTE is a gimmick cause it’s not a real thing, it’s a marketing term it’s just regular LTE with more available bandwidth.

      • fxrsniper

        Its actually not just speed its a different type of spectrum they are using so yes it is not just LTE

        • monkeybutts

          No it’s the same exact spectrum that T-mobile it’s regular old LTE on band 4. It’s just 20×20 instead of 10×10 that Verizon uses on band 13

          • fxrsniper

            Im sorry but you are wrong.

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  • starnovsky

    LOL @ 4.7Gn being “top 5%”. Seriously? At T-Mobile 5Gb plan costs $30.

    • monkeybutts

      $60 if you want true unlimited through MetroPCS and $80 if you want all the extra stuff from regular T-mobile

      • fxrsniper

        And still be throttled

        • monkeybutts

          Nope no throttling on those plans. I’ve gone over 20 GB since my plan restarted last week on T-mobile, I don’t use the free music apps.

          • fxrsniper

            T-Mobile does throttle

  • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

    Ordered an LG G3 from T-Mobile. Going to see if the reception doesn’t totally suck for about a week before porting the number over.

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  • josh

    I wonder how many unlimited data users will leave Verizon if they keep getting treated as the black sheep. Some people are even claiming Verizon doesn’t even want unlimited users as customers if they don’t switch to the very expensive tiered data plans.

    I know I’d actually start looking at what all the hubbub around T-Mobile is about if my unlimited becomes useless or I get tired of fighting Verizon (ie. shady store/phone reps always trying to make me switch/add features and even doing it on their own hoping I don’t read before signing or just flat out lie to me).

  • luis

    Looks like all those armchair lawyers in 2011 saying this can’t happen were wrong. Probably the same pretend engineers who claimed simultaneous CDMA voice and LTE data can’t be done on first gen. LTE chips.

  • hoosiercub88

    Welp.. I’m in trouble. Shame T-Mobile can’t build a network here.. I use 10-15Gb a month on average.

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  • kazelement

    ill stick with tmobile and put up 50gb’s a month, without problems.

    • John Walt

      Yet it shows you have no service and you’re on WiFi.

      • kazelement

        When I’m on WiFi it disables the network

      • fxrsniper

        I agree T-Mobile throttles to.