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Verizon Plans Response to FCC Over Throttling, Stands by Its Network Optimization

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Yesterday afternoon, a letter from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead concerning the wireless carrier’s plans to throttle unlimited data users under its “Network Optimization” policy stole headlines. Wheeler was clear in his letter that he is both “troubled” by and concerned that this move is nothing but a chance for Verizon to add to its revenue streams. He finished by asking for a response from Big Red to three specific questions.

While we wait for Verizon to do just that, the company issued a brief statement this morning noting that it will respond, but also that the purpose of “Network Optimization” is to make sure everyone on their network always has capacity available for use. 

We will officially respond to the Chairman’s letter once we have received and reviewed it. However, what we announced last week was a highly targeted and very limited network optimization effort, only targeting cell sites experiencing high demand. The purpose is to ensure there is capacity for everyone in those limited circumstances, and that high users don’t limit capacity for others.

I mentioned this last night on the DL Show, but the problem isn’t that Verizon is trying to give everyone a better experience. The problem is that they are only using “Network Optimization” with unlimited data users, meaning, they are selectively choosing who gets throttled based on a plan. As the FCC chairman alludes to in his letter, why should there be different treatment to unlimited data users?

Take for example, a MORE Everything plan with 10GB of data. Clearly, if someone has a 10GB MORE Everything plan, they are using heavy amounts of data, maybe a lot more than an unlimited data user. But that’s the thing – Verizon isn’t throttling them or lessening their experience to help out other customers. Even if that MORE Everything plan is using more than 4.7GB of data per month, which is considered in the top 5% of data users, because they are on a tiered data plan, they are not throttled.

See anything wrong there? All you have to know is that an unlimited data user is only paying $29.99 for their data plan, whereas that 10GB MORE Everything package runs $100. Chairman Wheeler certainly has a point in asking that Verizon prove that this isn’t just another money grab. From where I’m standing, it sure looks like one.

Via:  Verizon
  • Guest

    I agree this is upsetting for those who have unlimited (including myself), and what verizon is doing is messed up. When unlimited data was introduced, the concept of tethering was non existent, or may have been new technology that Verizon didnt consider to be a concern at the time. HOWEVER, when you have people taking advantage of unlimited data, using 100, 200 + GB a month (Ive even read comments of people using 1TB), its those users that ruin the experience for everyone else. Regardless of whether unlimited is unlimited people, STOP taking advantage. For those *itching and complaining, stop being frugal, get an internet plan through your cable provider, use wifi.

  • Dave Amburn

    How about those of us that pay for unlimited data+unlimited tethering? Do I get to use 9.4 GB of data before I’m throttled?

  • RaptorOO7

    Verizon should simply cut the bait and move on and by that I mean cut the unlimited users, tell them they have 12 months to get on contract or get off the network its their choice. It was never meant as a loophole or work around and users have been abusing it for years and you know they have. Getting upgrades on phones and keeping unlimited because there was something wrong in the system. Bottom line is unlimited is dead and its time you got use to it.

    Now Verizon should actually price their data plans more realisticly and stop gouging but hey it’s Verizon they will NEVER do that. Data speeds in upstate NY SUCK on Verizon, AT&T is triple the up/download speeds of Verizon and honestly the only reason I went back to Verizon was the Edge vs Next option and not wanting to be stuck with a phone for a year when I didn’t want to be. That said I would rather be on AT&T.

    • CoreRooted

      I believe they tried that once when they announced that the unlimited data plans were going away. The backlash to that move was epic then and I expect it would be the same (if not worse) now.

    • Obama’s wife is really a dude

      I am on contract and have unlimited data because of the loophole with Best Buy. I got unlimited data for 2 years longer with my new phone just a few months back

    • hoosiercub88

      Nope, deal with it.. even throttled.. I’m going to start using more data than normal just to piss people off like you.