Verizon to Throttle Unlimited Data Customers. When smartphones first came out, mobile phone carriers were competing with each other to sign users up. Unlimited data plans were a way of enticing users to sign up with them as opposed to their rivals. Since then, data usage has gone up, users have become locked in, and now the companies see an opportunity to make more profit off of you. So far, Verizon has managed to squeeze the most money out of its customers. They all, however, have been aggressively pushing users onto limited data plans that offer a certain amount of data per month (for a high price) and then charging extra fees if users go over. As a long-time Verizon customer with a grandfathered unlimited plan, I feel upset about Verizon's new announcement. It appears to signal the death of the unlimited data plan I know and love.
"Starting in October 2014, Verizon Wireless will extend its network optimization policy to the data users who fall within the top 5 percent of data users on our network," the Verizon announcement said. "They may experience slower data speeds."
They call it "network optimization", but it's really just throttling anyone that uses more than 4.7 GB a month. Verizon's FAQ claims this isn't "throttling" because it's not 100% all the time - though optimization applies for the full billing cycle after you connect to a cell tower that's experiencing "heavy demand". What makes this network optimization policy especially unsavory is that it's not applied universally. Customers on the expensive and limited plans won't be slowed down at all - though they still have to pay a high price for data even when connected to towers with low demand. As Ars Techinica reports, throttling eases congestion - but data caps apply even when there's no congestion.
Verizon has been leading the way, and the others are likely to follow. This unfortunately leaves customers with little choice but to just accept it.
Please let us know if you find any alternatives.