We have some bad news for the data-obsessed out there. Verizon has officially enacted its new “Network Optimization Practices,” which cracks down on the wireless carriers’ top 5% data hogs. This new policy will only affect 3G customers on recently-defunct unlimited data plans, so get ready to have your speed throttled a bit.
With this new policy, Big Red plans to get a grip on users of its 3G network with unlimited data who consume an excessive amount of data downloads and uploads each month. The move almost mimics its rival AT&T, but the difference is Verizon’s latest efforts do not affect 4G LTE network subscribers, and will only target those with 3G data on an unlimited data plan which is no longer offered by the carrier. Customers on tiered 3G data plans are also not affected.
Here is some nice tidbits from a Verizon note.
Here is how the throttling 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.
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.
First, there was data capping, now its throttling speeds on “unlimited data plans,” it’s going to get to the point were people get fed up and begin to cut their data plans all together in favor of going to their local Starbucks to use its WiFi for free — I know, I would.