FCC inquires on Verizon’s plans for “network optimization” and slowing data speeds in some instances

FCC inquires on Verizon’s plans for “network optimization” and slowing data speeds in some instances
Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman, wrote a letter to Verizon questioning the carrier’s plans to slow connection speeds of customers with legacy unlimited data plans during peak demand periods on the network.

In the letter, Wheeler wrote, “It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its ‘network management’ on distinctions among its customers’ data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology.”

Verizon has not offered a full response yet, but has stated the planned “network optimization” practice is limited in scope, and has already stated that it is not a true “throttling” such as what other carriers do on their networks. The carrier said it will provide a full response to the Chairman’s inquiry.

What is odd though is that Wheeler asked Verizon to explain the logic behind treating customers differently based on a given subscriber’s data plan when it is an industry practice. AT&T and T-Mobile do the same thing, and in the former's case, it is ostensibly for the same reason, though the throttling is arguably more severe than what Verizon has planned. This is also the first time the FCC has made such an inquiry.

source: re/code

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17 Comments

1. teerex42

Posts: 221; Member since: Jun 14, 2012

This will be interesting how they do this. As long as I can use my phone for tethering, that's my biggest thing.

3. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Provided you're paying for it.

2. tedkord

Posts: 17320; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

No response yet? I guess it takes a few days to work up a fool proof lie.

4. Derekjeter

Posts: 1469; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

All networks should be fined for Throttling period. Nothing but bull spit with all US carriers

5. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Why now when this is nothing new? Payback and making an example of VZW for its being vocal against the police state operated by the NSA.

6. Federated

Posts: 263; Member since: Mar 06, 2010

If you have an unlimited 4G LTE Data plan and pay the bill on time then you shouldn't be throttled at all. What Verizon is planning to do is throttle (when they reach certain amount of data) the customers who are on unlimited plan. That should be a crime.

7. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

What is odd though is that Wheeler asked Verizon to explain the logic behind treating customers differently based on a given subscriber’s data plan when it is an industry practice. AT&T and T-Mobile do the same thing... Nooo, what is odd is how fast companies lap-dog come out to protect the company!, why you have to bring in AT&T and T-mobile, they are talking about Verizon practices, oh I get it Verizon is probably giving you free services to watch their back...smh

11. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

the difference, Marty, is that T-Mobile let's you know up front that after your allotted data, you will be slowed down (except of course, if you pay for unlimited, then you get unlimited). By signing up for that specific plan, you are agreeing to the terms. As for AT&T, what do you mean they throttle? Their legacy unlimited data plans? If such is the case then I understand your point but otherwise I have to point out that the inquiry was made because these customers have explicit contracts for unlimited data, not 5GB or something else.

12. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Some good points. I might add that the term "contract" in terms of what sort of agreement a customer has with a telecom is a somewhat loose definition. For instance, telecoms change contracts all the time without adequate notice, without compensation/consideration for a change of terms, etc. If the telecoms and their customers were truly equal under the law, then much of the telecoms' customer abuse would come to an end. But they are not equal under the law, so the abuse just gets worse and worse over time.

13. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

Completely agreed. Imagine you changing your contract terms mid-contract. Say, instead of 2 years you only wanna stay for 1. They'd call for your head on a spike. But if they do it to you, not only are you supposed to bend over, but you're also supposed to spread your cheeks for em.

8. yashav

Posts: 8; Member since: Feb 03, 2014

About time someone stepped in instead of just taking it!

9. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Finally, those bozos in Washington are doing something with those damn surcharges that spike up our (mine really), otherwise, cheap Unlimited Data bills. "Thank you Mr. Wheeler!" Yours Truly, PAPINYC

10. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

PAPINYC, really nothing has been done to Verizon yet. This is all talk and from what the FCC has done to Verizon in the past when they have bent the rules to suite them, I would expect this to go no further than just talk. I mean look at the tethering issue for unlimited data consumers and VZW still continues to block free tethering apps with the FCC doing nothing about it.

14. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

True, just a waiting game right now. BTW, are you sure you are using the right tethering app'; I understand that PDA.net with FoxFi key works really well on the Galaxy Note 2 and other Samsung Galaxy phones, hypothetically speaking, of course '-)

15. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

I have a Droid Mini. I've tried Fox Fi and the app says that the the only way that it will only work in USB tethering or bluetooth but as far as WIFI tethering thats a no go.

16. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Are you rooted?

17. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

No, but from the research that I have done it would not make a difference.

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