Verizon clarifies why it is throttling down LTE users' unlimited data speeds

Verizon clarifies why it is throttling down LTE users' unlimited data speeds
Several days ago, we told you that last week Verizon has been throttling down the speed of some of its users, who were subscribed for unlimited LTE data. The carrier has already been approached by the FCC and now Big Red came out with an official explanation about its actions. Just as expected, Big Red claimed that it is limiting the maximum download speed of its “high users”, which use large amounts of data on a daily basis, creating data “congestions”. Fortunately, only a small amount of users were affected.

Apparently, these congestions caused a lot of issues for the lighter users, who only used LTE now and then. Driven by the principle that unlimited data with adequate speed should be accessible to all of its LTE subscribers, Verizon pulled the reins of the biggest data hogs, who had gotten ahead of the crowd. According to Big Red, last week's “network optimization effort” has only been targeting busier cell towers.


Verizon's explanation is nothing else but an answer to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's open letter, which questioned the motives and actions of the carrier. According to him, the largest US carrier shouldn't be putting restrictions on the download/upload speeds of its users, but putting the focus on the improvement of its infrastructure.

source: Verizon via BGR

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19 Comments

1. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

Excuses, excuses.... They ALWAYS have excuses.

5. RedMage1928

Posts: 25; Member since: Feb 10, 2014

Lets see you run a business with limited resources without having to do the same.What will you have then,I wonder ;)

7. appleDOESNT.com

Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

lol, if 5% only use 4.7gb of data who gives a crap, geez. I was expecting that to be much higher when I read the original article, the 95% don't even use 1gb most likely so they MORE than make up for it. This number for throttling should be much higher than 4.7gb data, more like double that before this should be an issue.

9. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

limited resources? They simply refuse to use the resources they have. They collect billions in profits every quarter but refuse to use a decent amount on upgrading their network to handle the data needs of their users. If cable companies, with similar profits, can offer advertised speeds with unlimited data with no issue, so can Verizon. The difference isn't that they can't.. it's that they don't want to.

11. wrm2013

Posts: 231; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

They have too much money to not be able to update infrastructure your a clown to think that's the reason. there is no unlimited. it hurts the companies pockets to allow it. if they make 10 billion after taxes this year they will want 11 the following year.

16. Furbal unregistered

They took billions of tax payer funds to builds out there network and didn't compete what was said. They owe us.

19. RedMage1928

Posts: 25; Member since: Feb 10, 2014

Bull$hit.That wasnt taxes,that was their money plus what consumers willingly spent.

8. appleDOESNT.com

Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

oh and I love the chairman, these 3 questions are on point! Better answer wisely VZW! 1)What is your rationale for treating customers differently based on the type of data plan to which they subscribe, rather than network architecture or technological factors? In particular, please explain your statement that, “If you’re on an unlimited data plan and are concerned that you are in the top 5% of data users, you can switch to a usage-based data plan as customers on usage-based plans are not impacted.” 2)Why is Verizon Wireless extending speed reductions from its 3G network to its much more efficient 4G LTE network? 3)How does Verizon Wireless justify this policy consistent with its continuing obligations under the 700 MHz C Block open platform rules, under which Verizon Wireless may not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of their choosing on the C Block networks; how can this conduct be justified under the Commission’s 2010 Open Internet rules, including the transparency rule that remains in effect?

2. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

They ate too much at the all you can eat buffet. Now, there's rules.

3. ckoch125

Posts: 192; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Then why isn't EVERYONE throttled? Yeah Verizon it's all BS. Good to see the FCC call them out

4. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

Vzw the new old att

6. jaabubby

Posts: 38; Member since: Jan 16, 2010

Why not send a text message to its highest data-using subscribers given those criteria that they are being throttled since he or she is around a cell tower that is experiencing an increased amount of network load? "VZW FREE MESSAGE: Dear Big Red Subscriber, you are currently within an area that is experiencing an unusual amount of network traffic and given your use as of XYZ time being approximately 4.57GB and plan of ABC, you are being network optimized to allow other subscribers the opportunity to experience the same reliable LTE service(s) that you currently enjoy." That would be funny if they sent messages out like that for those with grandfathered unlimited data plans!

10. NYDiver22

Posts: 7; Member since: Aug 09, 2013

Are they even explaining what the limit is? If it isn't black n white, I see shenanigans happening here! There needs to be transparency. In that case, they can throddle anyone they like and no one will find out. Look how long it took to find out they were throddling Netflix. And this is more generalized so in theory, they can throddle anyone at any time secretly and not get found out!

12. NYDiver22

Posts: 7; Member since: Aug 09, 2013

And btw, I thought Verizon was not allowed to throddle LTE through some spectrum agreement they made some time ago! What gives...

13. dtownlyricalmc

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

Let's be serious here we all know Verizon is full of it. They launch XLTE to relieve stress off the 700 MHZ LTE network then turn right around in the same breath to say that the 5% unlimited data users are causing issues for the lighter users. Verizon yeah sure ok I'm buying that with this shinny nickel in my left pocket. Verizon has more money than the law should allow plus I know they have the infrastructure to handle the load. I also understand that in NY Verizon has has issues. Go to youtube type in Artemis Cell then click on the first link that comes up. Artemis also stated that they are working with a large carrier in NY hmmm I wonder who could that be. Saying that to say this Verizon you need to come up with a better excuse 5GB of data a month is nothing. For those of you out there who really use your phone know exactly what I'm talking about.

14. cunninglyskilled

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

Sprint implemented similar provisions effective June 1st of this year, classifying the provision as “Network Optimization”. Upon reading these new terms you’ll find, at least what I consider, to be vague when explaining how they intend to distinguish which users to throttle. The conundrum is in how Sprint defines a “User” or a “Customer” which is defined as, “means an account holder with us or any user of our Devices or Services. This particular definition is very important for how Sprint determines which users to throttle, reason being, Sprint will throttle customers who fall within the top 5% of data users regardless of whether or not you have an unlimited data plan. Based on Sprint’s definition of a “User” or “Customer”, you soon realize Sprint is using the total amount of data being used on an account as a whole to determine which customers are to be throttled instead of treating each “SUBSCRIBER” individually when making their determination. This tiny definition has huge implications for consumers currently on any type of shared plan. Why do you think Sprint is pushing their new “Framily” Plans? On a final note, at least Verizon intends only to throttle users of 5GB or more whereas Sprint on the other hand, states data throttling will be imposed on the top 5% of data users meaning, you could only use 2GB in a month and still be throttled if you’re the top 5% of data users in that given month.

15. AlanB412

Posts: 32; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

I've personally used 11 gigabytes so far this billing cycle, and I didn't even realize it. Of course, I have unlimited data with T-Mobile though so I'm not getting throttled and gypped for my money.

17. downyjr

Posts: 7; Member since: May 25, 2014

Who is getting gypped? I have service almost everywhere I go which is why I have a cell phone. To be able to use it outside of my home. If I leave a major city in my area with any company, other than Verizon, I have little to no service. Every other carrier sucks. I pay for what I get with Verizon, and I would never leave them even if I could save money with a company that has subpar service.

18. AlanB412

Posts: 32; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

I'm not even talking about the service (which has given me no issues at all with T-Mobile). I'm talking about the fact that you're paying for unlimited data at top speed and then being throttled when you go over a certain amount. No point in having unlimited LTE if your speeds are going to be reduced for using it.

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