Verizon responds to FCC, calls throttling "fair"

Verizon responds to FCC, calls throttling
As you might recall, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler sent a letter to Verizon last week. The letter questioned the plan by the nation's largest mobile carrier, to throttle the data speeds of some customers on grandfathered plans, who have unlimited data. On August 1st, Verizon's Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory Affairs, Kathleen Grillo, responded in a letter of her own.

Grillo made it clear in her response, that the throttling will be done "under very limited circumstances" only when there is heavy demand at a particular cell site. Verizon says that once traffic returns to normal at the site, the throttling ends. And the carrier also insists that the plan affects only the top data hogs that "have an out-sized effect on the network". Grillo notes that even T-Mobile throttles data speeds, but does so regardless of how congested a particular cell site is.

Starting in October, the top 5% of Verizon's unlimited data users will be subject to throttling. Don't think to yourself that you won't be affected, just because this is a high figure that you can't reach. Right now, being in the top 5% would require using only 4.7 GB of data, or more, each month. Those getting throttled will be doing things that strain the network, like playing video games or watching HD video.

Is this response enough for the FCC, or will there be another letter sent to Big Red?

source: TheVerge via AppleInsider



1. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Isn't high demand all day, everywhere now the normal these days?

11. tedkord

Posts: 17504; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Surprising how that can happen when you oversell your capacity.

2. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Smells like the feces of an adult male cow.

3. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

”Those getting throttled will be doing things that strain the network," like using the network, the service that consumers contacted and paid for and that VZW is obliged to provide in full.

18. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

Yeah never mind we unlimited users pay around a HUNDRED dollars to pay for a network that uses essentially free spectrum. Hmm Verizon get your head out of your.... First you take away upgrades. Then you try and straight take away unlimited data. Then you cripple phones by locking them down starting with the nexus. It's almost as if they want every verizon user to switch or use apple products. Verizon why don't you support the customers for once. After all we are paying and essentially you work for me dammit

19. Bigtalker

Posts: 15; Member since: May 19, 2014

lmao....where does it say they have to give you unlimited LTE data? They are not cutting your internet off, so they ARE giving you that unlimited data you signed up for. Also if you want to get real technical, unlimited data plans were given to customers when 2G/3G was out. Not much strain on the network back then because it was harder to use a lot due to the speed.

4. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

I'm fine with throttling the top 5 percent. Maybe I'd move it to 1%.

5. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

When I left Verizon for T-Mobile, I thought I couldn't be happier with my choice. And yet, almost daily, Verizon makes me even happier that I kicked them to the curb. Keep it up, Big Red. Keep giving T-Mobile more clout, customers, and money.

15. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

I was just thinking the same thing to myself reading this. TMobile has been the best carrier I've had thus far after 12 years with Sprint & 3 years with VZW. Every time I see an article about Verizon, it makes me all the more happy because yet again they're screwing their customers and I happen to not be one of them anymore...

6. joe1blue

Posts: 169; Member since: Jul 25, 2013

Verizon doesn't want people that pay for their services to use the services? I'm glad I'm not their customer because I like to use the gas I pay for whenever I put it in my car, how can they still have as many subscribers as they do? I mean i know places in the middle of nowhere but if you live in a major city then you are a fool in my opinion to pay for gas/service that you can't really use.

7. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

"Right now, being in the top 5% would require using only 4.7 GB of data, or more, each month. Those getting throttled will be doing things that strain the network, like playing video games or watching HD video." It's official. Now Verizon "unlimited data" is officially worse than ATT "unlimited data" as ATT lets you use 0.3GB more data for a total of 5GB, before they throttle you.

8. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I've used 151GB of data this billing cycle, and I've got 2 days left. It's been a slow month for me. Mostly because instead of watching Netflix, I've watched my Battlestar Galactica DVDs.

9. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Verizon really puts the "limited" in "unlimited".

10. ragbraivet

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

There are several things that need to happen in order for anyone to be throttled by VZW: ● They must have an unlimited data plan. ● They must be using 4G LTE. ● They must be in the top 5% of users. ● They must be out-of-contract. ● They must be using a cell site that is experiencing high demand. Now, according to recent articles less than 25% of all Verizon subscribers still have unlimited data plans to start with, so at least 75% of all Verizon subscribers will never, ever be affected by this.  And because this will only apply to those customers who have fulfilled their contracts and are on a month-to-month service, this will put another group of users into the ranks of those unaffected by this policy.  Finally, since only the data hogs who are in the top 5% of unlimited users would be subject to "Network Optimization", that means that 95% of these remaining unlimited, out-of-contract users need not worry about being throttled.  And even if you are among that miniscule percentage of people who might wind up having to go 'cold turkey' with your data addiction, if you're not in a high-use area (think downtown Manhattan, Chicago, or LA) you will probably continue to be able to consume data like a group of competitive eaters downing red-hots at the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest.  You should probably worry more about the possibility of being struck by lightning while talking on your cellphone..... But of course, you nimrods — who are devoted to stirring the sh*tpot on blogs and website like these — wouldn't bother to take the time to research all the facts.  Instead, you'll run around like Chicken Little screaming that "the sky is falling".

12. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

It's posts like these that make me wish PA still had the thumbs down option.

13. tedkord

Posts: 17504; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Here's the issues. First of all, Verizon stopped offering unlimited data nearly two years ago, so pretty much everyone who has it is going to be out of contract by the time this rolls into effect. Second, we have only Verizon's word that either you're in the top 5% of that a cell is congested. There's nothing to stop them from throttling unlimited users at will to try and push them into a tiered plan by slowing them to a crawl. Third, the issue clearly isn't about congestion, because you can buy up to and over 10gb of data per month, and those who are paying won't be throttled. It's about Verizon's bottom line, period. If every customer paid for 10gb per month, Verizon would have no problem selling it to them.

14. joe1blue

Posts: 169; Member since: Jul 25, 2013

You said it perfectly!

16. Mrbk07

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 26, 2014

Well vzw i guess ill use u till my 2nd line contract's comes due and ill go from there. O wait it just you and att. Yeah! for the top 5%!!!! lol

17. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

I like how she threw TMo in there. TMo users that pay for the unlimited high-speed data plans still get their unlimited high speed data that they pay for without throttling. The only people that are throttled are people that pay for plans with limited high speed data allotments. Sounds fair to me. Everyone at TMo is getting exactly what they're paying for and nothing less.

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