Verizon plans on throttling heavy data users

Photo of iPhones

Verizon is coming up with ways to handle increased data with iPhones. CC by Linux insidev2/Wikimedia Commons

The Verizon iPhone is finally on the market, officially. The first reports from customers are that Verizon service is pretty good, if a bit slow. Verizon has officially stated it will follow a policy that is sure to be unpopular: data throttling.

Reports of the Verizon iPhone have come out

Feb. 3 the iPhone was delivered to Verizon customers. The network is being tested by new customers after years of speculation. There aren’t dropped calls in most large cities and high traffic areas yet. Download and upload speeds are a bit slower than AT&T’s peak service, but it does appear to be fulfilling the service promise of “more reliable.”

Data throttling policy

Individual data use isn’t throttled by AT&T, which has been officially stated. However, the company is moving to a tiered data system in which the heaviest users of data will have to pay more for their data transfers. In a memo posted on the Verizon website this morning, the company officially took the stance that it will data throttle, which means it will purposely slow the connections of certain users. There are two reasons to do this. First, the unlimited data plan will be used and maintained by Verizon. Second, Verizon plans to throttle the top 5 percent of users only during peak hours in order to prevent unreliable service for others.

How users are affected by data overuse

During heavy use, Verizon Wireless will throttle iPhone data, but that’s not what’s causing outrage. Verizon plans to throttle service for users who are in the top 5 percent limit of data usage during the month they join the top 5 percent — and the next month as well. In other words, if you get into the top once, your service will be slowed for two months. Customers are really upset about it even though Verizon says it is just to keep things reliable.

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Venture Beat

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