Verizon Cancels LTE Throttling Plans
Verizon was supposed to implement its new 4G network optimization policy today. The policy would call for the possible throttling down of the speeds of the carrier's heaviest data users in order to make room on the LTE network for subscribers who pay for data by the gigabyte.
But, to the delight of affected data users, Verizon is cancelling its throttling plans. According to a statement sent by the carrier to GigaOM, Verizon has "decided not to move forward with the planned implementation of network optimization for 4G LTE customers on unlimited plans." Through the statement, the carrier further said that they have closely followed the dialogue going on over the past months regarding the network optimization initiative, and has hinted that the feedback from customers have contributed significantly to their present decision.
Back in July of this year, Verizon begun to send notifications to customers of its unlimited plans. During that time, the carrier attempted to downplay the significance of the move, stressing that it was not an attempt to throttle data usage because it did not restrict right there and then the speeds to 2G or 3G rates when users go beyond a set monthly data limit. Verizon instead claimed that the speed restrictions would only happen in case of network congestion. In the event that metered and unlimited data users would compete for the same bandwidth, the carrier would prioritize the traffic of everyone else over the traffic of its heaviest unlimited data users. To be covered under these guidelines, one would have to be an unlimited plan user on contract in the top 5 percent of the data users under Verizon. The carrier had claimed that those affected would never know it happened anyway, not to mention whether it would even happen at all.
Well, Verizon's claims had done nothing in preventing customers from getting riled up. Even the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had taken notice. It questioned Verizon's motives via a not-so-friendly letter written by the FCC Chairman himself, Tom Wheeler.
Now, it appears that the carrier is listening. But despite cancelling its LTE throttling plans, Verizon is still restricting speeds for its heaviest unlimited customers on 3G. After all, it has been doing it for a number of years now.
After Verizon released its statement, Wheeler praised the carrier's decision. The FCC Chairman further saluted Verizon's "responsible action" and commended the carrier's leadership in the said issue.