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Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers On 4G LTE

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the we-meant-un-un-un-unlimited dept.

Networking 274

PC Magazine (along with Forbes, Reuters, and others) reports that those on the rightmost edge of the graph for Verizon's "unlimited" 4G LTE service are about to hit a limit: [T]hose in the top five percent of Verizon's unlimited data users (which requires one to pull down an average of just around 4.7 gigabytes of monthly data or so) who are enrolled on an unlimited data plan and have fulfilled their minimum contract terms (are now on a month-to-month plan) will be subject to network throttling if they're trying to connect up to a cellular tower that's experiencing high demand." As the article goes on to point out, though, [A] user would have to hit all of these criteria in order to have his or her connection slowed down. There are a lot of hoops to jump through, giving even more weight to the fact that Verizon's throttling — while annoying on paper — won't affect a considerable majority of those still holding on to their unlimited data plans.

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1 or 1 million (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540149)

It doesn't matter. If customers are paying for it, throttling them should be seen as illegal. I've been a Verizon Wireless customer for over a decade and these recent decisions to screw their own customers have led me to the decision I don't want Verizon anything. Not their phones, Internet, anything. Switching to T-Mobil this week.

Re:1 or 1 million (2, Insightful)

mattwarden (699984) | about 4 months ago | (#47540179)

Unlimited bandwidth is not possible. You can make it illegal all you want. It doesn't trump physics.

Re:1 or 1 million (5, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 4 months ago | (#47540199)

Unlimited bandwidth is not possible. You can make it illegal all you want. It doesn't trump physics.

Solution: Don't lie and call it unlimited. The point is that customers are paying for something Verizon calls "unlimited" which is not actually unlimited. The customers contracts are up so they can put those customers on other plans, the problem is when they still call the altered plan "unlimited."

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540707)

Unlimited bandwidth is not possible. You can make it illegal all you want. It doesn't trump physics.

Solution: Don't lie and call it unlimited. The point is that customers are paying for something Verizon calls "unlimited" which is not actually unlimited. The customers contracts are up so they can put those customers on other plans, the problem is when they still call the altered plan "unlimited."

you really have two choices: 1. punish the heaviest users; 2. punish everyone.

pick one.

Re:1 or 1 million (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540733)

Unlimited bandwidth is not possible. You can make it illegal all you want. It doesn't trump physics.

Solution: Don't lie and call it unlimited. The point is that customers are paying for something Verizon calls "unlimited" which is not actually unlimited. The customers contracts are up so they can put those customers on other plans, the problem is when they still call the altered plan "unlimited."

you really have two choices: 1. punish the heaviest users; 2. punish everyone.

pick one.

Nonsense. Just state what the real plans are with the appropriate prices and let the customer choose what they want. The free market in action. Just stop the fraud.

Re:1 or 1 million (3, Informative)

Barny (103770) | about 4 months ago | (#47540789)

Right, in Australia they have made laws to this effect. If you advertise something as 'unlimited' it must be without any limit.

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 4 months ago | (#47540817)

Really? i'm sure I've seen TV ads recently with the fine print 'acceptable use policy applies'.

that would suggest isps are still getting away with throttling one's connection.

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

NortWind (575520) | about 4 months ago | (#47540957)

you really have two choices: 1. punish the heaviest users; 2. punish everyone.

There is a third choice, 3. expand capability.

Find the towers that sometimes saturate. Then take some of the profits Verizon creates, and increase those towers' capacity, or just outright add new towers. Adding towers would improve coverage, boost signal strength, and in general cut power requirements both for the tower and the customer's phone.

Not in my back yard (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47541001)

How does one go about adding towers with the "NIMBY" mentality in parts of the USA?

too late at the first sentence (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47541007)

> Find the towers that sometimes saturate and then ...

Too late. TFA is about what happens while the tower is saturated, how they divide the available bandwidth between the customers WHEN IT'S SATURATED. Once that has already occurred, it's too late to go back and do analysis and not do what they are doing. They do in fact add towers as you suggest, but this story is about what happens when the tower first becomes overloaded. The overload has to be handled somehow immediately, while it's occurring.

Re:1 or 1 million (2)

jbolden (176878) | about 4 months ago | (#47541139)

Verizon spends a fortune adding capacity. They are doing that. But that doesn't address the problem that whatever the capacity is today has to be shared today. And there are choices between how that is allocated.

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 4 months ago | (#47541075)

well since verizon (and other ISP's) get to redefine words like 'unlimited', i'll redefine the term "dollar" to "liberian dollar".. i just need to find a way to sneak that into fine print.. and i should be good to go.

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 4 months ago | (#47541135)

I agree. Verizon should never have grandfathered these plans in their current pricing model doesn't allow for it. I had unlimited EVDO data which is very different than what unlimited data would be today.

Re:1 or 1 million (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 months ago | (#47540211)

Neither is downloading an unlimited amount in a finite period at any finite speed, no matter how fast. The point of an unlimited bandwidth plan is so that one does not experience any unexpected fees for excessive usage, regardless of how much they actually end up using the service. If Verizon doesn't have the infratstructure to support its subscribers having such plans, then they shouldn't be offering them.

The fact that they literally can't download an infinite quantity of content in a month is irrelevant.

If you're just adverse to the notion of "unlimited bandwidth" you can think of unlimited bandwidth plan, as actually a cap at whatever the theoretical maximum could be if they were downloading 24/7 at full speed for the entire billing cycle, the maximums of which are dictated by the physical hardware and technology... which is only limited by what we can do today, but if the technology improves, the cap goes up with it, with no defined upper bound. And that's the "unlimited" that is being referred to.

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540831)

No, the definition of an "unlimited" plan is that the carrier does not intentionally place artificial limits on the bandwidth available at any given instant, or on the total data transfer per unit time. When one purchases an unlimited plan, one expects to be able to consume an equal-to-any-other-user slice of bandwidth at any given time. That's what unlimited means. If the carrier places limits on the bandwidth that are based on policy rather than technical constraints, they are selling a limited connection.

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 months ago | (#47541173)

I'm not sure if you meant to reply to me or to somebody else, because what you are saying is pretty much what I had said... that any so-called limits that might exist arise as a consequence of a limitation of the technology, and since there is no pre-defined notion of just how fast that technology can become, it can still be considered unlimited in that sense.

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540225)

To throttle paying users with unlimited subscriptions makes no sense if the "pipe" is NOT full. After all, the contracting of unlimited use is why some customers signed up with Verizon. In layman's terms, Verizon is defraud these users.

Added to the argument is the published knowledge that Verizon has unused capacity. Verizon is creating a second class subscriber when they promised/advertised a single class of subscribers with unlimited access.

The fact that these users are loyal and add a greater profit to Verizon is another important fact. Verizon charges the same for subscribers who are paying for their cell phones through a two year contract as those who are month-to-month subscribers.

Lastly, you can have "unlimited bandwidth" since a minority of user subscribe to Verizon and they do not all use their phone all the time--that is, every minute of the day. Sometimes Appearance is Reality.

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#47540323)

They have published unused capacity on Fios, not wireless.

Re:1 or 1 million (4, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | about 4 months ago | (#47540473)

And yet they're still throttling Netflix?

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

jbolden (176878) | about 4 months ago | (#47541169)

They are saying that Level3's peering agreement never included the kind of volume that Level3 carrying Netflix implies. Verizon isn't obligated to provide peering if the relationship with Level3 isn't roughly peer to peer anymore but rather mostly one way. I.e. by Level3 adding Netflix the argument is they are sending far more traffic to Verizon that Verizon is sending to Level3 so Level3 should be paying Verizon to carry the traffic. Otherwise they throttle to get things back to something closer to peer to peer.

Netflix is the cause of the contractual dispute but not a party to it, which makes the whole thing more complex.

Re:1 or 1 million (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about 4 months ago | (#47540255)

Unlimited bandwidth is not possible. You can make it illegal all you want. It doesn't trump physics.

Limited bandwidth does not justify throttling some customers more than others, depending on the nature of their "unlimited" contract.

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540315)

Unlimited bandwidth is not possible. You can make it illegal all you want. It doesn't trump physics.

What idiot said their unlimited 4G LTE service referred to bandwidth limits due to physics, rather than data caps on top of the bandwidth limits due to physics?

Oh yeah, you're the first one to mention bandwidth...

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540511)

valid point but tI am entitled to what they sold me, its up to them to make sure they can provide it. Will my payment be reduced by the same percentage everytime they throttle me?

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540857)

No-one is selling unlimited bandwidth. It's usually presented as being unlimited in terms of data transferred. Now you may argue that this is also impossible, but an average person (in the context of a legal argument) is unlikely to believe this is what was being offered; rather, an unlimited service is being sold as one where the carrier does not artificially limit how much they can use it.

To give a car analogy, Verizon are offering a car for rent with unlimited gas. No reasonable person would ask them to give more gas than they could use if they drove 24/7, but would take exception to "Unlimited Gas!*"

*Maximum 200 gallons per week.

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 4 months ago | (#47541099)

Instead of calling you a shill, my guess is that your name is 'bobby verizon' and your dad owns the company? Because that's the only reason someone would defend the logic behind Verizon saying 'UNLIMITED', while really meaning "some arbitrary limit that we don't think you'll use, so we'll go a head and label it unlimited anyways."

I am immortal*

*other than standard aging processes, random acts of violence, trauma, communicable disease, cancer, or Rapture.

=/

Re:1 or 1 million (4, Insightful)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 4 months ago | (#47540861)

Unlimited bandwidth is not possible. You can make it illegal all you want. It doesn't trump physics.

Nobody sane claimed that Verizon was offering unlimited bandwidth. Bandwidth was quite obviously limited to 3G speeds, and then subsequently LTE speeds.

Verizon offered unlimited "data," as in no artificial limit on the amount of data that you could download using that bandwidth. Verizon subsequently imposed artificial limits on the amount of data that users could download per month on other plans. Verizon is now limiting bandwidth based upon the amount of data one has downloaded combined with a somewhat arbitrary measure of congestion -- they don't bother to specify what utilization threshold a cell base station has to cross to be considered "congested" so as to trigger the limitation.

Physics has nothing to do with that limitation. Physics does not dictate that a shared resource be preferentially allocated to those not on an "unlimited" plan because the provider quite badly wants to push users onto pay-per-quantity plans without taking the PR hit necessary to actually terminate the now month-to-month unlimited contracts.

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#47541025)

Unlimited bandwidth is not possible. You can make it illegal all you want. It doesn't trump physics.

4 Gig is a long way from unlimited.

But even unlimited was always understood to be limited because there are only so many hours in a day you could conceivably pull data over an unlimited network.

Still 10Gig used to be what the carriers were bitching about. Now its the top 5%. Here's a clue Verizon: The top 5%, like the poor, will always be with us. And punishment on a sliding percentage based scale eventually even reaches average users as average is driven ever downward. After they kill of the 4 gig gobblers, the top 5% includes the 3gig people.

Its a stupid plan.

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

jbolden (176878) | about 4 months ago | (#47541175)

Verizon doesn't care how much LTE data people use who pay for it. Then the heaviest users are helping to pay for the infrastructure they are consuming. The problem with these unlimited plans is they aren't paying for the infrastructure.

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | about 4 months ago | (#47541059)

It's not unlimited bandwidth, it's unlimited data.

Re:1 or 1 million (3, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#47540231)

It sounds like theyre saying this is only on cell towers under high demand: That means it is literally impossible to fulfill requests from all connected subscribers at full time. In that case, QoS is the correct thing to do.

Just until the news cycle moves on... (4, Informative)

TheReaperD (937405) | about 4 months ago | (#47540263)

This is just until the news cycle finds its next shinny bloodbath and moves on. Once that happens, then Verizon will slap the bandwidth cap on all the time in every place. They're just trying to find a way to annoy these people into changing plans or switching to another provider without it making front page news.

Re:Just until the news cycle moves on... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540293)

Right. Because Verizon are waiting for mass killing somewhere when they announce their data caps.

You absolutely terrible fuckwit.

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

phorm (591458) | about 4 months ago | (#47540945)

Unless they're using logic similar to internet /w Netflix, in which case the towers may be congested due to being poorly maintained/upgraded (to be fail, cellular infrastructure seems better in this regard)

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 4 months ago | (#47541179)

QoS is about prioritizing some traffic over others. That's precisely what they are doing. Prioritizing paying traffic over free traffic.

cell phone data is expensive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540355)

Cell phone networks cost lots of money. Advancing technology has lowered the cost per bit enough to make full blown internet via cell phone somewhat affordable in the first place. Cell phone internet used to be severely constrained.

Voice data is about several kilobytes a second, so 3 gigabytes could be considered half a million seconds, or about 8,000 minutes of voice. The incremental cost of adding extra voice subscribers is low, so with $100, 4 gigabyte plans, I think it is us voice only customers are the ones getting screwed on price.

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540517)

It doesn't matter. If customers are paying for it, throttling them should be seen as illegal. I've been a Verizon Wireless customer for over a decade and these recent decisions to screw their own customers have led me to the decision I don't want Verizon anything. Not their phones, Internet, anything. Switching to T-Mobil this week.

"Switching to T-Mobil this week"

Oh man, you're gonna love T-Mobil, specifically the poor coverage and slower speeds

Sincerely,
a former Verizon and current T-Mobil cusomter

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540701)

It doesn't matter. If customers are paying for it, throttling them should be seen as illegal. I've been a Verizon Wireless customer for over a decade and these recent decisions to screw their own customers have led me to the decision I don't want Verizon anything. Not their phones, Internet, anything. Switching to T-Mobil this week.

"Switching to T-Mobil this week"

Oh man, you're gonna love T-Mobil, specifically the poor coverage and slower speeds

Sincerely,
a former Verizon and current T-Mobil cusomter

that's an oil company, right? i would think that where oil spills are concerned, poor coverage and slower speeds are good things.

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540985)

that's an oil company, right?

No, that's the product of the great American education system.

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540605)

will be subject to network throttling if they're trying to connect up to a cellular tower that's experiencing high demand."

Isn't this what they should do no matter what connection their customers are on? Shared bandwidth is still shared, with undefined number of customers in the coverage area of the cell. If this was about fixed lines then the situation would be different.

File an FCC complaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540805)

File a complaint for fraudulent/deceptive advertising here: http://www.fcc.gov/complaints

T-mobile does the same thing; I had an "unlimited" data plan and was throttled to below two kilobytes per second regardless of destination/source IP (far below even GPRS speeds) after just four hours of 275kB/sec SSH/SFTP traffic. They sell a plan as "unlimited" because it brings in customers, knowing full well that they intend to place limits on the connection. We apparently live in a world where "first 5GB at up to 4G speeds" means "use it for more than four hours and we'll make it unusable for the rest of the month".

Re:1 or 1 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540965)

Regular or synthetic?

Re:1 or 1 million (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 4 months ago | (#47541125)

Verizon charges their customers quite an extra $5 / gig for 4G data. . Data is a common resource heavy users tax the system everyone else uses. Heavy users who are paying help to grow the network. Heavy users who aren't are a tragedy of the commons. They shouldn't have grandfathered these plans in at all.

You can't sell what you don't have! (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 4 months ago | (#47540153)

Limits exist in the Verizon backbones, so they can't sell a truly unlimited plan and let everybody use it. This isn't the switched line network, it's the packet switched network...

Re:You can't sell what you don't have! (3, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | about 4 months ago | (#47540193)

This has nothing to do with their network infrastructure, and everything to do with the fact that they would like you to pay out of pocket to stream media on their network. With a 10gb monthly limit on my 4 user plan, if I go away on a trip and watch 3-4 netflix movies in HD, I've used up my entire monthly allowance, and then streaming becomes pay-per-view at $10+ per movie.

They are annoyed that they have customers who still have an "unlimited" plan, and they are effectively converting those users to having a usable 5gb plan.

Re: You can't sell what you don't have! (0)

alen (225700) | about 4 months ago | (#47540459)

There is more to do on a cell phone than just watch netflix

Re:You can't sell what you don't have! (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 months ago | (#47540251)

If the idea of "unlimited" bothers you, then think of an unlimited plan as being capped at whatever the technology currently being used would allow you to download 24/7 at whatever speed the network can support, for the entire billing cycle. As technology improves, that limit goes up... without any predefined limit.

Which is, of course, what "unlimited" means. So in reality, the term is quite accurate. The fact that a person can't physically download an infinite amount of content in a finite period because network speeds are finite is entirely irrelevant.

Re:You can't sell what you don't have! (2)

DivineKnight (3763507) | about 4 months ago | (#47540505)

You know, people used to see that as an excuse to upgrade their network capacity religiously. 10Mbit not fast enough? Let's go buy some 100Mbit equipment. 100Mbit equipment not fast enough? Let's go buy some 1000Mbit stuff. People would invest time and money getting to that next tier, because they wanted to make sure they never hit 75% network utilization as a religion. And that passion, that fire is gone today. Instead we have fat network execs who are bleeding people dry while complaining that it costs too much to upgrade to the next tier, or even throw on a few more ports of the current stuff. People who think that we need fast lanes and slow lanes...I tell you, if you need to switch on QoS on your network, the pipe is already too small. The only QoS you need for a network is a little counter for dropped packets, which should be studied by seeding something on bit torrent and trying to Skype to somewhere in Asia...if you've done it right, you won't notice any degradation. Net Neutrality? Fairness? I believe in the inherent fairness that comes with TCP / IP. Fight for your right to transmit and receive...all network devices are equal in the eyes of the firewall.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540155)

Just sounds like QOS if it's only on congested towers. Which makes sense. Although they should be throttling everyone on that tower, not just the people who happen to use a lot of data elsewhere.

Re:Well... (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 4 months ago | (#47540205)

Although they should be throttling everyone on that tower, not just the people who happen to use a lot of data elsewhere.

What they should be doing is being honest and not calling it unlimited, and charging a reasonable amount for overage (not $10/gb!).

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540267)

I think $10/GB would be reasonable considering that they charge $30 for 3GB. Unreasonable is the $10/MB overage charges we've seen.

But once unlimited no longer becomes worth it, I'll either move to prepaid or get subsidized phones again (and then move to prepaid after contract is up)

So we should pay $250,000 every February? (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 4 months ago | (#47540345)

I think $10/GB would be reasonable considering that they charge $30 for 3GB.

I think $10/GB is ridiculous; in South Korea, you can buy 1Gbit/s for $20/month - which would take you about 10 seconds to hit $10.

Given that there are 60 seconds in a minute, and 60 minutes in an hour, that's about $360/hour, or $8,460/day, or to put it another way, a quarter of a million dollars for February, and more than that for other months with more days in them.

Tell me again why they are selling other people's packets as if they were metering water, as opposed to renting us pipes for those packets based on pipe diameter, and getting the hell out of the way otherwise?

This is about wireless phones (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47541017)

Your gigabit network is nice and all, but this conversation is about phones.

Check your Facebook autoplay settings (2)

abe ferlman (205607) | about 4 months ago | (#47540165)

I was sent a warning message about this, I'm still grandfathered in on the unlimited plan. I looked at my usage and over 4G of traffic was from facebook... apparently because I was auto-playing videos. Turning this off on an iphone requires you to go to the settings menu on the phone (not, confusingly, the settings menu in the facebook app, but the facebook app settings in the phone settings menu). You can set it to auto-play only on wifi or never.

Re:Check your Facebook autoplay settings (1)

abe ferlman (205607) | about 4 months ago | (#47540169)

Of course, unlimited means unlimited so I don't know why it's limited, but as a practical matter there you go.

Re:Check your Facebook autoplay settings (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47540343)

Here's my favorite:

"If you think "unlimited" means "unlimited", then clearly you don't understand economics."

Re:Check your Facebook autoplay settings (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 4 months ago | (#47540235)

Or spend less time on Facebook.

First Netflix (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 4 months ago | (#47540171)

Then the users. Perhaps every of their customers should begin throttling payments. But coming from an industry where charging both the sender and recipient of the same SMS is the way to do business, not surprising.

what the hell are you doing on your cellphone (2, Insightful)

gTsiros (205624) | about 4 months ago | (#47540223)

that takes 5 GB per month?

do you HAVE to stream entire movies and music to it?

why not copy stuff to its storage and maybe save some wireless bandwidth?

Re:what the hell are you doing on your cellphone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540259)

I pay Verizon an extra $30/month so I can tether my phone for the hour-or-so mass transit commute each way. That adds up pretty quickly, often ending out over 5GB. The $30 fee is just for people tethering on "unlimited" plans. Can I stop paying the $30 now?

Re: what the hell are you doing on your cellphone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540273)

Brilliant! Except one thing: DMCA

Re:what the hell are you doing on your cellphone (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 4 months ago | (#47540285)

B-b-b-b-but that would actually make sense, and we can't have that.

Re:what the hell are you doing on your cellphone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540307)

and why don't you just fuck off? how do you suppose things get to your storage in the first place? a streaming site formatted for mobile devices uses less bandwidth anyway you do understand. it's not like android has wifi hotspot ability... oh hang the fuck on it does.
i can and have used over 200GB PER MONTH. the deal is network wide in the UK, sold as unlimited with management on busy masts in peak hours (this usually means an 8mb/s becomes 4 for a few hours). all their deals over 25 gbp come with it and it works surprisingly well. other companies for the same price give you 1GB a month (and they call this 'shed loads' cos they're little bitches too) and won't let you tether, with mine tethering is part of it. hundreds of thousands of people are online now doing what they've always been told they could do with all this great technology that our land based fibres and coppers can't or won't reach but fuck them and their modern expectations eh?

Re:what the hell are you doing on your cellphone (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 4 months ago | (#47540361)

that takes 5 GB per month?

do you HAVE to stream entire movies and music to it?

why not copy stuff to its storage and maybe save some wireless bandwidth?

Maybe Verizon FIOS is his hem provider, and either way, he hits a dumb ass Verizon data cap because they've gotten state laws passed to prevent cities from building their own infrastructure?

Re:what the hell are you doing on your cellphone (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 4 months ago | (#47540419)

do you HAVE to stream entire movies and music to it?

I dont have to, but I want to. Why do think I signed up for their unlimited plan. If I were only using 5GB a month, I would switch to republic wireless instead.

why not copy stuff to its storage and maybe save some wireless bandwidth?

Because I dont have the space, and I am instead paying for unlimited data.

Re:what the hell are you doing on your cellphone (1)

allquixotic (1659805) | about 4 months ago | (#47540431)

Man, it must be nice to live in an area where Verizon doesn't have a monopoly over your choice of wire-line internet service, and then only offers you 7 Mbps ADSL that drops out when it rains.

Also, it's a *smartphone*, not a cellphone. We're not talking about sending 5 GB in text messages, here. Just having your phone on and connected to 4G will use up at least a few gigabytes per month downloading incessant updates to the **built-in apps** (most of which can't be disabled on many phones without voiding your warranty). If you actually wanted to, I don't know, download an app of your choice (or TWO?!) from the Play Store, and then actually use the latest version of that app, you're done. Cooked. 5 GB and beyond.

Chrome is 30+ MB. Verizon's own "My Verizon" app is something like 11 MB. Samsung has hundreds of megs of apps installed, and some of them update twice a week. Updates have to re-download the entire program, even resources that don't change, so you end up blowing through tons of data that way.

This type of thinking is wrong-headed. The question shouldn't be "what are you doing that takes 5 GB per month". The question should be "why haven't cellular data providers figured out a way to offer more than 5 GB per month at a reasonable price in the past decade". After all, Verizon argued that considering ISPs to be subject to Title II regulations would severely hinder innovation. By implication, by them being a Title I carrier, they've been innovating as fast as humanly possible. A decade of serious "innovation" in the wireless data space and we're still looking at exactly the same caps? Oh, excuse me, the $105/month plan is for a whopping 15 GB. That's enough for about five Netflix movies per month, assuming you disable all app updates.

You also don't seem to grok the raw convenience factor of tethering. Let's say you're on a bus, in your car, on a train, at a remote work location, whatever -- you're somewhere, and you either don't have the password to get access to the wireless network, or it's down, or there just ISN'T one. Well, you really need to do this one thing, see, and... if you HAD a phone that had unlimited data and 4G, you could just whip it out, turn on the hotspot, connect up your ultrabook, and away you go. But you don't, so you don't understand what you're missing. You just sigh and go "oh well, I'll drive back home and do it then" or something like that. Wasted potential.

Unlimited data (plus tethering) really creates a demand for it once you are exposed to it, just like Apple created a demand for high-res touchscreen mobile devices with the advent of the iPad and iPhone. It's understandable that the vast majority of the population can't comprehend why this would be useful, because the window during which unlimited data was available was very small (only a few years), and then it closed again.

Oh, there is one last "minor" thing that having unlimited data plus tethering enables you to do. It means that you no longer depend on your local monopoly to bring a high-speed fiber/coax/ethernet ISP to your house. Maybe they did a study and considered that your neighbors are luddites, and so you aren't worthy of their service. Well, if you don't have a cellular option, you're SOL. If you DO have a cellular option, it can be perfectly viable replacement for carriers' refusal to roll out their service to your *entire* town. I'm looking at you, FiOS. Gee, the company that advertises FiOS has an awfully similar name to the company that's turning the screws on unlimited data plans now. I wonder why that is.

P.S.: For those of you who say that "there's only so much spectrum", you are really missing the point. The point is this: given a certain number of users per square mile; the spectral efficiency of a protocol; the desired upstream/downstream targets for each user; and a spectrum width (in Hz), it is possible to calculate a finite number for the minimum tower density required to support each of the users in that area with truly unlimited data. Unlimited as in, they can use hundreds of gigabytes (or how ever much is considered "a lot" in your computing era of choice) and not negatively impact the network. All you have to do is solve for X, where X is the broadcast radius, in meters, of each tower; then build your tower network accordingly. Right now, the "X" that Verizon is using is an order of magnitude LARGER (wider radius) than it needs to be. In many areas, there's only a single tower covering between 5 and 15 square MILES. There is absolutely no reason why more towers can't be built. A lot more, even. Many of the communities that want high-end broadband rolled out to them would probably be just as willing to fund the deployment of more towers, in exchange for unlimited data, as they would be to fund the rollout of fiber to the premises. And the speed is actually quite good: at off-peak times, I can pull down about as much speed as the lowest available FiOS plan. Over LTE. Not too shabby.

The problem is that Verizon, and the other carriers, are unwilling to spend money on more towers. They already have towers that have existed since the days before cellular data was a thing, and there was only voice. They want to keep using those same towers forever, and not build any new ones. It looks good for the bottom line when their cash on hand doesn't go down because they're spending money for the future.

Cellular data has the POTENTIAL to be a fully adequate replacement for wired internet, especially in areas where it would traditionally be too costly to bury fiber/ethernet/coax through less-densely populated neighborhoods. But, as usual, they're not selling what we're buying. $10 per GB? Get lost.

Re:what the hell are you doing on your cellphone (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 4 months ago | (#47540581)

good comment but i have a bit more detail. if you use wifi on your smartphone then it uses about 200mb a month for light in car use (not as driver though)
verizon and walmart have a 20 year contract for pay as you go, unlimited data for their straighttalk wireless users.
the 'average' smartphone user uses 1 gb per month based on verizons numbers.
verizon is crying crocodile tears here, cause 'poor folk' can afford unlimited wireless and can and will stream music and videos if they don't cost them money and the buffering isn't too bad, especially if they are paying $45 a month for unlimited everything from walmart, without a contract (if you use a used phone, or buy a pay as you go phone)
verizon rampantly spies on users and when making a slow lane for torrenters they realized legal streaming customers were using their expensive hardware for old contracts of unlimited data that are no longer offered to new customers.
despite the fact there is dark fiber and dark spectrum. why can one apartment building have wifi from every user and has only a small spectrum of broadcast yet cell carriers are supposedly restrained by their data networks capabilities? hah, this plan to only throttle when a tower is over-saturated is a bait and switch scam, they will take down towers and claim their networks are over-saturated and throttle the networks so no one can use it so they can put cheaper gear in their towers. i just spent $100 on a wireless router and it's radio is almost double the signal of the old $40 walmart router. fwiw it's a 1750ac router. and fwiw the same router sells for $180 at walmart, but i bought it online. anyways better gear costs more and thus this is just verizon lying about why they want permission to throttle wireless signals they want to use cheaper hardware and take down towers. the sad part though is that a modern communication satellite can transmit over 1,000 channels of 1080i sized channels of broadcast, as long as it doesn't have to process the signals onboard. i've heard as high as 5000 channels and that is from a hundred some odd miles above the sky... wireless signals have way more bandwidth it is just that terrestrial based com signals are all processed so it can be spied on, and processing that is not as cheap as unprocessed (in the sky) data.

Re:what the hell are you doing on your cellphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540913)

Don't know what Verizon sells theirs for, but I have 4G LTE as my internet connection for all of my computers via a WiFi modem. It's faster than my ADSL was (although with more latency) because the copper from my home is just too long for more than 8/1.

One of the big advantages is that I can take my laptop anywhere in the country (not the US) and have internet connectivity.

I use considerably more than 5GB per month (often several GB per day) and am very happy that my provider isn't throttling the connection, especially since nothing of the sort was part of the contract.

On the other hand, my old cell contract several years earlier before cell data was such a big thing had unlimited data that was throttled down after a certain monthly cap, but that was explicitly stipulated in the contract, not unilaterally decided afterwards.

Re:what the hell are you doing on your cellphone (1)

Lord Crc (151920) | about 4 months ago | (#47540923)

If I'd listen to di.fm on my way to and from work, which takes me about an hour each way, it would be about 4.6 GB per month just there.

Now if I paid for an "unlimited" plan, I would expect such casual usage to be perfectly within the bounds of "unlimited".

Small effect? (1)

Moof123 (1292134) | about 4 months ago | (#47540229)

So if it only hits a handful of folks, then the overall improvement on the network will be minimal, right? So what the heck is the point?

Why not take the buttloads of profit you a-holes are making an build out your network instead of coming up with this Rube Goldberg throttling crap?

Re:Small effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540289)

Small number of users does not necessarily imply small effect. The entire point is that they are disproportionate users.

Re:Small effect? (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47540423)

Why not take the buttloads of profit you a-holes are making an build out your network instead of coming up with this Rube Goldberg throttling crap?

When this question was put to Lowell C. McAdam, CEO of Verizon, his response was, "Because fuck you, that's why. And by the way, sign this new user agreement where you give away any rights to sue Verizon for anything ever for the rest of your life and agree to instead face arbitration by that group of Verizon lawyers, sitting right over there with the "Fuck You, That's Why" t-shirts".

Re:Small effect? (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47540463)

Verizon market-tested the new corporate slogan of "Fuck You, That's Why". It tested very badly, but they decided to go ahead and use it because, you guessed it, "Fuck You, That's Why".

This is one fine way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540247)

to lose customers to Sprint.

BOHICA (2)

ShaunC (203807) | about 4 months ago | (#47540279)

Who is Verizon not fucking over? I'm not even their customer and I feel like I need some lube, just from hearing about these things. I would never, ever buy any service from Verizon. Every business they're in, they seem to take pleasure in punishing their customers just for using what they tried to purchase.

It's bad enough dealing with Comcast, but thankfully I don't rely on them for all of my services (despite their best efforts) and Sprint treats me pretty well for cell service.

Re:BOHICA (1)

strikethree (811449) | about 4 months ago | (#47540539)

Who is Verizon not fucking over? I'm not even their customer and I feel like I need some lube, just from hearing about these things. I would never, ever buy any service from Verizon. Every business they're in, they seem to take pleasure in punishing their customers just for using what they tried to purchase.

Look, Verizon is clearly evil and it seems almost everything they do only compounds their evil factor... but this is not one of those things. This is perfectly reasonable on the surface: Overloaded tower, less intensive customers line up first in the queue. Utterly fair. If I were a Verizon customer, I would be happy with this; especially if I were not on an unlimited plan. Even if I were on an unlimited plan, if I had already downloaded 4GB of data, I would be cool with sharing the limited resources with others.

Of course, knowing Verizon, they will pull cell towers down to ensure that the top 5% are being throttled at all times... but on the surface, this announcement is a good thing.

AT&T Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540301)

Even on the unlimited plan with AT&T, I received a message that my data would be throttled because I exceeded 3Gb during the billing period. I was in the process of moving - no wifi at home for a bit - and using Pandora regularly.

Even though I was grandfathered into the unlimited data plan, I was still mildly annoyed that a mere 3Gb would be sufficient cause to throttle my data use. Obviously the network can only handle so much, so the company needs to manage its resources, but throttling should be reserved for those who exceed their plans' data limits. Or for those of us with supposedly unlimited, reserved for those who truly abuse the 'unlimited' - maybe 50 gigs - with that line clearly publicized, not just sprung on the user with a text message.

I'm affected by this, and... (2)

allquixotic (1659805) | about 4 months ago | (#47540331)

I'm definitely meeting all the conditions required to be throttled. I'm going to wait until October to see what the impact is for me. Whether or not I stay with Verizon will depend on the severity of the throttling, and how frequently the tower where I live suffers from saturation.

As long as I get at least EvDO speeds (over LTE, for the lower ping and IPv6), I'll probably stay with Verizon and continue my existing usage pattern. I use about 70 to 150 GB per month. I tether with the (legitimate) mobile hotspot feature, enabled by paying an extra $30/mo. I don't have a wireline Internet connection because Comcast is unreliable and doesn't care to fix it, and Verizon, despite telling me in 2007 that we could get FiOS in a matter of weeks, is still only offering us 7 Mbps ADSL.

I usually do most of my downloading/uploading at off-peak hours, anyway. I'm fine with firing off a 25 GB download on Steam at 11 PM and letting it run through the night. It's unlikely to be throttled at that time, because the tower won't be saturated. The population density where I live is strictly suburban (full-size houses, not town homes), so I don't think it'll be saturated very often.

If the throttling gives me so little bandwidth that I can't even stream 720p H264, I'm outta there. Might have to move to an area that has decent wireline service. But I can tell you for certain that it won't be Verizon or any company related to it in any way. Once I decide that Verizon has put the last straw on me, I am not going to spend another penny on that company for the rest of my life, and will go out of my way to ensure that nobody I know spends a penny on them, or at least make them seriously reevaluate their choice of service provider, for both cellular and wireline service.

Verizon's taking a real risk with this. If the throttling is only 50-60% of the normal speed, I probably won't even notice, since my bandwidth needs during prime time are usually modest (720p streaming video might be the MOST I ask for, and in many cases I'll just be surfing the web or coding). If the throttling is 90-95% of the potential throughput, they will convert a long-time advocate (since the Windows Mobile early EvDO days) into a bitter enemy, spewing vitriol and anti-Verizon word of mouth everywhere I go for the rest of my life. Are they prepared to live with that consequence?

Oh, and they'll lose my $700 cash infusion that I supply them approximately yearly when I pay full retail to upgrade my phone. Hope they can live without that, too.

Oh, and my $200/month (family-wide) cellular bill.

Oh, plus the fact that I've successfully convinced tens of people in the past, who already have a suitable wireline connection at home, to subscribe to Verizon limited data plans because they actually do offer more data for less money than their competitors, and the service reliability and availability is second to none.

Dear Verizon: if you're reading this, you better go easy on the throttling. If you don't, look to lose about $10,000 per month in revenue by the time I get done canceling my service and talking to my connections about Verizon and they start pulling the plug. I'm a very convincing and influential person. People follow my lead, especially when it comes to technology. I wonder how many other people like me out there are souring to your business by your anti-consumer practices. Are you really OK with staring into the abyss? Is it really your goal to force people who've loved your company for over a decade to do an about-face and tear you down?

All because you couldn't deploy a few more towers, because cost cutting and the bottom line. That type of reasoning is a plague that needs to be rooted out and eradicated, starting with deporting the MBAs who come up with this shit.

Re:I'm affected by this, and... (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47540393)

Oh, plus the fact that I've successfully convinced tens of people in the past, who already have a suitable wireline connection at home, to subscribe to Verizon limited data plans because they actually do offer more data for less money than their competitors, and the service reliability and availability is second to none.

You cruel, cynical bastard. How often do you have to change your name?

Re:I'm affected by this, and... (1)

allquixotic (1659805) | about 4 months ago | (#47540559)

Not at all, yet, but I may have to if Verizon keeps pulling bait and switch tactics on its users every few years.

I should've let them rot with AT&T, who has been leading Verizon by the hand down the road of anti-consumer practices, with Verizon following their lead after 6 months or so. Oh, wait...

Maybe I should've let them get throttled with Sprint, after using -- what is it, 2 or 5 GB? -- on their "unlimited" plan. Oh, wait...

Or maybe I should've let them get no service at all with T-Mobile, which serves approximately 3 square inches of land with their vast LTE network. Oh, wait...

Crap, out of options.

Re:I'm affected by this, and... (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#47540417)

I use about 70 to 150 GB per month.

ok... Verizon's taking a real risk with this, Oh, and they'll lose my $700 cash infusion that I supply them approximately yearly, oh, and my $200/month (family-wide) cellular bill... Oh, plus the fact that I've successfully convinced tens of people in the past,

  Hope they can live without that, too.

You bet they can. say 3000/year? For 70-150GB per month? I pay $1500/year at least, and use maybe 15-20GB per YEAR.

So yeah, you make them twice as much $, but use 10x as much bandwidtih. That makes people like ME 5x more profitable than you are.

They'd be happy to lose you, and anyone like you.

If you don't, look to lose about $10,000 per month in revenue by the time I get done canceling my service and talking to my connections about Verizon and they start pulling the plug.

In reality, your connections are mostly in contract, and cant switch anyway. Plus despite your outrage, they are satisfied with their service.

I'm a very convincing and influential person.

And the guy in the mirror agrees with you, so you must be right.

I wonder how many other people like me out there are souring to your business by your anti-consumer practices.

Less than a fraction of a percent of its least profitable paying customers. Your better than people who don't pay their bill, that's about it it.

Re:I'm affected by this, and... (1)

allquixotic (1659805) | about 4 months ago | (#47540531)

Your entire post is based on the fallacy that each bit I transmit costs them money. This is simply not true.

Fact 1: Major ISPs such as Verizon have peering agreements with other Tier 1 and Tier 2 ISPs that run in the millions of dollars, for terabits per second of bandwidth.

Fact 2: Even the heaviest mobile data users are a drop in the bucket, in terms of bandwidth usage, compared to a typical FiOS customer. Even DSL customers likely use more, because there's no cap, so they can happily stream 7 Mbps of movies 18 hours a day.

Fact 3: Population density is finite, and does not increase to infinity. Also, in the US, population density in all but a very small number of places (so-called "cities") is much lower than in densely populated areas of other countries. So even if your argument is that "without people like you, they could put more customers on their towers", it doesn't hold water because there are only so many people within the service area of a tower. If at any point that tower isn't saturated, that is called "waste" -- where there was a potential for bandwidth to be used during a given time slot, but it lay fallow for that period. Most towers outside of major gathering places, such as sports stadiums, have vast periods where they are not saturated, and are usually only mildly saturated even during peak hours. I can substantiate this because I have observed LTE throughput many times at different locations over a period of years, in areas where there's good signal strength, and I can count on one hand the number of times where I've seen oddly reduced throughput (that's not throttling; that's the tower physically being unable to give you the bandwidth you request because more throughput is being requested than is actually available). That includes going into two major East Coast cities several dozen times and testing the waters on the bandwidth while I'm there.

Fact 4: The maximum useful tower density is finite, because microwave radiation experiences gradual signal loss by traveling through the medium of the air, and by spreading out (diffusing) as it travels. The further it travels, the more loss there is. That's why you can't point a USB WiFi stick in the general direction of the UK from somewhere like New York and get a good signal from a Starbucks in London. The point is that many LTE towers, being at a distance of 10 to 15 miles apart from one another, are already near the limit of where they start experiencing too much signal loss due to distance. So basically Verizon has deployed the towers as far apart as physically possible, yet they are dragging their feet on deploying more towers to handle more capacity. There is an enormous amount of potential for the expansion of capacity that is simply not being used.

Consider this: if Verizon has an unmetered peering agreement with another Tier 1, which is not at 100% utilization, and the tower I'm connected to is not at 100% utilization, the only cost I am incurring upon Verizon by transmitting my data is the electricity to pass my packets from the tower through the network. It's very, very close to being free, and several orders of magnitude less than $10 per GB, which is the going rate for capped data overages.

All I'm doing is using the existing infrastructure more efficiently by not having it sit idle.

IF the utilization increases to the point where the tower is saturated, which is moderated by Fact 3 and easily relieved by deploying towers as suggested by Fact 4, then the tower will already -- by the necessities of physics -- "throttle" me, in the sense that I won't get the full throughput that I could be getting if the tower were not saturated. Isn't that enough? Why is it necessary to then further punish users with additional reductions? Just use a fair queue algorithm like the Linux kernel's scheduler. It's not rocket science.

It seems like you're saying Verizon won't mind losing my business because they make more per gigabyte off of you, but the fact stands that I incur very little cost to their business, since I know for a fact that my local tower is only occasionally saturated, and I only occasionally visit places where the tower is likely to be saturated. But why would they want to willingly forego all that money, when they're already making more than is reasonable? By your own admission, they make twice as much off of me than from you -- but using 10x as much data doesn't mean I'm costing them 10 times as much. To think so is a fallacy.

I think they just want to stamp out the social/cultural trait of people thinking that they SHOULD have "unlimited", by effectively killing off its availability. I strongly suspect that this step is the first on the road towards outright getting rid of unlimited data plans. But that is a completely artificial, human-imposed limitation that is placed there to maximize corporate profits at the expense of the public good. To accept this, and think this is "OK", is to blind yourself to the fact that, rather than offer the best service possible, what the ISPs want to do is offer the minimum service that won't cause an armed revolution, while the C-level executives reap record-setting bonuses.

1,000 of you is expensive (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47541045)

Your entire post is basically repeating the same failure of logic over and over.
They don't put up a new tower for one customer, true. However, 1,000 customers like you mean that 10 more towers hit capacity and ten more need to be added. Verizon isn't making decisions one customer at a time. If they lost a many of their 150 GB / month customers, they could provide better service for a lot more 15GB / month customers and make a lot more money. That would be a good thing for them.

Re: 1,000 of you is expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47541155)

And they'll reduce the price for all of us remaining due to this greatly increased efficiency per tower? We all know that will never happen.
You have near nothing to gain by being a corporate apologist unless you're on their payroll. So why are you defending verizon's behavior?

Throttling My "Unlimited" 4G LTE Would Require... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540347)

Throttling my Verizon "Unlimited" 4G LTE would require that I am on a 4G LTE connection. I do a large amount steaming while at work. I work just outside a city of 30k and get a 4G connection about 1% of the time. So most of this usage is a 3G connection:

Jan 2014 3.7GB
Feb 2014 4.8GB
Mar 2014 4.1GB
Apr 2014 5.5GB
May 2014 4.8GB
Jun 2014 3.6GB
Jul 2014 3.8GB

4,7GB/month (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540349)

what is this ? An internet plan for ants ?

One fapping session requires at least that amount of bandwidth, and normal human beings do this at least once a day.

So an unlimited plan would have to provide at least 150GB traffic per month only for the porn.

And then you didn't even start working or watching regular kitten videos on youtube.

Unlimited starts at 3,3TB/month for me, or a 95pctile 10Mbps :o

throttling (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47540351)

I believe throttling is an appropriate response to this situation, so if you see any Verizon corporate officers, please let me know.

Lots of Hoops??? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 months ago | (#47540359)

Yes there are a few preliminary requirements but they are all pretty common.
First off you must have been with Verizon for a few years, great customer loyalty you have got there Verizon...
Secondly you have to have used over 5 gigabytes that month. That is something you can do in about 5 hours, anyone who has even heard of throttling used that or many times that per week...
The last one I know nothing about, but apparently Verizon has enough trouble with infrastructure that they are deploying throttling schemes to get around upgrading their stuff so being connected to one under heavy demand must happen often enough.

Won't affect the majority of customers (1, Insightful)

ljw1004 (764174) | about 4 months ago | (#47540381)

At first I read about Verizon throttling their "unlimited data plan" customers and I got concerned.

But then I read that the throttling will NOT affect the majority of customers who are paying over the odds for an unlimited data plan that they don't actually need. That's good. So long as they're not affected, things are okay. Please go ahead with your plans, Verizon!

Re:Won't affect the majority of customers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540683)

Right. They are only throttling the people who are on the correct plan.

Re:Won't affect the majority of customers (1)

IanBal (1804634) | about 4 months ago | (#47540839)

It's the tip of the iceberg, the thin wedge that allows them to start down this customer hostile road. Soon that 5% will be 6, then 8, then 10, then 25, then ??? Verizon seems unable to fulfill their contractual requirements to customers, so they have sold something they don't have. I hope the throttled customers sue!

Verizon Unlimited works like this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540391)

Calculate 95th percentile throttle everyone above it, Recalculate new top 5%.
Rinse. Repeat... Until they've washed all your money and bandwidth away...

BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540535)

They could at least be straight with people and stop screwing customers... This is just another part of the ongoing bandwidth problem propaganda major ISP and Cell carriers alike have been pushing. They're trying to condition us to think bandwidth is getting more costly when in fact it's been getting cheaper and cheaper and will continue to do so.

This is about one thing, and we all know what that is.

Re: BS (1)

dfeifer (973821) | about 4 months ago | (#47540915)

Keeping thier investors happy. Consumer be damned the investor is all that matters.

using too much 4g data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540741)

stop watching cat videos on Youtube. Just kidding. :p

Priority (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 4 months ago | (#47540767)

I understand this is just about priority: once you reach a threshold, your traffic has lower priority than others. It seems a reasonable way of implementing unlimited plan on finite network capacity.

We are the 95% percent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540809)

Don't worry, you're not in the top 5%, so it won't affect you! You should probably hate those guys anyway. Stupid 5 percenters! They probably kick puppies!

Throttling based on 'the top X users' will ALWAYS be unjust. Just like there will always be a 'poorest 20%' even if every man, woman, and child is making $1 million per year.

Look, if you want to provide an Unlimited Plan. Offer an Unlimited Plan. Or don't. Do NOT advertise and charge for one thing and supply another.

I must be missing something. (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 4 months ago | (#47540909)

I could have sworn that part of the deal Verizon negotiated when buying the 700Mhz spectrum was that they would not be allowed to interfere with LTE data transfers of unlimited customers when connected via 700Mhz LTE. What happened to that?

I can't wait to be done with Verizon. If a corporation could be diagnosed as insane, Verizon would be locked up. They're flaunting their new XLTE service, bragging about how fast you can move data then smacking down the small percentage of customers who are in a position to make use of that speed. I recently was in an area where I got 80/44 Mb/s but what good does that do anyone who has a data cap? That's psychotic to keep ramping up the speed and lowering caps.

I'm doing a bit of international travel this month and, when I tried to turn on global data, I couldn't do it thru he website unless I picked a "valid" domestic data plan and a "valid" domestic text plan. I had to contact customer service to get global data turned on and I'm sure I'll have to contact them again to turn it off. When I get back, I'm going to be resuming a long stretch of domestic travel and hotel/resort WiFi universally sucks sweaty donkey balls. I've been travelling around the US for nearly a year and I've stayed in less than half a dozen places that had usable internet. Most places have been less than half a meg down and even slower the other way. Barely able to load a frickin' web page. I've had several months during this trip where I've moved well over a hundred gigs thru my phone via tethering and I don't feel a bit bad about it. I've been paying them around $125/month for nearly 5 years and, for the first two years, I moved less than 10 gigs a month. For the second two years, I hung onto my unlimited plan in anticipation of needing it for this trip and moved less than a hundred megs during many of those billing cycles. Put up with the shittiest service in the area to keep that plan. Had to go outside to make and answer calls.

It was worth every penny of those 2 years to have the plan when I needed it but Verizon's sure not keeping my loyalty with this kind of crap. I was considering keeping it as a backup, continuing to pay $125/month as "internet insurance" once I stop travelling and settle down but I guess there's no point. I guess I'll just switch to whoever has decent local coverage at the lowest price.

1,050 people for a 1,000 person tower (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47541085)

Here's what you're missing. The article is about what happens when a tower hits maximum capacity for a moment.
Suppose the hardware on the tower is capable of serving 1,000 people per second*. There are 1,050 people who want to download this second. Sorry, 50 people are going to have to wait one second. The tower can only handle 1,000. That's just a fact. They aren't "messing with" anything, that's just what the hardware is capable of.

What Verizon has decided is that when there is an overload and somebody will have to wait a second, it'll be the heaviest users who have to wait. After all, they've already used "more than their fair share".

* it's actually how many packets and bytes the tower can serve per second / millisecond, not customer count. The person who uses a lot will wait milliseconds.

Can't sue your wireless carrier via class action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540949)

http://www.cnet.com/news/why-you-cant-sue-your-wireless-carrier-in-a-class-action/

When AT&T slowed down Matt Spaccarelli's unlimited data plan on his iPhone, the unemployed truck driver from Simi Valley, Calif. took the country's largest phone company to court. And as a surprise to all, he won.
Declan McCullagh/CNET

But Spaccarelli's victory rings hollow. In fact, the route he was forced to take -- suing AT&T by himself as opposed to employing a more influential and wider ranging class-action lawsuit -- illustrates just how difficult it is to change a carrier's business practice through legal means. Rather than big changes and a return of his unlimited high-speed access, he ended up with $850 and a lot of disappointment.

Spaccarelli sued AT&T because, as he argued, AT&T had stopped offering him an unlimited data service . Instead, he said the company was slowing down his service when he used 1.5 GB to 2GB of data in a given month. Spaccarelli's service was "throttled" as a result of a new AT&T policy designed to curb heavy data usage by its unlimited subscribers.

But thanks to a Supreme Court decision in 2011, which upheld a company's right to include a clause in contracts prohibiting subscribers from suing the company as part of a class action, Spaccarelli had only two options when fighting AT&T's new policy: He could enter into an AT&T-funded arbitration program or file his suit in small claims court. Spaccarelli opted for small claims court.

What this meant for AT&T was that instead of facing a multimillion dollar lawsuit, which represented thousands of disgruntled subscribers, the company only had to deal with a single subscriber and damages of $850. Even though AT&T lost its case and paid Spaccarelli the court-awarded damages, the company was not forced to change its throttling policy. And in fact, it still slows down service on what it considers its heaviest data customers, even though AT&T still calls the plan "unlimited."

So yeah... Verizon and other goons have customers by the balls.

Richest 5% shouldn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47540961)

be forced to share?

We can hire politicians to loot others' paychecks, but bandwidth is sacred?

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