Throttling of unlimited 4g
schadenfroh
Enthusiast - Level 2

So, as many of you likely know, Verizon will start throttling top 5% LTE data users in October that have unlimited plans:

Starting October 1, Verizon Will Include Unlimited 4G LTE Customers in “Network Optimization” | Droi...

While I applaud the marketing staff's efforts to deny that slowing the speed of LTE customers is throttling, and that the lawyers have made a very loose interpretation of what is considered "reasonable network management" to dodge FCC Block C spectrum rules (reasonable would be slowing down the folks that are, at the time of tower congestion, using the most bandwidth, rather than punishing top 5% unlimited data users who may not be using much bandwidth at the time of congestion, but have done so in the past during said billing cycle) , I figure I should prepare for the worst, since I do enjoy watching HD Netflix while traveling.

Is there anyway to sign a new 2-year contract with Verizon such that my unlimited data plan will not get throttled?  I don't want a new phone or upgrade, just a contract to ensure price stability, current plan, and no throttling.

Given I live in DC, there is plenty of congestion and I'm likely in the top 1% of data users given I push upwards of 40gb a month watching netflix (no TV, so phone gets it).

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233 Replies
M9
Contributor - Level 1

Just as side note to competition in wireless service. In my state (NC) the previous governor wrote such a gushing letter to the FCC seeking approval of the AT&T /T-Mobile merger that it became obvious she was a paid shrill for AT&T. Her popularity plummeted so bad she didn't even attempt reelection.

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rcschnoor
Legend

M9 wrote:

No I am not. VZW shouldn't make people pay 4 voice that don't want it.

Verizon is not "forcing" you to pay for voice you don't want. You choose to pay it. You could always cancel the line and get a tablet without voice.Smiley Happy

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M9
Contributor - Level 1

I already have a tablet. A kindle fire hdx. I connect with the hotspot I pay for.

Sent from my HTC One max on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network

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Not applicable

then what's your issue? Verizon has data only plans.

Tidbits
Legend

Probably because it's not unlimited is why he complaining. Carriers for a long time have expressed the network data isn't meant for a direct replacement even though people want it to be.

LRVassar
Specialist - Level 2

Tidbits wrote:

Probably because it's not unlimited is why he complaining. Carriers for a long time have expressed the network data isn't meant for a direct replacement even though people want it to be.

If that were the case, they wouldn't have introduced HomeFusion.

Tidbits
Legend

Nope. Look at the pricing and the caps. It's meant to supplement not replace.

rcschnoor
Legend

I disagree. If someone has broadband in there home why would they EVER consider getting home fusion, too? Home Fusion is for people without other broadband available in their home, it is not meant to supplement.

LRVassar
Specialist - Level 2

It's almost the exact same as DishNet and HughesNet, both of which, are home based internet services. You, my friend, are incorrect.

"LTE Internet (Installed) is a residential Internet solution that uses Verizon's 4G LTE network to bring reliable, high-speed Internet service to customers with limited broadband options."

Not applicable

If that were the case, they wouldn't have introduced HomeFusion.

Homefusion is meant to compete with satellite internet which is similar in pricing and caps. If Homefusion didn't use the same spectrum as cellphones, tablets and jetpacks they probably could offer much higher caps. Maybe if/when Verizon get some of that 600 MHz spectrum you'll see an increase in Homefusion caps. Of course that spectrum won't be available until late 2018.

M9
Contributor - Level 1

Yes smartphones.

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Jumpie1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Here's what people forget. By law, read Code of Federal Regulations, VZW is not permitted to deny, restrict or limit customers to use devices or applications of their (customer's) choice. The potential for excessive bandwidth use is not an acceptable reason to deny, restrict or limit. Simple. It's stated in 47 CFR 27.16. A simple Google search will show you this. This is why FCC is all over them. They are claiming one thing while the Code (read law) says another.

It will be interesting to see how VZW replies to the FCC which they haven't yet and Support will never answer that question when.

Tidbits
Legend

Also there's 2 parts that rule against that.  Fair Use clause.

They are NOT making it about excessive bandwidth.  They never stated it was.  They stated it is to reduce network congestion which falls in line about what I linked earlier that carriers are allowed to do in two different documents the FCC allows.  One is the terms and conditions since the 1990s allowed the Fair Use policies, and also the Block C rules.

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Jumpie1
Enthusiast - Level 3

Here's the deal. Let's say a cell tower can hold up to 100 connections. If one person were using that tower, they have all the bandwidth they want. If two people are connected, then each has 50% thus it takes longer to download something. If 100 people are on the tower, then all 100 are having bandwidth issues theoretically. Now, if 110 people try to connect, then it start slowing down even more most likely to a crawl. Now, what VZW is saying is, if you have a metered plan, and the other 99 on the tower are unlimited, then you won't be "optimized" but the 99 will even if the other 99 only used 8GB of data and you used 9.5GB you aren't "optimized." You exceeded the cap that the unlimited data users have used but because your pay more for your data, then take all you want because we will charge you more. But you other 99, since you paid only a certain capped amount, we will take away that bandwidth because we can't charge you any more.

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Tidbits
Legend

You are assuming that everyone connecting will be using large amounts data files which never happens to most users which has been proven countless times.   So if someone is using 1.2GB and wants to use it and use it on a 20 MB file.  They get priority over the guy who used 10GB and wants to download 1GB file.  Most people on the 10GB plan usually are multi line people and use less data overall than someone on the old unlimited data plan as well.  You make assumptions to validate your thinking. 

Also the person that gets open access is paying for that open access and in theory end up paying for the additional backend that Verizon has to spend money on.

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Jumpie1
Enthusiast - Level 3

One way this could have been solved was to not have unlimited data. But, AT&T and Verizon by default had to offer unlimited data. At the time, they didn't know how use would have exploded. However, that is hindsight. Now, it's deal with it. I honestly feel bad for people who didn't have the chance to sign up for unlimited data. At the time, if they could've, they should've. And, they shouldn't have fallen prey to VZW's "better" plans.

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Not applicable

Jumpie1 wrote:

One way this could have been solved was to not have unlimited data. But, AT&T and Verizon by default had to offer unlimited data. At the time, they didn't know how use would have exploded. However, that is hindsight. Now, it's deal with it. I honestly feel bad for people who didn't have the chance to sign up for unlimited data. At the time, if they could've, they should've. And, they shouldn't have fallen prey to VZW's "better" plans.

Please show me where is says that because Verizon offered unlimited at one time they HAVE to keep it? All your post are wrong.

Also here the part of that rule you leave out

(b) Use of devices and applications. Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee's C Block network, except:

(1) Insofar as such use would not be compliant with published technical standards reasonably necessary for the management or protection of the licensee's network, or

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jtown
Contributor - Level 3

imhere2help wrote:

Jumpie1 wrote:

One way this could have been solved was to not have unlimited data. But, AT&T and Verizon by default had to offer unlimited data. At the time, they didn't know how use would have exploded. However, that is hindsight. Now, it's deal with it. I honestly feel bad for people who didn't have the chance to sign up for unlimited data. At the time, if they could've, they should've. And, they shouldn't have fallen prey to VZW's "better" plans.

Please show me where is says that because Verizon offered unlimited at one time they HAVE to keep it? All your post are wrong.

Also here the part of that rule you leave out

(b) Use of devices and applications. Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee's C Block network, except:

(1) Insofar as such use would not be compliant with published technical standards reasonably necessary for the management or protection of the licensee's network, or

What's "reasonably necessary"?  I think, if they can't handle the traffic demands in an area, they should increase capacity, not actively restrict customers who are paying for a service.  Put in more sites serving smaller areas to spread the load.  Verizon isn't talking about slowing people down for a few minutes. They're talking about slowing people down indefinitely because of "high traffic".  Tho they sure as heck aren't going to define what constitutes throttle-worthy traffic on a specific site.  It'll be whatever they decide it is.  And "protection of the licensee's network" can mean anything.  "All those bits he's moving through our tower are wearing it out.  We had to protect ourselves."

I don't believe a single word Verizon has published with regard to this action.  They claim 22% of their customers still have unlimited data plans.  B.  S.  Verizon switched to metered plans in 2010.  I find it incredibly difficult to believe they have that kind of customer retention in such a churny market.  And I'm pretty sure it's been a couple years that unlimited data customers have been required to pay full MSRP for new devices.  We're supposed to believe that 22% of their customers have stayed around this long and paid hundreds of dollars for their last device in order to retain their unlimited data plans?  And the average use is under 5 gigs per month?  That claim doesn't ring true if the 22% claim is true.  If all those people are moving such a small amount of data, they wouldn't pay hundreds of dollars for a new phone to keep a data plan they're not using.  If there are really that many people paying so much money to move so little data without subsidizing their equipment, Verizon should be ecstatic.  None of it adds up.

I think the reality is that they have a very small number of unlimited customers who are moving a ton of data and the chuckleheads at the top have got it stuck in their brains that they're losing money because they're not getting $350 (or whatever the current rate is) for every 50 gigs of data.  I'm paying around $125/month and moving 200-300 gigs a month.  That seems like a lot of data but I'm paying triple the rate of a wired connection.  And I'm rarely in a location for more than a week so my traffic is spread across towers all over the country so I'm not constantly slamming the same site.  If it's really costing Verizon more than $1500 to deliver 3tb of data to me over the course of a year, they're getting ripped off.

Also, if Verizon was a person, they'd be diagnosed as psychotic.  They're currently advertising XLTE.  But what good is all that speed to someone who can only move 2 gigs a month?  I was recently in Atlanta and got this from a speed test:

10489893_678777258881900_5911959843571572352_n.jpg

(I know it says <50 miles from Birmingham.  The GPS doesn't always report an accurate location when I've just moved a long distance.  I was in Birmingham that morning and it apparently hadn't caught on to the fact that I wasn't there any more.)

That speed's fantastic.  But totally useless to Verizon's current customer base.  What's the point?  One side of the company's cranking out incredible performance while the other side is threatening to smack the few people who have the potential to make use of that performance if they dare to do it.  It's lunacy.    

Tidbits
Legend

They could and try and increase capacity. The problem... Getting people on board leasing or selling land. Getting governmental approval within the county. It isn't done over night and it could take over a year to get any approval. That doesn't include build time and also laying the the pipes.

Also carriers don't own the whole backend. They rent them just as much as they charge you per GB. So if let's say a region is costing them 30M and the unlimited data crowd only brings in 15M data isn't going to be aroind for the long haul.

When they had unlimited data it was based on maximum speeds of 4Mb then they got the boom in usage which no one expecting included the same experts eho believe there's enough bandwidth which 2 years prior said there wasn't enough. People are using the argument in relation to Sprint buying out T-Mobile. Can't have it both ways here.

I will use Sprint here. I saw first hand with a tower near my home they were trying to put up. They advertised and actually promised it up in 120 days. Thanks to the neighborhood board they had to move is 5 miles farther thsn previously planned and it wasn't completed until 1 year and 3 months later.

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Not applicable

Tidbits wrote:

They could and try and increase capacity. The problem... Getting people on board leasing or selling land. Getting governmental approval within the county. It isn't done over night and it could take over a year to get any approval. That doesn't include build time and also laying the the pipes.

Exactly. Everyone thinks "Just put up more towers". You can do a Google search on story after story of a carrier getting turn down for a permit or having a tower build deployed over and over again by those in the Not In My Back Yard crowd. For every person in an area that wants more towers for better connections there is one person who doesn't want "ugly" towers messing up their view or some member tin foil hat club is afraid of the evil ray beams scrambling his brains and giving him cancer.

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Not applicable

I can tell you first hand where I live that Verizon contacted the town government and said that the Methodist Church was willing to lease it for $30,000.00 a year to plug up the coverage in this town.

Now remember the people were for it, the church was for it and Verizon wireless was completely for it being a ten year lease. But the town board turned down the churches request. Siteing zoning laws and aesthetic reasons.

It was going to be in the steeple. So everyone suffers for short sighted people. A real shame.

On a part of 87 North in the Adirondack Park after years of discussions and years of no service finally they erected a much needed cell tower, it was made in the shape of a huge evergreen tree. You would not know it was a tower. Great job Verizon did. Everyone wins.

Years ago in an apartment I lived in, the fire station had a huge American Flag pole out in front. It was in fact a huge Verizon wireless tower. This tower supplied cell service to state government offices and thousands of residents where there was spotty or no service before.

So I personally wish they had more towers. They can put one in my back yard since I would benefit greatly.

Good Luck