If you have an unlimited data plan with Verizon and use it heavily, here's some bad news: Verizon says it will begin throttling the "top 5 percent" of LTE data users in certain situations starting in October.
Under the new new policy, which was announced in a posting to the Verizon website entitled "Ensuring the Optimal Wireless Experience," the carrier reserves the right to limit 4G LTE data speeds for the heaviest unlimited data users as network conditions dictate.
"While all major wireless carriers employ tools to manage the traffic on their networks, Verizon Wireless uses network intelligence to slow the speeds of only some of its heaviest users on unlimited data plans, and only when those users are connected to a cell site that is experiencing peak usage at that particular time," the post states. "Once the heavy usage eases, or the user moves to a different cell site, the user's speeds return to normal."
Verizon employed a similar policy to limit data speeds for heavy 3G data users under certain circumstances in the past. The carrier also notes that this policy will not impact the vast majority of its users.
While any sort of data-speed throttling isn't ideal for users, Verizon's arrangement of throttling the heaviest users only when the network is congested is arguably a better approach than what some other carriers employ. For example, AT&T throttles unlimited plan users when their monthly data usage exceeds 3GB on 3G and 5GB on LTE, regardless of the network conditions.
Still, when your plan says "unlimited," you expect it to not have any restrictions or strings attached.
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