Verizon Wireless today wrote a response letter to the FCC's concerns over its plan to throttle its grandfathered unlimited data customers during peak usage times, insisting that its upcoming usage restrictions are permitted under current law.

Penned by Verizon's SVP of Federal Regulatory Affairs, Kathleen Grillo, the letter (via The Verge) also points towards the unlimited data restrictions imposed by other carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, which Verizon says are more draconian than its own throttling plans.

verizon_logo_500

More importantly, Verizon also hammers on the fact that every other major wireless provider in the United States -- AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile -- has already implemented some form of data throttling or "network optimization" as it's often called. Verizon goes a step further and says its competitors often have "less tailored" policies that can impact customers regardless of network congestion.

Verizon goes on to emphasize the limited conditions under which its customers will experience LTE throttling, stating slowdowns will occur only at "particular cell sites experiencing unusually high demand" and noting that throttling will end when cell sites become less congested.

According to Verizon's website, throttling will also be limited to the top five percent of customers and only those who have completed their two-year contracts will be affected. As of July, Verizon's top five percent of users consisted of customers who used 4.7GB or more of data during the month.

Verizon's letter is in response to a strongly-worded letter sent last week by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, which stated he was "deeply troubled" by Verizon's throttling plans. In the missive, Wheeler sent Verizon a series of questions asking the company to explain its rationale for treating customers differently based on data plan type and asking whether the policy was justified under the FCC's Open Internet rules.

Verizon plans to begin throttling its high-usage LTE customers accessing congested network cells beginning on October 1, and it is unclear if the FCC will take steps to prevent the throttling.

As noted in Verizon's letter, several other carriers have implemented LTE usage restrictions for customers on grandfathered unlimited plans in an effort to encourage users to switch to pay-by-usage tiered data plans, but the FCC has intervened in Verizon's case due to Verizon's use of Upper C Block spectrum that is subjected to a open platform rule.

Top Rated Comments

JoshGlzBrk Avatar
87 months ago
I'll just start throttling my payments then.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
C DM Avatar
87 months ago
The operations at Jurassic Park were legal and look how well that worked out. In the words of Dr. Ian Malcolm: "Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."
Jurassic Park...seriously?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xVeinx Avatar
87 months ago
So, everyone else is doing it.... It must be ok...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
markyr17 Avatar
87 months ago
After reading the following, I actually don't think Verizon has any ground to stand on, and I understand why the FCC is questioning this move.

While true that most of Net Neutrality has been struck down in court, this is different. This is coded into law: Code of Federal Regulations. This is what VZW bought into and has to abide by it.

Specifically, 47 CFR 27.16 (c)(1) which can be found in its entirety here (http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/27.16). It's not a long read either. Or, if you prefer, here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title47-vol2/pdf/CFR-2011-title47-vol2-sec27-16.pdf

The specific part I'm quoting says the following:

"The potential for ex- cessive bandwidth demand alone shall not constitute grounds for denying, limiting or restricting access to the network."

This will be interesting. We will see what happens, I guess.

----------

Wasn't the original statement that the throttle would last for the rest of the month for the user? That's the part that bugs me. I'm fine for a company slowing down a grandfathered user on a cell site that's currently overcrowded BUT go ahead and let them get back to full force as soon as they move to the next site or the site becomes open again. Heck, big Red even could make more money off this IF they truly did it in the most fair way possible, they could then offer $5/mo or $10/mo "upgrade" to allow full speed on crowded cells for up to 1gig a month or some crap. As long as they were completely transparent and fair (only throttle top 5% and when overloaded, speeds return as soon as cell opens up or user is on new cell) then I would be fine with a plan like that. Give me my unlimited cake and let me eat it too.

(Before people bitch, it works like this on lots of things, don't want to sit in slow rush hour traffic on the freeway, take the toll bridge which is always flowing at speed fine, etc)

The problem with verizon and others is that they do this kind of stuff shady or once you throttle you're stuck for the rest of the month. Seriously? At 2am I should still be throttled because I happened to post some photos to Facebook while walking through downtown during a peak time?
The original article said you would be throttled until the cell site you are using is no longer under load.

See here (http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2014/07/network-optimization.html) for more info.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joshuaclinton Avatar
87 months ago
are permitted under current law.

The operations at Jurassic Park were legal and look how well that worked out. In the words of Dr. Ian Malcolm: "Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PocketSand11 Avatar
87 months ago
No.

Every user should get the bandwidth they paid for at the times they choose to use the product. Lowering the speed for anyone rewards the ISP at the expense of the end user.

We are not negotiating terms relative to other consumers. My agreement is with my ISP, not my neighbor.
Where in any cell provider contract are you guaranteed a certain bandwidth? Only from home ISPs do you see guarantees such as enough bandwidth for, say, 20mbps download.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
iPhone 13 Battery Life Feature

DigiTimes: iPhone 13 Pro Models to Feature 120Hz ProMotion Refresh Rate and 15-20% Less Power Consumption

Friday April 9, 2021 12:52 am PDT by
The two premium "Pro" models of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will be equipped with a low-power LTPO display, enabling the iPhones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. According to today's paywalled report, Apple suppliers Samsung and LG Display are in the process of converting parts of their production capacity to produce LTPO ...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
fortnite apple featured

Epic's Case Against Apple in Australia Might Be Over

Friday April 9, 2021 12:21 pm PDT by
Epic Games and Apple are involved in a highly public lawsuit in the United States, but Epic has also sued Apple in other countries, including Australia, in an attempt to boost its chances of getting a favorable ruling. Things aren't quite going Epic's way, however, as the justice overseeing the case today decided that he's going to let the two companies battle it out in the United States. ...
Apple TV Ray Light Teal Film

Apple Wants to Draw Subscribers to Apple TV+ With More Feature Films

Friday April 9, 2021 10:27 am PDT by
Apple is ramping up its efforts to produce feature films, according to a new report from The Information. Apple has a limited number of high profile films already, including "Palmer," "Cherry," and "Greyhound," and sees it as a way to draw more people into Apple TV+. Apple has been telling studio executives that it is aiming to do more than 10 to 12 original movies per year for Apple TV+,...