FCC Questioning All Carriers On Unlimited Throttling Policies

iphone5sAccording to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the United States Federal Communications Commission is now questioning all wireless carriers on their network management policies, asking how carriers choose when to throttle customers, including those with unlimited data plans.

In a report from Reuters, Wheeler said that the FCC had written to all major U.S. carriers about its concerns on throttling practices following its inquisition into Verizon's upcoming plan to throttle unlimited data customers during peak usage times.

"My concern in this instance - and it's not just with Verizon, by the way, we've written to all the carriers - is that it is moving from a technology and engineering issue to the business issues ... such as choosing between different subscribers based on your economic relationship with them."

Last week, after Verizon announced plans to slow down the data speeds of unlimited customers using heavy amounts of data, the FCC questioned the carrier about its policies, with Wheeler stating that he was "deeply troubled" by the decision.

Verizon responded, suggesting its throttling plans were both fair and legal, and likely to impact only a small subset of customers. Verizon also noted that several other carriers, like Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile all have unlimited data restrictions in place. According to Wheeler, pointing towards the policies of other carriers was not a sufficient response. "'All the kids do it' was never something that worked for me when I was growing up," he said.

AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have long had policies in place that allow the carriers to opt to restrict the data usage of customers with grandfathered unlimited plans in an effort to encourage users to switch to pay-by-usage tiered data plans.

While the FCC did not share the letters sent to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, an FCC spokesperson said the letters were similar in nature to the original letter sent to Verizon. That letter asked the carrier to answer specific questions on its rationale for treating customers differently on plan type, the need for such throttling on efficient LTE networks, and the legality of throttling.

Verizon was the first to receive the letter because of the announcement of a new policy, according to the FCC spokesperson. Verizon will begin throttling its high-usage off-contract LTE customers accessing congested network cells beginning on October 1.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
81 months ago
BIGGEST BS EVER... Lets throttle someone because they have used a lot of gigs so far... So what if they signed up for Unlimited data.. And so what if its 3 am and no one else is using the towers.. Lets still throttle their data... But ey.. if u go over to this plan.. And pay for more of our amazing fast data.. U can get those fast speeds all day long.. Its just stupid... AT&T and all the other carriers are able to renig on their end of the deal.. But as soon as we want to.. We have to pay the penalty...
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago

Isn't this a political thread?! Sounds like a state interference policy to me.... And that's coming from someone in the UK...


corporations exist at the forbearance of government. Government allows their charters and maintains a court system to enforce their contracts. Government builds an infrastructure that facilitates commerce.

Government is the people, and The People have a say in the activities of corporations doing business in their countries.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago

Isn't this a political thread?! Sounds like a state interference policy to me.... And that's coming from someone in the UK...


No one's called anyone a socialist, commie, or fascist yet. Give it about page 2...
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago
Wanna know why nothing will come of this?

Because they ARE the FCC.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago

Lastly, get ready for the people who would love for the wireless industry to dilute their services to us (while maintaining or raising costs per service) because any protection from crappy policies is crudely labeled "state interference."


Fourthly, get ready for people who think that the government can both lower prices and improve services in an industry by decree. Also known as people who never made it past Econ 101.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago
Looks like someone isn't paying the FCC enough money now.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

Google Reportedly Pays Apple $8-12 Billion Per Year to be Default iOS Search Engine

Sunday October 25, 2020 2:59 pm PDT by
The United States Justice Department is targeting a lucrative deal between Apple and Google as part of one of the U.S. government's largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to ...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

iPhone 12 Six-Foot Drop Test Results: Ceramic Shield More Durable But Not Damage Proof

Monday October 26, 2020 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature a new Ceramic Shield screen that Apple says offers 4x better drop performance. To test that claim, Allstate Protection Plans put the two models through a range of breakability tests and recorded the results. In a face down sidewalk drop test at six feet, the iPhone 12 suffered small cracks and scuffed corners and edges, leaving sharp grooves in ...

Bloomberg: New AirPods and AirPods Pro Coming in 2021, AirPods Studio Delayed, Third HomePod Model Also Possible

Monday October 26, 2020 3:34 am PDT by
Apple plans to update its AirPods line next year with two new models including third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on two new models: third-generation entry-level AirPods and the second version of the AirPods Pro earbuds, according to people familiar with the plans. ...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...