Verizon will not throttle unlimited 4G LTE data users, to double data plans in promotion
In a statement released on Wednesday, America's largest cellular provider Verizon said it will not be throttling 4G LTE data speeds for users grandfathered in to unlimited data plans, while at the same time announcing a buffed data plan promotion.
In July, Verizon announced plans to expand its "network optimization" initiative, which amounts to throttling data speeds for subscribers with unlimited data plans when the telco's 4G LTE network is congested. The enhanced policy was set to go live in October.
As noted by The Verge, it appears Verizon has changed course thanks to what the company calls "ongoing dialogue" over the past few months. Since the throttling procedure was first outlined, subscribers and even U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler questioned the move that Verizon called "measured and fair."
From today's statement:
Verizon is committed to providing its customers with an unparalleled mobile network experience. At a time of ever-increasing mobile broadband data usage, we not only take pride in the way we manage our network resources, but also take seriously our responsibility to deliver exceptional mobile service to every customer.
We've greatly valued the ongoing dialogue over the past several months concerning network optimization and we've decided not to move forward with the planned implementation of network optimization for 4G LTE customers on unlimited plans. Exceptional network service will always be our priority and we remain committed to working closely with industry stakeholders to manage broadband issues so that American consumers get the world-class mobile service they expect and value.
Prior to today's announcement, Verizon claimed throttling the heaviest users — supposedly only a small number of people — would give 95 percent of its subscriber base a more consistent experience. The policy was to be put in place to curb increased network congestion due to increasing smartphone subscriber numbers.
Verizon's decision comes amidst growing competition in the U.S. wireless space that has seen all three major carriers, including AT&T and Sprint, double data plan allotments in promotions designed to gain new subscribers and retain those who are already signed up. On Thursday, Verizon will be bumping its $110 data tier from 12GB to 15GB, while nearly doubling the $130 plan from 16GB to 30GB. Subscribers of data plans costing between $150 and $375 will get double data allotments. The promo ends on Oct. 31.