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Verizon planning to push biggest unlimited data users into capped plans

Ratcheting up the pressure on people grandfathered into unlimited data plans, Verizon is planning to force its greatest data consumers into picking a fixed plan or leaving entirely.

Starting Thursday, the carrier will be sending out notifications to people consuming "extraordinary" amounts of data, according to Droid Life. The carrier hasn't defined what it means by "extraordinary," except that it refers to using amounts "well in excess" of 100 gigabytes on a single device. The carrier's current 100-gigabyte plan is normally meant to be shared among several people.

People violating Verizon's new limits will have to switch to a fixed plan by August 31 or lose their service. There should be a 50-day window within which they can resubscribe, but they won't be able to get unlimited service back.

Both AT&T and Verizon have gradually tried to push customers off their unlimited plans. While they were once a fairly simple way of drawing in customers, particularly for the first-generation iPhone on AT&T, speeds and bandwidth consumption have risen in parallel — a person with an unlimited plan could now use it as their only internet connection, simply tethering their computer or TV to their phone. Without infrastructure upgrades, that kind of consumption can potentially interfere with traffic for other customers.

Verizon recently announced a new set of plans costing $5 to $10 more per month than their predecessors, but with significantly more data in some cases.