FCC Chief "Deeply Troubled" By Verizon Throttling, Demands Explanation - HotHardware
FCC Chief "Deeply Troubled" By Verizon Throttling, Demands Explanation

FCC Chief "Deeply Troubled" By Verizon Throttling, Demands Explanation

For years, Verizon and the other telcos have imposed limits on supposedly "Unlimited" data plans and justified those limits with dubious appeals to network quality of service. While throttling data usage makes a great deal of sense in certain contexts (downtown rush hour being an excellent example), most companies don't throttle based on time of day or local conditions. Verizon's latest attempt to slice off a bit more profit for itself may have been a bridge too far, however, as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has gotten involved with investigating the company's practices.

As we covered earlier this week, Verizon recently announced that it would "extend its network optimization policy to the data users who: fall within the top 5 percent of data users on our network, have fulfilled their minimum contractual commitment, and are on unlimited plans using a 4G LTE device."



The problem Wheeler has with those qualifications is that none of them relate to the question of network congestion or ensuring a high quality of service for Verizon customers. Instead, they selectively target a group of people who have refused to move to the much more expensive "Share Everything" plans that Verizon prefers for bilking money out of its customers.


Wheeler's letter notes that while the FCC recognizes network management as a logical act for any telco,
Reasonable network management concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams. It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its "network management" on distinctions among its customers' data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology.
The letter then goes on to demand an explanation for the behavior, including a description of why heavy users on paid data plans won't be throttled, while heavy users on unlimited data plans will be. Wheeler wants an explanation for why these limits apply only to consumers on 4G LTE when the 3G network is much less efficient, and why Verizon feels it can justify these behaviors given that the terms of its 700MHz spectrum purchase forbid it from denying, limiting, or restricting the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of their choice. This last may be dodged (Verizon will argue that it's not a restriction if it throttles a user's entire device, but it's the closest we've seen Wheeler come to bringing down the hammer on bad practices.

In response, Verizon told Ars Technica that " The purpose is to ensure there is capacity for everyone in those limited circumstances, and that high users don't limit capacity for others."

Except that's obviously not true. If the purpose of throttling was to ensure that capacity was available for all, then the throttling would be applied to every user equally. The purpose of Verizon's plan is to shove people towards metered data regardless of whether or not such plans suit their needs. 
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And yet they will not do anything about it.

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thats what they wanted and voted with them

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"Deeply Troubled" Definition: They have caught you red handed, so as a result please pay me more money so this can all go away.

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"Deeply Troubled" Definition: They have caught you red handed, so as a result please pay me more money so this can all go away.

On the off hand this could actually be his humanity waking up, and us seeing some actual changed with how Data is treated.

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If he thinks that's troubling can he explain why I pay $120/month for 2 lines and one GB shared, but they sell plans for $140/month for 4 lines and TEN GB??? Why then isn't my plan $65/month? Makes no sense.

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It's a dog and pony show as usual : ( I'd love to see some encouraging news reporting on some substantial change wheeler has implemented, not just the threat of penalties and fines and good intentions.

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hahahaha moron

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If the federal government would lay out or partially finance like they did back in the day with AT&T/BELL on phone lines, but on a nationwide fiber network like the nationwide interstate system which is what in many ways a nationwide fiber network would be in todays reality. It would not only bolster and enhance our economy across the board it would also move our country forward in a very wide way worldwide by limiting some of the choke holds bick corporate holds over the country. It would enhance many things such as education, carbon pollution control, changing the way the metropolitan worksystem is defined as well as killing off almost all of this Cable/modern telecom broadband systems that are a complete monopoly system now, not to mention the current home broadband and telecom background currently in place which just like almost everything utility wise is beyond outdated in the United States, our economy and society would then again grow meteorically instead of waiting for the giants (Comcast, AT&T, Verizon etc) to truly do anything to enhance our communication capabilities.

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Just as an example I remember when I was working with AT&T and I said to a development supervisor that the company should just quit stalling and at least in the metropolitan areas of the country lay a complete fiber network instead of repairing the telecom backbone because it could not handle what needed to be handled which he laughed at and said something along the lines of that won't happen for quite some time, then in three months they had to lay a new multi Fiber line to an area about 20 miles north of atlanta because the areas growth (especially in higher end customers and neighborhoods) was killing their copper lines with new people wanting UVERSE.

The mega companies will layoff and stall until they have absolutely no choice in every little market in every municipality in every city in every county in every state until they're forced to do it. This in many ways is just like the music/media market and the internet.

They will whine and cry about their profits and every single reason they can think up and stall and do nothing for 10 years and by then GOOGLE and small and or new corporate entities will have covered the whole country and the big players today will all be going out of business because they cannot pull there feet out of there own mud if you get my analogy.

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