Verizon Makes Sweeping Data Plan Policy Changes

Well, this isn't going to sit well with consumers. And it's something that AT&T executives just have to be smiling about. Currently, AT&T doesn't throttle user data; they have implemented caps, but not a throttle plan. And now, it's one more reason to keep that iPhone 4 on AT&T instead of switching to Verizon. It's difficult to tell how long this particular data has been available from Verizon Wireless, but the timing of the discovery couldn't be worse. New policy changes at Verizon Wireless could very well impact data users, particularly those who rely on heavily on a mobile broadband card or a tethering plan.

Verizon is now saying that they hold the key to your data usage, and if you exceed your threshold, they'll throttle you for the rest of your existing billing cycle and the immediate next billing cycle. That's up to two full months of throttling if you're caught using too much data. The company will reserve the right to do so for the top 5% of heavy data users, but given that customer numbers change all the time, that could include you one day but not the next, we're guessing. The change is being made right as the iPhone is about to launch, and it's probably not a coincidence. iPhone users will be relying on data quite heavily, and Verizon is doing everything they can to prevent a mess that AT&T has, which is to say that some users are suffering due to heavy use by others.

But who is Verizon to make that call? Who is Verizon to say that one email is more important than one YouTube video? We're all paying for the service, so why throttle users who take advantage of the product they buy? It just seems backwards to us, but not at all surprising. Also, Verizon is reserving the right to manipulate data coming and going on the network. For example, if you're streaming Netflix to a smartphone, they could throttle that data and strip out bits to make the streaming easier. You're not likely to see the difference on a small phone, but what if you can? You have no way to argue. Also, if you're uploading a high-res image for an important gallery, Verizon can now strip colors and bits to make the upload easier, effectively destroying your image.

It's not going to go over well, that's for sure, but at this point we kind of doubt that anything will change. The days of unlimited use is over, sadly.
Tags:  ATT, Verizon, Data, throttling