×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the tell-me-more-about-the-word-unlimited dept.

Networking 316

An anonymous reader writes About a week ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asked for Verizon's justification on its policy of throttling users who pay for unlimited data usage. "I know of no past Commission statement that would treat 'as reasonable network management' a decision to slow traffic to a user who has paid, after all, for 'unlimited' service," the FCC wrote. In its response, Verizon has indicated that its throttling policy is meant to provide users with an incentive to limit their data usage. The company explained that "a small percentage of the customers on these [unlimited] plans use disproportionately large amounts of data, and, unlike subscribers on usage-based plans, they have no incentive not to do so during times of unusually high demand....our practice is a measured and fair step to ensure that this small group of customers do not disadvantage all others."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

There is no incentive because they PAY for it! (5, Insightful)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | about 4 months ago | (#47611289)

We kick you in the head because we care!

Re:There is no incentive because they PAY for it! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611423)

We give you tiny plate at all-you-can-eat buffet because we care.

Re:There is no incentive because they PAY for it! (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | about 4 months ago | (#47611665)

and when we are especially busy with people who order a la carte, we get the waiters to trip you on your way to the buffet...

Re:There is no incentive because they PAY for it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611893)

We give you tiny plate at all-you-can-eat buffet because we care.

and this is why we understand the angle of repose... AKA sausage link Jenga...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angle_of_repose [wikipedia.org]

Re:There is no incentive because they PAY for it! (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 months ago | (#47611515)

I was thinking the same thing about restaurants with "all you can eat" deals. :) Mostly because I'm hungry and haven't eaten since lunch time. :)

Re:There is no incentive because they PAY for it! (5, Interesting)

mikeiver1 (1630021) | about 4 months ago | (#47611617)

I have a Verizon account with 2 cells and one data card on the unlimited plan. I pay $216 a month for the whole thing. In the past they were to only internet I could get in the third world city of Santa Ana, CA that we lived in. We used to stream netflix and game on the connection, sometimes running well into the high teens of GB. I did get a notice from them to the effect that they were going to cap or throttle me should this continue. I responded that a lawsuit for breach of contract sounded fun and that I would be happy to take them there after contacting the press. I informed them that I had logs from my DEDICATED firewall showing the average transfer rates and volumes etc over past months and I would be happy to see them in court in front of a jury of "my" peers. It was not to long after that that the tower that they leased was dropped and the signal went to crap in our area. So fuck them I says, I built a very high gain Yagi/Uda and put it on the roof facing the tower that I now had to hit. I went from -103dBm to -52dBm and got the bit rate back up. I then started downloading ISOs for fun and pulled down near 23GB that month. All the while logging. They then called me again and I promptly told them that unlimited was what I signed on for and I was paying for. I was using 3G and they had 4G rolled in the area. I suggested that they move me to the 4g or stop calling and wasting both our time. They chose option 2. The phone, electric, banks, and gas companies are out of control but they pay big sums to the assholes on the hill so they can be. The load is transferred to the assholes of the middle class. Half the time I feel like I am going to burp up corporate cum from getting fucked so hard from so many different companies and the governments.

Re: There is no incentive because they PAY for it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611715)

I've hit 1tb in my monthly usage and they've never contacted me. They must have itnout for you.

Yes I know I'm abusing my plan. If it was a reasonable company I'd limit it. But the verizon, comcasts, and atts do everything they can to fuck over the consumer for more profit. So fuck em.

Re: There is no incentive because they PAY for it! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611897)

I wouldn't call that abuse, it's what you PAID for. If these swindling thieves at Verizon cannot provide 100% capacity to 100% of their customers at all times, then they are overselling their service and pocketing the money instead of using that money to build out their infrastructure. They are committing fraud.

I'm glad my ISP doesn't do any of this shit and I can use my full capacity 24/7.

Re:There is no incentive because they PAY for it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611883)

23gb? for a whole month i average at about 300gb..

Re:There is no incentive because they PAY for it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611933)

What, on mobile internet??

"....they have no incentive not to do so...." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611295)

...Which is exactly why they paid for or kept themselves locked into THEIR contract.

Is this really the biggest problem? (3, Insightful)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 4 months ago | (#47611299)

I've seen much bigger problems with cell phone internet than this. For instance, there's the tactic of selling "4G" service with the caveat that you get 4G speeds on "preferred websites" for the first 200MB, and then get throttled down. Give us net neutrality on phones first, then start working on regulating how they can sell it.

Re:Is this really the biggest problem? (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#47611385)

200mb is a joke at 20mbit/s.

anyways, the problem with penalizing the top 10% is that next month top 10% will have smaller use and the next month 10% is smaller and the next 10% is smaller... ending up with 100mbytes getting you into the top 10% users before long. what kind of "unlimited" is that?

Re:Is this really the biggest problem? (1)

flargleblarg (685368) | about 4 months ago | (#47611401)

200mb is a joke at 20mbit/s.

The GP said 200MB, not 200mb.

That said, yeah, even 200MB is a joke at 20mbit/s.

Re:Is this really the biggest problem? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#47611529)

If you're going to be pedantic, what's a millibit (lower case m is milli, not mega)?

Re:Is this really the biggest problem? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 4 months ago | (#47611613)

a militia doesn't exist - but a milibit per second does. It's 1 bit transferred every 1000 seconds.

Re:Is this really the biggest problem? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 4 months ago | (#47611621)

milibit... damn you autocorrect.

Re:Is this really the biggest problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611645)

What browser has an autocorrect feature?
And why did you turn it on?

Re:Is this really the biggest problem? (1)

meerling (1487879) | about 4 months ago | (#47611795)

Any measurement abbreviation where they expect it to be identified between two different measurements of the same type of subject (in this case data) by capitalization of the letters is a complete F-N fail of the first order.

Re:Is this really the biggest problem? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#47611815)

200xz is a joke at 20xz/s

in a post written all undercase.. you think i can afford a shift button???

Kinda like - (0)

RichMan (8097) | about 4 months ago | (#47611303)

Kinda like, getting into the car in the morning to go to work and being limited to 20mph as the roads are busy now.

Hmm, I guess that is how it works.

Re:Kinda like - (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611317)

No, it would be like buying a bus pass but then being told you're using it too much so they won't let you on the bus as an "incentive" to ride less.

Re:Kinda like - (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#47611459)

so they won't let you on the bus as an "incentive" to ride less.

They'll let you on the bus. But they will always force you to get off at the next stop and drive away, so you have to wait for the next bus, in order to get to your destination.

More Like -- (3, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | about 4 months ago | (#47611327)

Getting in the car and finding that Chris Christie shut down most of the lanes to gain political leverage.

Re:More Like -- (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611657)

Getting in the car and finding that Chris Christie shut down most of the lanes to gain political leverage.

It is more like getting in the car, and being killed by an axe murderer hiding in the backseat.

Re:More Like -- (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611699)

Jokes on you. My car is a deathtrap. I installed side-door gasoline tanks.

Re:Kinda like - (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 4 months ago | (#47611427)

no this is winding your governor down the more you drive, so if you drive 1 mile to work the governor is wide open and you can drive as fast as you like, but if you drive more than 20 miles the governor is wound to half so you're stuck at 40mph, if you somehow manage to drive more than 100 miles after that the governor is set to 90% which means you're stuck at 5mph for the rest of the day. Good luck getting home before tomorrow.

Re:Kinda like - (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#47611445)

Kinda like, getting into the car in the morning to go to work and being limited to 20mph as the roads are busy now.

No... it's like... the road sensor has detected that your vehicle has driven more miles in the past 30 days than 98% of the other vehicles on this particular road, therefore, whenever you happen to be on a side road at a junction, you will be given an automatic red light for an adjusted (increased) period of time in order to incentivize you driving fewer miles during rush hour.

Re:Kinda like - (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611557)

Kinda like, getting into the car in the morning to go to work and being limited to 20mph as the roads are busy now.

Hmm, I guess that is how it works.

That is exactly how it works, haven't you ever driven in rush hour traffic? Some days I'm lucky to hit 20mph.

Re:Kinda like - (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 4 months ago | (#47611693)

No, it's like the speed limit for sports cars is 20, everyone else can drive at 50. But only to ease congestion.

Except,,, (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 4 months ago | (#47611315)

If they don't actually have the resources to offer plans to subscribers without the disincentive of additional fees, then they shouldn't be offering such plans to customers in the first place.

Of course, both fees and throttling can equally be considered as disincentives, and the entire notion behind "unlimited" plans is that you wouldn't have to deal with any unexpected disincentives to continue use.

Re:Except,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611335)

How dare these people pay for unlimited data service and then use it.

God damn fucking assholes don't they know Verizon is cash strapped when it comes to building out infrastructure?!

Re:Except,,, (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#47611779)

Verizon is still providing unlimited data, as much as the user can download. It is only the speed of the download that is changing. Did the original service agreement provide for maximum available bandwidth, or a guaranteed minimum bandwidth? If not then the problem is only with the perception of the user.

I'm not a customer and not a heavy user so I don't know what the level of "throttling" really is and if the throttled rate is still useful. Say I got 50Mbps and it was throttled to 25Mbps, but still unlimited, I'd say that was good service. However if it was 50Mbps and dropped to 50kbps then I'd say it sucked.

But for PR reasons I'd rather let the current service agreement run out and then implement throttling when the sign up for a new service agreement (unless Verizon was so stupid as to provide a lifetime contract).

Re:Except,,, (1)

jeIIomizer (3670945) | about 4 months ago | (#47611857)

Verizon is still providing unlimited data, as much as the user can download.

What a bunch of bullshit. When you think of "unlimited," you don't think that they'll throttle you so hard your connection is useless anyway. This is just corporate lying.

Re:Except,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611929)

Verizon is still providing unlimited data, as much as the user can download.

What a bunch of bullshit. When you think of "unlimited," you don't think that they'll throttle you so hard your connection is useless anyway. This is just corporate lying.

I read my eulas... somewhat. And the only mention of this is that you're not guaranteed to receive the speeds they offer.
How they can legally go from that to "fairness" and "disincentives" like
1) it's a kids game that should even require words to explain for the whaaaambulance
2) like UN-LIMITED is a relative term in some way.

The game in the EULA is "we can't give you Infinity because physically it's humanly impossible to reach 100% efficiency on anything"
the actual result is "Going to youtube? kick him! down to the x Percent bucket. Why try to even give you near 90%? you can't prove we did it ... if you can, well, there's no real internet police! We have other content to serve someone in business class tier who also paid for 100%, but we'll never admit to HIM we oversold capacity... he paid n times more for the useless, lying SLAs"

Re: Except,,, (1)

s4m7 (519684) | about 4 months ago | (#47611877)

Well the contracts remain month to month after their term, unless you upgrade your phone or change your plan in some way. Those of us who are fighting to keep the unlimited plan have to buy retail price phones to upgrade.

So short answer, yes, they kinda were that stupid.

This would all be resolved... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611325)

...if the government would just cut the crap, close the loophole, and apply the common carrier designation to these greedy service providers.

Unfortunately, America is the greatest country in the world that money can buy.

Just can the customers. (1)

dubiousx99 (857639) | about 4 months ago | (#47611329)

If they aren't good for your business, just cancel their contracts.

Re:Just can the customers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611415)

Yep, this would be the most honest thing to do. That being said can you imagine the uproar?

Re:Just can the customers. (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#47611783)

Don't cancel them completely, just cancel the current contract and replace them the lower tier contract (call it "unlimited data limit over limited bandwidth").

Re: Just can the customers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611849)

They can't sign customers up for a different contract without their permission. Thats probably the only reason they keep unlimited around.

Re:Just can the customers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611935)

That's a good idea. But I have a better one. They should also share a blacklist with the other carriers of all the customers who dare to use their unlimited plans so that they never get a contract again, ever ! Ah business will be good in the free market of carriers.

cretinous because (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611337)

All they need to do is state a limit (200G 500G, 2T?, ...) at which throttling will kick in, and stop lying about 'unlimited'. American corporations are so addicted to getting away with telling lies that they don't seem to even know when they're doingit.

Re:cretinous because (1)

CrazyDuke (529195) | about 4 months ago | (#47611517)

It's more likely the meglomanical "because I said so" attitude, which can vary from ye'ol emperor with is invisible clothes to the tried and true "Shut up or else."

Re: cretinous because (2)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 4 months ago | (#47611885)

"I have altered the deal. Pray that I do not alter it further."

Re:cretinous because (2)

s4m7 (519684) | about 4 months ago | (#47611599)

Well, that's exactly what they're doing. The problem is they're doing it to those of us users who already have unlimited plans which they don't sell anymore, but are paying month to month and buying phones elsewhere to keep our contracts from being re-written. They won't be throttling the new "unlimited" customers because there aren't any.

Re:cretinous because (1)

Damarkus13 (1000963) | about 4 months ago | (#47611719)

The thing is, you're on a month to month contract. The honest thing for Verizon to do is simply cancel those contracts, admit that they are not willing to invest enough in infrastructure to accommodate unlimited plans, and take the temporary PR hit.

Instead they have chosen the path of a thousand papercuts. Every so often them try to screw those still on unlimited plans, and every time it causes some sort of PR headache.

Re:cretinous because (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#47611807)

I think they can handle "unlimited" plans, the problem is with users who think unlimited means maximum bandwidth and no limits on how much data is downloaded a month, whereas the ISPs really intended for unlimited to mean how much data can be downloaded a month. Even a dialup plan can be unlimited. Everyone I *hope* understood that "unlimited" did not mean "infinite" no matter what metric they thought it applied to.

Re:cretinous because (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 4 months ago | (#47611911)

"Unlimited" means "limited by the physical nature of the connection", in essence. We all agree that you can't break the laws of physics and get more data per month than your connection can handle. Therefore, if my connection is 20Mbps down, I should be able to take 20Mbps down 24/7 for the whole month. THAT is unlimited.

If Verizon can't handle that, they should put a cap on it and be honest that it's not an unlimited plan. You can't have it both ways.

Re:cretinous because (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#47611789)

What user honestly thought that "unlimited" meant "unlimited bandwidth"? I remember some of these people whining when their fast internet got slow merely because their neighbors started using the shared cables. What was unlimited was the cap on how much data could be downloaded per month, not a cap on the actual speed.

Funny (3, Insightful)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 4 months ago | (#47611343)

So... In short, the company wants me to pay full price for the service and expect me to not use it? I pay for a car, but I can not use it? Ok, I give up trying to understand the humans...

Re:Funny (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 4 months ago | (#47611817)

So... In short, the company wants me to pay full price for the service and expect me to not use it? I pay for a car, but I can not use it? Ok, I give up trying to understand the humans...

Corporations are not humans. And while I know you are trying to be funny, it's not a funny matter, it's serious. The Corporate Greed Culture has gone overboard, and this is a prime example of it.

Equal Share of Bandwidth (3, Interesting)

bondsbw (888959) | about 4 months ago | (#47611355)

Do the top users somehow get 100 Mbps during a time when I can only get 2 Mbps? If so, why is this allowed? If not, why is it a problem?

I don't recall any wireless service claiming that unlimited data would guarantee unlimited bandwidth (which is physically impossible). They usually use terms like "up to X Mbps", based on various factors such as signal strength and usage... so during peak times, everyone's bandwidth goes down equally.

Re:Equal Share of Bandwidth (5, Informative)

dunkindave (1801608) | about 4 months ago | (#47611441)

Except what Verizon is doing is throttling only people with "unlimited" plans during peak times. People on paid usage plans are not subject to the same throttling. This isn't apparent throttling because of congestion, this is Verizon actively saying that because you have an unlimited plan, they will not allow you to use the available bandwidth, while if you drop the unlimited plan and subscribe to a metered plan then you CAN use the available bandwidth. Unfortunately the quote by the Commissioner is being dropped in these later articles where he said that he can see no legitimate claim for reasonable network management to be based on which plan a user subscribes to.

Re:Equal Share of Bandwidth (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#47611821)

I would be in favor of throttling them after they exceed a certain download amount. Ie, first they have to prove that they're a heavy user.

Ie, they get exactly the same service as most normal non-entitled humans until they reach the normal human data cap. Once they hit that then their service is throttled, and the good thing is that they're still more special than normal humans like you or me in that they continue getting huge amounts of data without paying metered penalty rates only it comes slower (still fast enough to stream HD all day long).

Re:Equal Share of Bandwidth (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 4 months ago | (#47611507)

The bottom line is that without upgrading their networks, they can't provide the promised service to 100% of their customers. Divide and conquer. Cut off a small fraction of people they feel they can label as "greedy", and hurt them most, rather than admit they're in default on their contract obligations and upgrade their network. /. can kick and scream all they want, but idiots in Congress will happily buy it all up and ignore dissent like they do every time.

Re:Equal Share of Bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611567)

Don't forget the most important part of "Without upgrading their networks":
They like the subsidized incentives, but not so much the "using them to upgrade their networks" part of not-pocketing-it.

Re:Equal Share of Bandwidth (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 4 months ago | (#47611827)

Why do they have to upgrade? It is not necessarily their responsibility. The cables were good enough back when the customers signed up for the service. The only reason they're not good enough now is that the customer's usage has gone up (more movies to watch). What next, cable TV now has the responsibility to upgrade the quality of their television shows? If you don't like the provider then drop the service.

Re:Equal Share of Bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611583)

The bottom line is that without upgrading their networks

Sure they can! All they have to do is claim that they are a utility and request 2 billion dollars in government funds to lay new lines in New York city, then a year later turn around and claim they are *not* a utility so they are not bound to the rules of being one! It's a fool-proof plan. I mean, it worked for Verizon, didn't it?

Re:Equal Share of Bandwidth (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611685)

The bottom line is that without upgrading their networks, they can't provide the promised service to 100% of their customers.

So in other words, they're selling something they can't provide. Isn't that illegal? At the very least, its false advertisement or bait-and-switch.

Re:Equal Share of Bandwidth (1)

unrtst (777550) | about 4 months ago | (#47611869)

The bottom line is that without upgrading their networks, they can't provide the promised service to 100% of their customers.

Wrong (AFAICT).

They are actively throttling users. That is not the same as their network being unable to handle it, or for congestion to affect many users.

The users with metered plans are not being throttled. They may be using even more. Everyone could do that, and they would not throttle the metered users because they want that additional money. The unlimitted users are getting throttled when they hit some cap of MB/month. That's not unlimitted. Unlimitted would mean they should behave just like the metered plans, but they'd pay a flat fee.

As others have said, they should just terminate all of these contracts and offer those users something else. They are all on month to month. There's just an awful lot of them that ARE still profitable, and they're scared to lose that... so either it's worth it to keep them all or not, but they shouldn't be throttled like that (as much as I hate the idea of some very small percentage of folks ruining my day to day experience).

Personally, I'd like a more customizable rate... something like the way fractional T1's used to work (dedicated 256k up/down, and burstable to 1.5mbit if it's available... but some different rates in those places, especially on the high end). I'd be willing to wager this is quite possible (for 3g/4g/lte as well as cable/dsl/etc), but is just "too complicated" to market to people (quantity, 2gb/month, is easier to grasp than throughput, 256kbps; and they are very very different forms of measurement, with the former barely meaning anything - if you do all your downloads at 3am, you'll still hit your cap even though there was loads of extra bandwidth).

Well there is an issue with cellphones (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 months ago | (#47611647)

You may remember the Shannonâ"Hartley theorem from engineering class as it relates to the bandwidth of a given channel. Well with radio transmission, this becomes something you really have to think about. SNR is set by environmental noise and FCC transmission limits. Spectrum is something you only have a license to a small amount of. As such, the total bandwidth you can put out has a hard limit on it. Everyone on a tower shares that bandwidth and there's just nothing you can do to increase it. You can't "lay more fiber" or "use another laser" or anything like that which you can do on wired connections. On a given segment, there is just only so much bandwidth nature and regulations will let you have.

So the more grabby people get with that bandwidth, the less there is to go around. If someone is using as much as they can because they have their phone hooked to their computer doing torrents, that slows everyone else down, even if you are are just using it in small spurts to check your e-mail.

That's the thing with RF communications. There is only so much spectrum that is useful (different frequencies have different transmission characteristics), everyone wants a piece, so there is only so much you can get, and everyone on a given system shares the same stuff. You have to share and play nice, you can't just build out more capacity to easily solve the problem.

It is realistic to tell a cable company with an overloaded segment "just allocate more channels to DOCSIS" because they can do that. They have the bandwidth on the wire. You can't tell the phone company "just use more spectrum" because they only have so much they are licensed to use.

Re:Well there is an issue with cellphones (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 4 months ago | (#47611695)

Sharing the finite bandwidth amongst customers is fine. Giving a lower share because that customer is on an unlimited contract is where the problem lies.

Well there is an issue with cellphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611697)

That's not the fault of the end-user... That's their fault for selling it that way. Buy more spectrum. Do what you say you're going to do.

Re:Well there is an issue with cellphones (1)

ortholattice (175065) | about 4 months ago | (#47611705)

Spectrum is something you only have a license to a small amount of. As such, the total bandwidth you can put out has a hard limit on it. Everyone on a tower shares that bandwidth and there's just nothing you can do to increase it. You can't "lay more fiber" or "use another laser" or anything like that which you can do on wired connections. On a given segment, there is just only so much bandwidth nature and regulations will let you have.

The solution is to add more cells (towers). That's the whole idea behind cell phones. How do you think the humongous bandwidth used by say downtown Manhattan cell phones is achieved?

Re:Well there is an issue with cellphones (2)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 4 months ago | (#47611721)

Available user bandwidth = total tower bandwidth / number of users. Given that total tower bandwidth is limited by spectrum allocation the easiest way to increase user bandwidth is to reduce the service radius of the towers (by having more towers, each cell smaller) so that the number of users per tower is smaller. The cheapest way is to throttle users. If the cell companies don't feel like spending to upgrade their network to be sufficient to handle what they are selling then they should find a way to get rid of those pesky unlimited contracts and meter everyone.

Re:Equal Share of Bandwidth (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611793)

Do the top users somehow get 100 Mbps during a time when I can only get 2 Mbps?

No, it's the other way around. When you're getting 10 Mbps, the unlimited users are only getting 1 Mbps. They throttle the top unlimited users more than they throttle other users.

Verizon's reasoning is that the unlimited users aren't paying per MB, so they have no reason not to use the service during peak times. Thus, Verizon throttles those top unlimited users during peak times. This leaves more bandwidth for other users.

I believe the criteria are something like

1. Must be a peak time when there are more requests for bandwidth than they can handle.
2. Must be an unlimited subscriber.
3. Must be one of the top bandwidth users.

So if they don't have to throttle anyone, they don't throttle the unlimited users. If it's not an unlimited plan, they don't do the extra throttling. If it's a peak time and an unlimited user, they still don't throttle extra if this isn't one of the top users. As best I can see, they have a bunch of users who use the unlimited plans all day. They throttle those users extra during peak times.

And in terms of promising what they can't provide, they no longer offer unlimited plans. You can only get an unlimited plan by having had one before they stopped selling them. If you don't like the unlimited service, I'm sure they'd be happy to switch you into another plan without unlimited usage.

And the FCC will do... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611357)

probably nothing.

They were castrated during the Bush era and Obama has done nothing but continue down the same line.

Re:And the FCC will do... (2)

tarball (34682) | about 4 months ago | (#47611467)

So no comments?

This is a bipartisan problem. Both sides are lobbied.

tarball

Re:And the FCC will do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611675)

It's your own fault for voting for Bushbama.

Re:And the FCC will do... (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 4 months ago | (#47611825)

It's congress that's the problem, not so much the executive branch in this case. Congress needs to gut these bastards but then they'd lose all the free trips and whores they've been provided.

Fucking with you because we can (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 4 months ago | (#47611377)

Now fuck off, little people and pay your bills.

Smithers, release the hounds.

I don't buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611389)

Remember they're the ones that lied about Netflix data throttling then after they we're called out they tried to lie more.

Re:I don't buy it (2)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 4 months ago | (#47611533)

If you lie about lying that's like telling the truth.

sounds more like (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 4 months ago | (#47611403)

1. incentive for customers to sue for breach of contract
2. incentive for customers to take their business elsewhere.

I have no sympathy for Verizon.

Re:sounds more like (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#47611469)

1. incentive for customers to sue for breach of contract

It's not breach of contract, because the contract and terms of use says they can do (basically) whatever they like in terms of throttling.

It is deceptive advertising, because they are selling it as an Unlimited service. The FTC should be on their ass for telling bold faced lies in the way they describe their service marketingwise and in the ad material.

ummm no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611435)

ummmmm.... did you happen to forget the part where they are paying for it??? You don't get to discourage anyone of anything they are paying for... plain and simple.

anonymous coward? ignorant or complacent slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611451)

Um... switched networks don't work the way verizon just explained. Verizon is lying and apparently the FCC is to dumb to be able to fact check that with 10 minutes and google.

No, you can't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611463)

Verizon is trying to apply the FCC's cable modem rules...

"For example, if cable modem subscribers in a particular neighborhood are experiencing congestion, it may be reasonable for a broadband provider to temporarily limit the bandwidth available to individual end users in that neighborhood who are using a substantially disproportionate amount of bandwidth."

Except that they are explicitly forbidden from doing that on the 700MHz band:

... with its continuing obligation under the 700 MHz C Block open platform rules, [under which] Verizon Wireless may not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of their choosing.

Verizon (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 4 months ago | (#47611481)

Redefining "unlimited" to mean whatever the fuck we want it to mean. You think you're mad now, but wait until next month when we redefine "free."

Such weasels ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#47611493)

Verizon has indicated that its throttling policy is meant to provide users with an incentive to limit their data usage

This is mostly about the fact that their business model is based on over-subscription, and they make their money by lying about what they're really selling you.

A user who has paid for unlimited bandwidth doesn't want or need an incentive to use less bandwidth -- this is just weaseling out of the contract by making sure you can't actually get that unlimited data.

They feed us horseshit while smiling at us, and somehow they expect us to not notice.

Essentially Verizon are lying assholes who are trying to not actually give unlimited bandwidth, and they're trying to make it sound like it is for the customer's own good.

I hope the FCC sees this for what it is and smacks them down.

Of course, that would assume the FCC hasn't been taken over a by a former Cable and Wireless lobbyist who will support the corporations in anything they want.

The cable companies are lying assholes, but they don't need to worry about it, because the head of the FCC is on the payroll -- or at least needs to keep his options open for after he's done as much damage as his term at the FCC allows.

Verizon can cancel out of contract unlimited data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611497)

I assume they dont because they would have to cancel them all, and they are making a net profit. Too many customers would probably turn over and it would be a net loss.

So they clearly just want to increase profits. But I don't think they can justified discriminating based on plan, especially with the restrictions on the 700mhz spectrum they purchased.

just call it what it is (1)

silfen (3720385) | about 4 months ago | (#47611499)

Stop offering "unlimited" plans and start calling it the "2G" or the "5G" or the "500M" plan and everybody will be OK with it.

Re:just call it what it is (2)

Damarkus13 (1000963) | about 4 months ago | (#47611747)

They haven't offered unlimited plans for years now. This is about customers who are still on unlimited plans and haven't yet "upgraded" to a paid usage plan. These people are not in any sort of long term contract. Verizon could simply tell them, "Your unlimited plan is gone, pick a currently offered plan," but they don't want to deal with the PR nightmare that would spawn.

I don't think it mean what you think it means. (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about 4 months ago | (#47611501)

http://www.merriam-webster.com... [merriam-webster.com]

Re:I don't think it mean what you think it means. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611659)

What? Unlimited is not un-limit-ed? Inconceivable!

I would rather pay for a set bandwidth cap (1)

mrflash818 (226638) | about 4 months ago | (#47611505)

I would rather pay for a set bandwidth, unlimited usage at that bandwidth level, than "faster, but you get charged penalties for exceeding your monthly cap."

My DSL used to be unlimited, _real_ unlimited, and I miss that type of service/honesty/product.

Flipside... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611513)

Customer lowers payment to provide incentive to not be douchebags.

How is this different? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611523)

Verizon has for the most part ignored the FCC requirements for the 4G spectrum they bought. You can't connect compatible devices to the the Verizon network until they approve of the device. There are already additional restriction on the unlimited users of 4G against tethering.
And while the well "we/you need to not be their customers" sentiment is great, for many of the users they are the only reliable network available in their area.

Loony as a tune (5, Informative)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 4 months ago | (#47611571)

Verizon is just plain psychotic. When they were advertising the upcoming 4G LTE service years ago, their advertising copy said users would be able to stream video and download HD movies. All kinds of wonderful things that weren't possible with the new caps they'd put on 3G. Then they rolled out LTE with the same caps as 3G. So, sure you could download Air Bud in HD but that'd be your data for the month.

Now they're all excited about XLTE doubling (or more) the speed available thru Verizon's network. I've seen those speeds and they're amazing. Absolutely freaking amazing. And totally useless to anyone without an unlimited account. WTF is a new customer supposed to do with 80 Mb/s down and 40 Mb/s up? That's the kind of speed I saw near Atlanta. Holy Hell, that's fast. Faster than any wired service I've had. And totally useless if you can only move 2 gigs a month. Why are they spending all this money speeding up their network when it's wasted on their customers. It's crazy.

And the numbers Verizon is throwing around don't make a lick of sense. (Of course, I can't find the exact numbers now so I'll guestimate.) They say around 20% of their customer base still has unlimited data. They say 95% of those people use less than 5 gigs of data per billing cycle. If those two statements are true, why is Verizon upset? They should be ecstatic. They cut off unlimited data in 2010 so they're claiming an amazing retention rate. And the vast, vast, vast majority of those people are overpaying for what they use. And they're paying full MSRP for unsubsidized equipment. Why on earth would Verizon want to rock that boat?

Re:Loony as a tune (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 4 months ago | (#47611595)

Why on earth would Verizon want to rock that boat?

For the LOLs?

nigga bigga (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611669)

Provide me an incentive to limit trollin! Fuck yall up the cloaca!!!

class action? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611711)

This seems ripe for a class action suit. It kinda sucks that lawyers generally get disproportionate funds from a class action, but it can really make a poorly behaving company take notice. So, Verizon obviously misrepresented their level of service calling it "unlimited" -- if it was unlimited or even minimally limited it would at worst be subject to throttling necessary to keep the minimal subscriber at their bandwidth and at best subject to throttling only after "limited" tiers are throttled first. What about damages? Can we identify how much they were throttled? If not, I would say any time this throttling was in place they should only pay as much as the next non-unlimited level down the hierarchy. The difference should be the damages. I expect the differences would be a huge chunk of change for Verizon.

Keep voting, sheep (5, Insightful)

ourlovecanlastforeve (795111) | about 4 months ago | (#47611723)

What I don't understand is how we're still allowing carriers to call their service "unlimited."

When I pay my water bill and I am told I get unlimited water, I don't expect the water company to decrease the flow of water to a trickle if I take too many showers.

If they did that, there would be an uprising.

When I pay the electric company for electricity I don't expect them to decrease the voltage on my line if I leave the TV on while I'm sleeping.

So... how is it that Verizon gets to tell me I am paying for unlimited data, but not provide unlimited data?

Where is the uprising for this lie?

Verizon Math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611729)

>a small percentage of the customers on these [unlimited] plans use disproportionately large amounts of data

There's always going to be a 1% that use more data than the other 99%. It's called "Math". I know Verizon finds that awfully difficult, but I would have thought they'd have upped their hiring requirements to include at least a minimum of a GED.

Because we care (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 4 months ago | (#47611839)

"...our practice is a measured and fair step to ensure that this small group of customers do not disadvantage all others."

Because if anyone is going to be putting someone at a disadvantage, that's going to be us.

Sincerely,

Verizon

P.S. Fuck You

Sarbanes-Oxley? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611855)

So the CEO and CFO have certified the financials (including all revenue sources), and then the company admits it hasn't built enough capacity for the plans that it's selling?

throttling thoughput (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611917)

We employ a choke hold to encourage our victims to use less oxygen.

Lawsuit waiting to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47611919)

Wondering how long until someone sues them for breach of contract, because they are paying for unlimited access and receiving only limited one...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?