Verizon's Network Optimization (Throttling) Begins for Top 5% of 3G Customer Using 2GB/Month

Verizon Wireless's "Data Disclosure" page today revealing company's "throttling" plans for 3G customers who still have an unlimited data plan with the company, "As of August 2011, the top 5% of data users were using 2 GB or more of data each month."In a new policy that went into effect on Thursday, Verizon says, " […]

Verizon Wireless's "Data Disclosure" page today revealing company's "throttling" plans for 3G customers who still have an unlimited data plan with the company, "As of August 2011, the top 5% of data users were using 2 GB or more of data each month."

In a new policy that went into effect on Thursday, Verizon says, " ... customers within the top 5 (percent) of Verizon Wireless data users, may have their data speeds periodically reduced. This reduction will last for the remainder of the current billing cycle as well as the one immediately following. This is to make sure all users enjoy high quality network performance even when on a congested cell site."

Verizon wants everyone to know that there method of "throttling" is not like AT&T and T-Mobile. In fact Verizon doesn't call its methods "throttling" but rather "Network Optimization". It states:

"With throttling, your wireless connection is slowed down for your entire cycle, 100 (percent) of the time, no matter where you are. Network Optimization balances the best possible experience on the network and for the customer. Network Optimization Practices is more precise and requires more management than throttling, however it provides the greatest balance for everyone. So, if you're in the top 5 (percent) of data users, your connection is slowed only when you are in a congested cell site."

Here is the main note we received showing that this new practice went live as of yesterday:

Beginning 9/15, we will start identifying customers who meet these criteria and will expand to others in the base after customer communications are completed. Network Optimization Practices only goes into effect when an Internet or Smartphone device with an unlimited plan/feature falls into the top 5% of data usage and is on a congested cell site.

Here is how the throttling process will work:

Verizon Wireless is always looking for ways to give customers the superior experience they expect from our network - an amazing resource that - shared by tens of millions of customers. To achieve this, customers within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users, may have their data speeds periodically reduced. This reduction will last for the remainder of the current billing cycle as well as the one immediately following. This is to make sure all users enjoy high quality network performance even when on a congested cell site.

Who could potentially fall under this new practice? Customers who meet all of the following:

  • Have a 3G internet or 3G smartphone
  • Have an unlimited or feature data plan
  • Are among the top 5% of data users
  • Are on a congested cell site

Reps are being told to offer these as solutions to customers who want to avoid throttling:

  • Upgrade to a 4G LTE smartphone
  • Migrate to a usage-based (tiered) data plan
  • Use WiFi more often

Here is Verizon's Data Optimization page with a full FAQ: