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Verizon Wireless Caves To FCC Pressure, Says It Won't Throttle 4G Users 46

MetalliQaZ writes Verizon Wireless was scheduled to begin throttling certain LTE users today as part of an expanded "network optimization" program, but has decided not to follow through with the controversial plan after criticism from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. All major carriers throttle certain users when cell sites get too congested, but Wheeler and consumer advocates objected to how carriers choose which customers to throttle. The fact that Verizon was throttling only unlimited data users showed that it was trying to boost its profits rather than implementing a reasonable network management strategy, Wheeler said.
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Verizon Wireless Caves To FCC Pressure, Says It Won't Throttle 4G Users

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  • what's this? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @07:22PM (#48042773)

    A sensible decision from the FCC ?
    Next you're gonna tell me they decided against the fast lanes?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Verizon Wireless Caves To FCC Pressure, Says It Won't Throttle 4G Users - opting to strangle them instead.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        These fuckers just can't stomach the fact that I'm still on an unlimited data plan.

  • GrumpyCatGood.JPG

    I've been keeping an eye on my speed today, waiting to see the hammer come down but my connection kept chugging away. Got both 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 10 at full speed.

  • by Wootery ( 1087023 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @07:58PM (#48043031)

    Verizon confirms new 'strangulation' policy.

  • 4G is Losing to Wifi (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @08:25PM (#48043221)

    This is really just a PR spin on desperation. Verizon can't afford to alienate 4G users, they invested heavily in 4G (and dumped all new fios investments) because they thought 4G would be a cash cow. But all the data caps and throttling they've done have chased customers to free wifi hotspots and there ain't no reason to come back. []

    • by ( 245670 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @08:38PM (#48043287)

      It's not PR spin. They're not allowed to throttle LTE service for grandfathered unlimited accounts. It's part of the agreement they made with the government when they bought the 700Mhz spectrum. They were probably hoping everyone had forgotten.

      • It's not PR spin. They're not allowed to throttle LTE service for grandfathered unlimited accounts. It's part of the agreement they made with the government when they bought the 700Mhz spectrum. They were probably hoping everyone had forgotten.

        What were the terms of that agreement, exactly? Because they sold the 700Mhz spectrum they bought to T-Mobile for $2.4 billion. Are they still bound by the terms of that auction, even though they no longer hold the fruits of that auction?

        • by ( 245670 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @09:26PM (#48043569)

          As far as I know, they only sold their A and B blocks and still have the C blocks that they bought.

        • I'd imagine that this problem will eventually resolve itself, as Verizon isn't letting users keep their $30 a month Unlimited data plans when they get a new phone on contract.

          Sure, some people are willing to pay $750 for their shiny new iPhone 6 to keep their unlimited plan, but I'll bet that most rather get it for $199 on a new contract and get downgraded to a 2 GB plan.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Yeah, and then you pay more in the long run because the 2gb plan actually costs more than keeping your old unlimited. Amortized over two years (average life of the phone) costs $10 more than my existing voice + unlimited data, plus an extra $15/month if you go over your cap (assuming you use 2.1gb every month) comes out to $240 more for just the plan + $360 for overages + $200 you paid for your phone = $800. Far under the $600 price tag for the brand new GS4 I bought over a year ago. For me, paying retai

          • I don't think you appreciate the value of that unlimited plan. There's even an aftermarket where people sell and trade old unlimited plans. And various tricks, like adding a new line and switching new phone over to your old unlimited line (for $10 a month over 2 years, plus price of the phone, which is still only like $240 to $340 or so depending on the price of your particular phone). That's what I did recently to get a new phone.

            I've had a death grip on my unlimited plan and go to great lengths to keep it

      • Unfortunately it hasn't stopped AT&T from throttling the speeds of their grandfathered unlimited plans. If you go over 2GB of data in a month, they throttle you to Edge speeds.

      • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

        I wonder how many people are left on those grandfathered accounts. The only way to stay on it is to continue to buy a phone outside of Verizon and swap in a sim card. As soon as you buy so much as a lollipop from the Verizon store you are switched to the new plan.

        • Not true. You can buy your phone directly from Verizon. You have to pay full price, tho. I've seen me do it. When the S5 came out, I walked into a store (a real Verizon store, not a partner store) and explained that I wanted to make sure my unlimited data plan got transferred. Walked out 5 minutes later with unlimited data on my new phone and around $700 less dollars to my name. And I can use my old phone as a mini tablet.

          The only time I've run into trouble was the last time I traveled internationally

    • by kiphat ( 809902 )
      +1 if I had mod-points. That was an interesting read. I knew that shit would back-fire. Just like the damn cable companies and their bullshit price-gouging will eventually bite them in the ass.
  • by mikeiver1 ( 1630021 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @08:33PM (#48043265)
    I wonder how he is going to be coming down on net neutrality? Anyone care to bet that it will be on the side of the internet providers? Give us a little sugar and then fuck us up the poop shoot!
    • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @07:32AM (#48045435) Homepage

      To be fair, he didn't actually do anything regarding throttling except to voice disapproval. As someone else mentioned, making noise and taking action are two different things, and so far he's really only done the former. It's an improvement over past chairmen, perhaps, but not something we should necessarily be satisfied with.

  • by Yakasha ( 42321 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @08:35PM (#48043277) Homepage
    I want to hate you! Stop being so fucking reasonable!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I do still carry an unlimited data plan. I have been tethering for free for a few years now too, (wifi hotspot, bluetooth and via USB cable). As I reach somewhere from 6-9GB per month now of data usage, I still have my connection but it is throttled from the typical 15-20mbps, to more like 500kbps or less.

    They're already throttling... what's this stupid FCC BS about? They don't have control.

  • Scandinavia (at least where I live) have been throttling their cellphone unlimited data plan users for a very long time, they don't ever admit to this so how do I know? Fairly simple. All four indicators (signal strength) indicates that the reception is top notch. Doesn't miss a call, but when you try to connect the phone to the computer to use it as a modem...things change pretty fast. The signal remains at full strength, but after surfing a few pages (or using roughly 1mbit), I got the famous 404 ..
  • "Caves to FCC Pressure"? Really?

    Oh that poor Verizon, can't just exploit its customers like so many sheep to the slaughter, what is this world coming to.

    Samzenpus is really trying to turn this place into FoxSlash, isn't he? This some of the most sycophantic corporate-asslicking prose I've seen here so far.

  • Thanks Wheeler (Score:3, Insightful)

    by allquixotic ( 1659805 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @09:44AM (#48046191)

    While I still dislike most of the political rhetoric coming out of Verizon and Verizon Wireless, I have to concede that this is a huge benefit for me personally. I'm an unlimited 4G customer who uses my phone as my primary Internet connection (I pay an extra $30/month for the privilege of "legally" tethering via the built-in Mobile Hotspot app that comes standard with Android; the app is disabled if you don't pay up).

    It's plenty fast enough for my needs, even when the network is congested. It's a perfectly viable primary Internet connection, with native IPv6, and can be shared with desktops, laptops, smart devices, tablets, and other phones using 802.11ac, Bluetooth, or USB RNDIS.

    I'm perfectly fine with being temporarily slowed down if the tower I'm on is congested. All they have to do is use a fair queue algorithm, not too dissimilar to what the Linux kernel's I/O scheduler does. But what was being proposed was to single out unlimited data users who use more than a certain amount of data, and slow them down artificially even more than everyone else.

    I think this brought me back from the brink of having to face the prospect of getting ADSL or cable again. The problem with these services, in my area at least, is that every time we've ever tried them, they prove to have about a 50% uptime. That is to say, they're very intermittently available. They may not go down for 2 weeks at a stretch every month, but you'll certainly experience 10, 20, or 30 different 2 or 3 minute dropout periods during the course of a single day; sometimes the dropouts are longer, and sometimes there are more or less of them. I experience nothing of the sort with LTE.

    While it would take the construction of many more towers in suburban and urban areas to be able to offer *every* customer unlimited data on LTE (or even to increase the typical monthly cap from around 2 GB to around 200 GB), and some people think that it would require the construction of "too many" towers, I'm still glad that this decision benefits me.

    I'm certainly not going to become a Verizon Wireless booster, singing their praises on high; but this gives me a little respite from the endless barrage of anti-consumer laws and corporate practices that have been coming down the pipe lately.

    A little bit of sanity goes a long way, in this case. For me and thousands of others who still have unlimited data.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You're throwing away 30 dollars a month. Paying to have it unlocked doesn't make it legal. It's already legal.

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