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Verizon To Throttle High-Bandwidth Users 305

Posted by timothy
from the joining-the-club dept.
tekgoblin writes "Verizon has enacted a new policy today that allows them to throttle 'high' bandwidth users on their network. We're not sure exactly what 'high' means but it is probably over 2GB of data per month. This comes as the iPhone launches on Verizon's network. The policy is said to only affect the top 5% of data users on the network. When these 5% of users hit the soft limit they will be throttled during peak times of the day. From the note sent to customers: 'Verizon Wireless strives to provide customers the best experience when using our network, a shared resource among tens of millions of customers. To help achieve this, if you use an extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users we may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand. Our proactive management of the Verizon Wireless network is designed to ensure that the remaining 95% of data customers aren't negatively affected by the inordinate data consumption of just a few users.'"
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Verizon To Throttle High-Bandwidth Users

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  • Aka: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 03, 2011 @08:46PM (#35098952)

    Also known as: We don't want to look like AT&T when a shit ton of people start using their iPhone on our network.

    • Also known as: We don't want to look like AT&T when a shit ton of people start using their iPhone on our network.

      Since Verizon won't have simultaneous voice and data they probably won't have to worry about repeating AT&T's 'data delivery debacle'. Once their LTE (aka G4'ish) is available to phones (this summer?) it should help speed things along (but they're probably still going to throttle as many people as they can just to make sure 'unlimited data' is only a marketing tool and not an actual product/service).

      • Except that very few phones use LTE, and nothing that Apple makes uses it. I'm guessing that they're trying to prevent people using a tether as their broadband replacement from sagging their backhaul.

        And unlimited is a ruse, just like 4G is a ruse, but we knew that. Upthread they threw out 2G as a cap, but no one has any evidence at all for that, and I frequently go over that amount with impunity on their "unlimited" plan. So, be careful of the rumors you listen to.

      • LTE won't fix the problems if the problems arise from the network itself. Like most mobile providers, AT&T refuse to invest in infrastructure to ensure stability of the network. They're fine taking customer funds but not upgrading anything. Having worked for a telco, it's actually common practice to underinvest and over sell.

      • by Sepodati (746220)

        It's still unlimited. Verizon is just going to control how fast you get there.

  • What we need is to increase the throughput of the internet as a whole by two orders of magnitude. Then, nobody will care what bandwidth you are using. Increasing friction is not the answer. We need to grease the wheels of the internet. Internet2 anyone?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrEricSir (398214)

      The problem isn't the protocol, it's wireless bandwidth. Even with better hardware and better compression, there's only so much data you can cram in the airwaves.

      • Bullshit. If there's 1000 customers in a given area and you only have 1gig of bandwidth, either give everyone 1mb or less connections or only sell 500 phones with 2mb connections. This idea that any ISP can only pay for 1/100th the bandwidth they actually need, sell all their customers 25mb/sec connections that they know their infrastructure can never support and then when no one can get their advertised speeds blame the problems on the users "over using" the very thing, no, the ONLY THING they actually pai
        • by kaiser423 (828989)
          Maybe you didn't get the memo dude, but mobile phones are, like *mobile*.

          When 30,000+ people all get within one square mile, like at a sporting event, large conference, or a downtown area like Mahattan, etc what are they to do? They can't magically shit more airwaves in order to give everyone what you claim they paid for.
          • by timeOday (582209)
            Well, they could put up more transceivers (either closer-spaced or with more directional gain) so each phone is transmitting less power and using up a smaller zone of the bandwidth. Apparently "picocells" and "femtocells" have ranges as small as 200m [thinkfemtocell.com].

            I'm really curious what's the density of cell transceivers in places like Times Square or Cowboys Stadium but I couldn't find it.

            • by GooberToo (74388)

              No matter how you slice it, there is only so much bandwidth to go around. Adding more phones doesn't magically transform RF capabilities to allow for more bandwidth.

              There are many different limits and you seem to be conflating them all.

              • by timeOday (582209)

                No matter how you slice it, there is only so much bandwidth to go around.

                The whole point is how finely you can slice it. You must have thought by "transcievers" I meant handsets, but I was referring to the infrastructure. And yes, that does make it possible to support more handsets in a given area.

      • by whoever57 (658626)
        If the problem is wireless bandwidth why are wireless companies pushing so hard against network neutrality?

        I'm not saying that you are wrong, just pointing out that the anti-network neutrality push is really a push for monopoly rents that has nothing to do with technical limitations.
        • by MrEricSir (398214)

          I think you're confused by what net neutrality means.

          But in any case, the wireless spectrum has physical limitations; I don't think anyone would argue with that. From a purely economic standpoint, things that are limited are generally sold to the highest bidder. So a tiered, pay-per-use system would give the providers of the service more money than a flat system with a fixed monthly rate. This is why net neutrality is good for users, but bad for providers.

          • Re:Bandwidth, People (Score:4, Informative)

            by whoever57 (658626) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @11:49PM (#35100328) Journal
            I don't think you understand what net neutrality means.

            Net neutrality and monthly data transfer limits are orthogonal.

            Net neutrality means that ISPs don't discriminate between packets with different sources or destinations. In other words, they treat packets from Google with the same priority as packets from the search engine that your neighbor just started from his house. However, once you use your monthly allowance, then the ISP shuts you off, or slows down all packets* going to your device.

            * When I write "all packets" obviously, there may be reasons to treat media streams differently from emails, but again, according to net neutrality principles it should not matter who is providing the video stream or the emails.
            • How much do you want to bet that what you get from Congress has nothing at all to do with your definition.

              Loser streaks his state capitol? (no videos please we're both /.ers)

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        Rustbelt telcos did not roll out beyond voice, text and pics. Now their lack of backhaul is starting to show and they are running around blaming users.
      • We've got plenty of Big Sky and few airwaves here in Montana. They'll limit me anyway.
  • by rta (559125) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @08:55PM (#35099056)

    What i don't understand is why the network providers keep pushing mobile video and tethering.

    T-mobile is pushing their video chat... Sprint is saying you can upload live video directly to the web etc.

    The networks already can't handle the level of data usage they currently get, yet they're pushing these very high bandwidth services. Don't get me wrong, i like that my t-mo G2 with stock firmware can do wifi and USB tethering. But i would also like it if my "4G" phone on the "4G" network got more than 400kbps download rates (in one of their 4G launch cities). If there's any level of adoption of this stuff it'll bring their networks to a halt and not due to any top 5% users.

    • What i don't understand is why the network providers keep pushing mobile video and tethering.

      Additional fees. Tethering is an extra $20 per month (for 2GB?). I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually offer a 'professional' data plan that doesn't throttle excessive users for an additional fee.

      • by omglolbah (731566)

        The charge for tethering is such a scam :p

        Here in Norway you pay for data and that is that. How you use it doesnt matter as long as it goes through the phone somehow.
        Disabling tethering on a phone would cause a major issue here... trying to charge for it would be commercial suicide....

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Have you never heard of high performance motor vehicles that can do 200 miles per hour or more, far in excess of the speed limit. Much the same as any product with hyped up performance, it is all about the inflated profit margin.

      Of course make any attempt to use that performance and you are immediately penalised. In the case of bandwidth marketing, it has always been a lie, since dial up modems, companies always selling far more than they can actually provide.

      Blaming the customer for product failure, h

    • by grapeape (137008)

      Because they want you to pay for it...they just dont want you to actually use it.

    • by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Friday February 04, 2011 @11:36AM (#35103808)

      There are other amusing tidbits too. My verizon droid came with skype that refuses to run unless I *disable* wifi.

      I can download the non verizon version that refuses to run on 3G... but then I just get confused and want to lie down for a while.

  • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @08:56PM (#35099082)

    Most people understand that there's not enough licensed RF spectrum to let millions of users treat their cell phone as if it were a portable 20 Mb/sec cable connection running uTorrent and Netflix 24/7 at 100% saturation. So why don't the carriers advertise their service with a flat rate, but with terms like "3 Mb/s for the first 2 GB transferred per billing period, 500 kb/s for the next 2 GB, and 128 kb/s after that"?

    Seems this would allow them to stick to the spirit of the law when it comes to "unlimited" service offers, while keeping the network from being either too congested or too expensive.

    • by guyminuslife (1349809) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @08:59PM (#35099114)

      I'm the CEO of Verizon Wireless. I'm intrigued by your idea. Just one question: how does your plan make us more money?

      • by causality (777677)

        I'm the CEO of Verizon Wireless. I'm intrigued by your idea. Just one question: how does your plan make us more money?

        Satisfied customers who think you're better than your competition would be a good start. That's if long-term viability and profitability is something you want to cultivate. Otherwise, go ahead and screw them over as much as you can to pad this quarter's results, then watch them jump ship at the first opportunity.

    • Most people understand that there's not enough licensed RF spectrum to let millions of users treat their cell phone as if it were a portable 20 Mb/sec cable connection running uTorrent and Netflix 24/7 at 100% saturation. So why don't the carriers advertise their service with a flat rate, but with terms like "3 Mb/s for the first 2 GB transferred per billing period, 500 kb/s for the next 2 GB, and 128 kb/s after that"?

      Seems this would allow them to stick to the spirit of the law when it comes to "unlimited" service offers, while keeping the network from being either too congested or too expensive.

      Better would be a burst-allowance: 3MB/s for the first 10 MB in a minute, then 500kbps for the next 10 MB, then 128kbps after that. This would allow fast response for short queries, and not shortchange the guy who does 2GB in the first two days of the month, and then just intermittent web browsing for the rest of the month. It also shapes the traffic better, because he's not swamping the network during those first two days.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        So then Netflix or any other streaming video is now totally worthless. Thanks.

      • by LodCrappo (705968)

        one problem with your proposal is that it takes nearly 3 minutes to transfer 10MB at 500Kbps, so the 128kpbs limit would never be imposed. Fix the math, most likely increase the sampling period to more like 5 or 10 minutes, add a huge amount of equipment on the carrier side to track all this in real time, pass the cost of said equipment on to the consumers, and it just might work

        that'll be $0.02

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday February 03, 2011 @09:09PM (#35099216) Homepage Journal

      Most people understand that there's not enough licensed RF spectrum

      "Most people" don't know what "the licensed RF spectrum" means, much less understand its limitations.

      They just know they paid for one thing and are going to get something less. I guarantee there are new Verizon iPhone users who believe they have "unlimited" plans.

    • by gstovall (22014) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @09:54PM (#35099550) Homepage

      My wife purchased her Droid Incredible from Verizon last summer. She is totally thrilled with it and her unlimited data plan. With it, she is able to look up facts and answer questions where ever she is. It has proven to be a real assist.

      She uses it to listen to Pandora while she is at work. Her employer allows 0 bandwidth for personal uses, so she spends the entire 8 hours per day listening to Pandora on 3G.

      At 128Kbps, 8hours/day * 22 days per month works out to 10GB/month, and that is just listening to music, not watching any video or doing any web browsing.

      2GB/month is totally inadequate for anything but browser lookups. It is not sufficient for any of the media-rich apps for which Verizon advertised the device.

      • Perhaps you should purchase your wife an mp3 player and cheap speakers. Better sound and won't be contributing to the problem. Sucking up bandwidth just to have music playing seems a little much.
      • On the flip side, unless you stream audio/video, it's really hard to hit 2GB. I'm on the iPhone 200MB plan with AT&T (in my area I get great service, fwiw). Except one month I was out of town, I've never been over 80MB in a month, and I use my phone for work and personal stuff. Of course, I have wifi at home and at the office (though I have a PC at the office, so rarely use data svcs there anyway). Facebook, email (2 accounts, ~100 emails a day), calendaring, evernote, looking up small (1MB) PDF file

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          Wow, you don't use your device at all compared to say me, and you then find that you don't use much data. What a fucking surprise. It is not the 24/7 streamer, he pays his bills, it is AT&T refusing to upgrade their network to actually provide the service they sell.

        • On the flip side, unless you stream audio/video, it's really hard to hit 2GB. I'm on the iPhone 200MB plan with AT&T

          I agree on the iPhone. Every other smartphone allows for free tethering, however, and when using a phone connection to power a laptop, 2 GB just doesn't seem to last very long.

      • That's a pretty stupid waste of bandwidth, if Pandora is sending out 128 kb/s streams. They could achieve near-lossless quality at around 32 kb/s with state-of-the-art codecs.

        So that would keep the use case you mention down to around 2.5 G/month, just by itself.

        Dropping back to 96 kb/s would allow Pandora to run indefinitely at the lowest rate I mentioned.

        It is not sufficient for any of the media-rich apps for which Verizon advertised the device.

        True enough. Continuous hi-def video streaming to mass

        • by 517714 (762276)
          Please advise the CODECS that provide near lossless quality at 32 kb/s. I wish to start using them.
          • I'll admit to typing 32 when I meant 64. :) At 64 kbps an AAC-class codec may still not qualify as 'lossless' to a discriminating ear, but it will sound as good as whatever Pandora is streaming now.

            Are they actually streaming at 128, though? I thought they ran at 64 mono, at least on the old EDGE iPhone.

        • They could achieve near-lossless quality at around 32 kb/s with state-of-the-art codecs.

          No. I am an audio engineer and I can tell you that there is no codec in the world good enough to drop below 128k without noticeable loss of quality. Do you have any more "facts" you would like to extract from your rectal cavity?

      • by FlyingGuy (989135)
        Really? Do you really think she is the "average" user? Do you really think that ANY wireless company could design their system to anticipate someone pulling a *constant* data stream 8 hours a day during "prime time" without either using ALL the available spectrum there is, or going broke or having to charge a dollar a minute to stream that? Really? Networks are designed to handle the predicted traffic load all the time and the peak traffic load for some of the time, not everyone and their grandmother st
        • Networks are designed to handle the predicted traffic load all the time and the peak traffic load for some of the time, not everyone and their grandmother streaming music all day long.

          True enough. Ever since someone first showed me an example of streaming Internet media, I've wondered how long it would take before people see just what a bad idea it is to make a packet-switched network act like a circuit-switched one. It's like painting with a screwdriver.

          That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to find ways

      • by Boycott BMG (1147385) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @11:13PM (#35100124) Journal
        A small nit, but I believe Pandora on Android uses 64 kbps HE-AAC. Results in 5 GB/month which is still over the limit, though.
        • by Aranykai (1053846)

          The android app actually has a "high quality" option, which IIRC sets the stream to 96kbps.

  • But at least they did it before you bought your phone, not afterward.

  • Have two queues: Low latency and Bulk. Use the ToS field is decide which one to put it in. Give customers two quotas, say 2gb bulk and 500mb low latency. Charge more for extra low latency traffic and less for extra bulk traffic. Don't use IP addresses, transport protocols or port numbers to decide what is real time and what is bulk. That would be a fair system for making the best use of limited network resources.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      That would be a fair system for making the best use of limited network resources.

      The only "fair" system would be for them to charge by the megabyte.

      The entire fee structure is based on the idea of people not knowing what they're actually paying for.

      • by FlyingGuy (989135)

        You sir are incorrect.

        The fee structure is designed for people who are getting more and more accustomed to getting everything for practically nothing.

        We all experience this every day. We go to Wal-Mart for inexpensive goods from China or we go to Costco or we go Target or anyplace where we can get the most ( at least we think ) for a buck.

        The fly in the ointment is that we can't buy bandwidth from China or the Philippines or whatever other sweatshop country you would care to name because bandwidth is rule

        • by grcumb (781340)

          The fly in the ointment is that we can't buy bandwidth from China or the Philippines or whatever other sweatshop country you would care to name because bandwidth is ruled by the laws of physics not by the "Invisible Hand".

          Point taken (and nicely made), but that doesn't entirely do justice to the situation.

          The plain truth is that telcos want (and arguably need) a certain kind of network to maximise their profits. This implies centralised control and lots of management overhead on existing networks, with litt

  • Thinng the herd? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by creativeHavoc (1052138) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @09:06PM (#35099182) Homepage
    Assuming usage stays fairly constant for each user per month... wont think eventually bring down their average usage over time? The first month, top 5% are scaled back, and you assume as the throttling continues into the next month, they will no longer be the top users. So then there is a new top 5%... and these users are using less than what last month's top 5% used... as they get carried over in the next billing cycle, this continues until it hits some threshold...
    • I'll be curious to see how forthcoming Verizon is about your "throttled" state. The reason is that most press reports, regarding the iPhone, talk about how Verizon is about half the speed of AT&T's network. When someone gets throttled (and doesn't know it), they'll be howling to the Internet about how Verizon's network is really really really slow.

      • Since the avenue for venting about the iPhone is always at AT&T, it'll also be interesting to see if a lot of the same problems occur under Verizon.
  • iPhone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @09:06PM (#35099184) Homepage Journal
    iPhone went on sale today with unlimited data and tethering. A few hours late we learn that Verizon will be throttling bandwidth. If this is not bait and switch, unethical advertising, and intent to deceive the consumer I don't know what it.

    Look at this way. Verizon is already giving the user a slower data rate than iPhone users have come to expect. Now they are saying if you use 'too much' as defined by them, you may be effectively cut off. After all, the definition of 'too much' and 'throttling' is defined completely by Verizon. Previously 'too much' was 150 MB, and who knows what throttling is. Maybe Edge?

    This reinforces my previous expectation that though Verizon has the best network in the US, they will never give the average customer a square deal or straight answer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GayBliss (544986)
      Is Verizon advertising a guaranteed bandwidth? I haven't seen one. They're not cutting off service, but throttling it to a lower speed. It's still unlimited. This is exactly what Telefonica in Spain does and I think it's a good idea. Instead of charging you some huge rate past a certain limit that you may not know you passed, they just reduce the speed. It still works at the slower speed (although streaming video might not work so well), and it only affects those customers that are streaming audio or v
      • They either do this, or everyone just gets slower speeds. When you are dealing with wireless it isn't near as easy to scale up bandwidth as with wires. With a wire you can always add a second wire, or you can switch to a new kind of wire (or ultimately optical cable) that can take a higher range of frequencies. You could also do things like use better equipment to raise SNR.

        You can't do that with wireless. The frequencies are fixed by the technologies in use and the allocations. You get a certain slice of t

    • Well, sort of. They didn't announce pricing - everyone just assumed that all the services would be free. Tethering is an extra $20. For that $20, you only get 2GB of data to the tethered devices. It's only the internal usage that is "unlimited".

      I mean, if you want to argue it, technically Verizon's internet isn't unlimited to begin with - you can only get 24x31x3600x()kbps per month - which isn't unlimited even if you got 10Mbps.

      They saw AT&T take it up the rear by not limiting 24/7 streamers; they're n

    • If this is not bait and switch, unethical advertising, and intent to deceive the consumer I don't know what it.

      Even if it is, it doesn't really matter. The advertising industry has a large and well established lobbying network, especially here in the United States. The law effectively says that even if the advertising is false, and the advertiser knows or should have known that it was false, you as the consumer are limited to recovery of actual damages (i.e. refund of purchase price) with regard to the false claim and the FCC can ask them kindly to please stop saying that in their future advertisements. Certain dura

  • So why not run fiberglass cable from tower to tower, and increase the number of towers? I run a Verizon Wireless hot spot (5 connections at home), but I'm not wedded to the plan I've got (5 GB per billing cycle, which is nothing like 24/7 unlimited). There needs to be a little Federal oversight of these practices. Or a lot of Federal oversight...

    • Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.

      (Jamie Zawinski, maybe?)

      Anyway, you might be wondering why I would put that there. And that is because you wrote this:

      There needs to be a little Federal oversight of these practices. Or a lot of Federal oversight...

      Now you have two problems.

      It's not so much that the phone companies are such great stewards of our spectrum that they don't need oversight or regulation, but moreso that there is already a lot of oversight, and it seems to be accomplishing only one thing: keeping the existing carriers entrenched as virtually unassailable monopolies. Any regulatory scheme you can propose to fix things must

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        That is a simple problem to solve, but it must be done in steps.
        1. All carriers will use one standard for 4G, does not matter which just that they are all forced to be inter-operable.
        2. No carrier may ever have more than X% of the market. If it exceeds that size it shall be broken in half.
        3. All devices that conform to the predefined standard shall be allowed on any carrier network.
        4. Any carrier locked phones must be unlocked once the phone is paid for or after 6 months of usage on said network, which ever

    • Huh? Are you suggesting that the Fed's begin to tell private companies they must improve and expand their services to meet a need? That is exactly what a free market does without the Feds. You want government to start controlling (or forcing) bandwidth? Oh boy!
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        The free market does not do that when you have a monopoly or a duopoly. We have so few players in the Nationwide Cellular service market that there is little meaningful competition. To make matters worse we have multiple standards for these networks. The main purpose of that is prevent customers from being able to easily change providers.

  • by Golden_Rider (137548) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @09:09PM (#35099210)

    What I never understand is how all those companies can get away with showing ads with happy people who use tons of video streaming, internet radio/music/video download shops and other highish bandwidth stuff, claim "sign up here and enjoy all these awesome things!", when the reality is that if you actually DO use all this stuff every day, you are told to stop doing that because you are an asocial bandwidth hog.

    Either advertise it and let people do it, or don't advertise it. And especially do not advertise it if you know from the start that it is not technically possible for lots of people to use these options because your network is not good enough.

    • by mcrbids (148650) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @11:55PM (#35100362) Journal

      Either advertise it and let people do it, or don't advertise it. And especially do not advertise it if you know from the start that it is not technically possible for lots of people to use these options because your network is not good enough.

      No, see you aren't supposed to do that *all the time*!

      You're just supposed to watch Youtube videos while riding on horseback with your girlfriend on the beach, or while at work as a bellboy at a nice hotel. The commercial was pretty clear on this.

  • Oh wait, you're using too much!

    Here's your half a bridge!

  • "The policy is said to only affect the top 5% of data users on the network."

    So, if every data customer bands together and chips in an additional ~5.3% of their plan to buy "dummy" plans, they can then set up these 5% of phones to waste ungodly amounts of bandwidth, guaranteeing that these dummy plans get throttled, thereby saving the remaining real users from experiencing any throttling.

    I'm sure that's not a ToS violation...
  • 5%? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cshake (736412) <cshake+slashdot@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday February 03, 2011 @09:28PM (#35099326)

    5% - It seems small at first, but when you realize that they have 94.1 million subscribers in the US [wikipedia.org], that's 4.7 million people they're throttling. If they identify that number of people as using "extraordinary amount[s] of data", I'd say that there's a more fundamental problem here.

    And note the part where you get throttled for your entire next billing cycle too.

    I'm not a Verizon subscriber, and I still use a "dumb" phone without a data plan, but this still seems that they need to change what they're offering up front instead of giving everything and then taking it back if you dare use it.

    • by Wizarth (785742)

      Converting the 5% to 4.7m people is an excellent point. 5% seems reasonable, but when there are 4.7 m "excessive users", that's a LOT of people who won't be getting what they paid for. 4.7m isn't a statistical blip or rare case.

    • FYI -- the 94.1M subscribers includes many people without a data plan, i.e. I seriously doubt 4.7M people will be subject to throttling.

      Further, I think this is actually a great idea and I already bought some iphones from verizon. I'd much rather have a responsive and reliable connection and be within a 2 gb limit than have no limit and tons of dropped calls (in certain markets at least) like with AT&T.

      In certain markets, even without a limit, the poor quality of AT&T's network wouldn't even
  • Honestly I'm having a hard time finding fault with this so long as it's spelled out in advance in the contract that one agrees to. The problem is springing this after the fact.

    • Agreed. Problem is with most contracts where you are at the mercy of the company (take it or leave it contracts), they usually put in little clauses that say, "terms, limits, bandwidth, features, and functions are subject to change without notice. We can screw with you and you can really do a thing except leave in the middle of a 2 year contract and fork over tons of money to us." (I'm making this up...don't critique the exact wording...just the concept)
      • by adolf (21054)

        The problem with most contracts is that a legal contract (as opposed to an illegitimate and unenforceable contract) must include several things including consideration [wikipedia.org]. (And to anyone, not just gsgriffin, please go read up on consideration before my next paragraph if you don't yet understand the concept.)

        The trouble is, in this context, that if the newly-lessened consideration is unconscionable [wikipedia.org], then the contract is void.

        IANAL, but I do have an unlimited Verizon data plan on my Droid, and I think changing

  • As long as they clearly define:
    o exactly when customers will be throttled
    o exactly how much customers will be throttled
    o allow customers to see how much they been throttled for each month
    o allow customers to opt out of their contract without penalty if they don't
    agree to the change

    Seems perfectly reasonable if they did that.... Not holding my breath :-)

  • by ZosX (517789) <zosxavius@gmailPASCAL.com minus language> on Thursday February 03, 2011 @10:00PM (#35099592) Homepage

    I'm reading this while downloading a windows 7 iso over my G1's 3g connection at 4mbps. The image is well over 2 gigs. No caps for me. :)

  • by mykos (1627575) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @10:03PM (#35099608)
    I mean, they are having a massive upgrade to their infrastructure to handle their customers properly, right? Surely they don't expect to add many more customers with increasing bandwidth demands without upgrading their infrastructure.
  • Alright, so tens of millions? Let's be nice and say by "tens" they meant "ten". 10,000,000 x .05 = 500,000. So at a bare minimum, assuming they are stretching, they are going to throttle for 500,000 people. Now for some Google-fu, looks like Verizon is at about 92,000,000 customers. They plan to throttle 4,600,000 users, with a throttle that lasts over a month, regardless of changes in behavior.
  • Just sayin'. Verizon has lots of home users at 25/15 Mbps down/up, I hope they aren't throttling us to 2 GB/month.

  • by geekmansworld (950281) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @10:08PM (#35099642) Homepage

    High-bandwidth users to throttle Verizon.

  • I dont get this . (Score:3, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Thursday February 03, 2011 @10:12PM (#35099678) Homepage Journal
    if i PAY for something, i expect to be able to USE it.

    if you sell/rent a car to me, and then tell me that i can not use it on mondays, i shove the keys up your ass. if you drop a shady clause in the contract saying that you can modify the terms of the contract at any point at your leisure, then do the mondays thing after that, i still shove up the keys up your ass.

    so at this point, i am at a loss to understand, how can american corporations violate the very BASE mechanics of trade and business, and get away with it.
    • except that 99% of the users never ever get near 500MB of data.

      Go download your Ubuntu ISOs from work or something.

    • by feepness (543479)

      so at this point, i am at a loss to understand, how can american corporations violate the very BASE mechanics of trade and business, and get away with it.

      I guess we frown on people shoving things into other people without prior consent.

  • The "throttling" approach strikes me a bogus.

    Most of the problem occurs at "the edge". (And if it's congested in "the core" you need more core.) So why not just divide the instantaneous bandwidth evenly among all users?

    With this approach the high-usage users are not throttled when they're not interfering with other users when the edge is not congested, and get no more than an equal share with the intermittent users when it is congested.

  • I don't mind doing that, but I do mind them doing that and then calling their plan "Unlimited." Perhaps we should petition the FTC for a precise definition of the word "Unlimited", along with some very strict regulations regarding its use.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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