FCC Rejects Verizon’s Argument For Throttling Unlimited Data
FCC has been targeting Verizon since they announced their policy on throttling unlimited data. FCC had asked for explanation on Verizon’s policy about slowing down 4G LTE for a select group of customers. Verizon replied claiming that it was “network congestion management,” and that “everyone is doing it” but the FCC chairman Tom Wheeler doesn’t like their answer and has rejected it.
Verizon announced in July that it will slow down some of the 4G LTE customers when the network gets congested due to heavy load on towers and servers. They set a policy that only 5 percent of the customers who have the highest data usage will be slowed down until the traffic comes under control again.
“A small percentage of the customers on [unlimited data] plans use disproportionately large amounts of data,” Verizon wrote. “Unlike subscribers on usage-based plans, they have no incentive not to do so during times of unusually high demand.”
Verizon has already been doing this to its 3G users and tries to extend this functionality to its 4G LTE users, but FCC doesn’t want that as it is now working towards promoting net neutrality. FCC asked for explanation about their policy, and Verizon responded that this action was merely reasonable network management and that most of the carriers already do it.
Wheeler rejected the argument claiming it invalid. “‘All the kids do it’ is something that never worked with me when I was growing up, and it didn’t work for my kids,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
Network congestion is one of the biggest issues telecom operators face now-a-days. They have to throttle some of their users’ connectivity in order to provide better experience to all of the users and to manage networks effectively.
Verizon’s policy seems unfair to those who have bought unlimited data plans. The reason they are paying so much is that they don’t need data caps. Unlimited doesn’t mean that they have to stay in some sort of bounds while using Internet.
Wheeler is arguing about Verizon’s policy for treating unlimited data customers differently from those who are on metered plans.