Verizon Kills Throttling Plan for 4G LTE Heavy Data Users

Amin Yusuf -

Verizon Wireless will do away with its plans to throttle heavy data users on 4G LTE after receiving a stern admonishment from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC this summer warned the wireless carrier against reducing its 4G wireless Internet speed when cell sites are congested for its customers who use the most.

The practice, known as throttling, is frowned on by the agency.

“We’ve decided not to move forward with the planned implementation of network optimization for 4G LTE customers on unlimited plans,” Verizon said in a statement Wednesday. “

At a time of ever-increasing mobile broadband data usage, we not only take pride in the way we manage our network resources, but also take seriously our responsibility to deliver exceptional mobile service to every customer.

Exceptional network service will always be our priority and we remain committed to working closely with industry stakeholders to manage broadband issues so that American consumers get the world-class mobile service they expect and value.

” Verizon, for some time, has limited the data speeds of its heaviest 3G data users but, over the summer, said it would extend that policy to 4G LTE customers on unlimited plans, starting this month.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, however, said he was “deeply troubled” by the decision.

When he asked in a letter written this summer to the Verizon why it planned to go that route, the company pointed out the practice is a common one among carriers. Wheeler called the response unacceptable.

“It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its network management on distinctions among its customers’ data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology,” Wheeler said this summer.

Upon hearing the news Wednesday of Verizon’s change of heart, Wheeler called it “a responsible action” and commended the company’s “leadership” on the issue.
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