Verizon responds to FCC concerns over data throttling, calls method 'measured and fair'

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2014
In response to U.S. Federal Communications Commission chief Tom Wheeler's concerns over Verizon's plan to throttle LTE data speeds for high-use customers, the nation's No. 1 carrier called the practice fair and said it is not alone in using such tactics.




In a note to the FCC, a copy of which was obtained by The Verge, Verizon's SVP of Federal Regulatory Affairs Kathleen Grillo said the carrier's "network optimization" initiative affects a small number of customers and only "under very limited circumstances."

When Verizon's network is particularly congested in a specific area, the cellular provider intends to limit 4G LTE speeds for customers with grandfathered-in unlimited data accounts who "have an out-sized effect on the network," a practice better known as "data throttling."

"This practice has been widely accepted with little or no controversy," Grillo writes. Further, Verizon claims its policy is better for consumers than similar plans currently employed by T-Mobile, which allows the Uncarrier to throttle "regardless of whether customers are at a location experiencing congestion."

Under the terms, slated to take effect in October, power users may see slower than normal data speeds when performing high bandwidth operations like streaming high-definition video or playing real-time games.

"Our practice is a measured and fair step to ensure that this small group of customers do not disadvantage all others in the sharing of network resources during times of high demand," Grillo says.

Last week, FCC Chairman Wheeler wrote to Verizon CEO Daniel Mead, voicing concern over the carrier's forthcoming rule change.

"'Reasonable network management' concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams," Wheeler wrote.

According to Re/code, Mead met with press in New York on Monday to clarify the issue, saying the company was surprised by Wheeler's letter because Verizon employed the same tactic to rein in rampant 3G data use in 2011.

"I don't think the FCC really understood what we were doing," Mead said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    The act itself is not fair, therefore no stipulations as to the throttling can be fair.

  • Reply 2 of 58
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,719member
    The act itself is not fair, therefore no stipulations as to the throttling can be fair.

    Actually it makes all the sense in the world. We don't let hogs compromise our transportation highways so why would we allow it on an electronic highway?

    Beyond all of that the carriers really should be forced to a pay by bit system so that these heavy users have some incentive to curtail usage. Think about it, Bell's telephone system work for decades paying by the minute. It made sense back then because paying for time on the system encourages people to moderate usage thus keeping the network from becoming saturated. Structuring costs on a data network that values the data transmitted would do the same thing.

    Paying by the bit would be far more fair then what we have now.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

    We don't let hogs compromise our transportation highways so why would we allow it on an electronic highway?

     

    Yep, people sure are prevented from driving more than others¡

     

    Beyond all of that the carriers really should be forced to a pay by bit system so that these heavy users have some incentive to curtail usage.


     

    WHY SHOULD ANYONE BE FORCED TO USE LESS DATA AT ALL?! HOW IS THIS AN ACCEPTABLE ANSWER?! People want more of your content? You lay more cable. Problem solved.

  • Reply 4 of 58
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    People want more of your content? You lay more cable. Problem solved.


     

    It's not the big part with the cables that's the problem. It's that last bit from the tower to the cell phone — no cable!

  • Reply 5 of 58
    If ur paying for unlimited data then u should b able to use as much as u want
  • Reply 6 of 58
    If you choose to eat at a restaurant that markets an all-you-can-eat buffet and you pay their advertised price per plate... Would it be fair if the manager makes you eat off a smaller plate than the other patrons because you eat more than the average person? Or, if you order the all-you-can-eat BBQ rib platter, would it be fair if the manager instructs the waitress to take twice as long to replenish your plate as the other customers because you are eating more than the average... Is it fair to put into place barriers for the sole purpose of discouraging users from getting all they can from a service for which they are paying and were marketed?
  • Reply 7 of 58
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,331member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

     

     

    It's not the big part with the cables that's the problem. It's that last bit from the tower to the cell phone — no cable!


    Exactly. The issue here is one of economics. These companies can't put in more antennas because of government regulation and the public don't want ugly antennas. Then you someone who has an unlimited data plan who watches Netflix all day, effectively slowing that cell for everyone else. The solution is to reduce that user's bandwidth to provide a level of service that everyone else is also paying for.

     

    I think this is a fair tradeoff for those who are abusing a cell site at the determinate of other paying customers. The other solution would be to just kick the user off the network and I'm sure there is language in the contract that would allow someone to have their contract cancelled if they are not following the rules. Of course I don't have the contract, but it sounds like Verizon is trying their best to keep everyone happy.

  • Reply 8 of 58
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,331member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dminnici View Post



    If you choose to eat at a restaurant that markets an all-you-can-eat buffet and you pay their advertised price per plate... Would it be fair if the manager makes you eat off a smaller plate than the other patrons because you eat more than the average person? Or, if you order the all-you-can-eat BBQ rib platter, would it be fair if the manager instructs the waitress to take twice as long to replenish your plate as the other customers because you are eating more than the average... Is it fair to put into place barriers for the sole purpose of discouraging users from getting all they can from a service for which they are paying and were marketed?

    I think what you are forgetting here is that this customer is eating up all of the food and other customers are being turned away or told that certain dishes are not available because of the fat lard that sits in the corner eating ribs all day.  If that happened, you can bet that the restaurant would change the policy to allow them to kick the user out for bothering other customers and effecting the service of the restaurant. Unfortunately, cellular companies can't point someone out and call the police in this case, but they can make sure that other paying customers also get what they paid for.  That's what this is about.



    I'm not trying to say cellular companies are 100% innocent in this, and they shouldn't have marketed things as "all you can eat" nor have written their contracts to be grandfathered as they did if they foresaw network congestion.

     

    You all can see how people abusing the cell site is effecting others and how that's not fair, right?

  • Reply 9 of 58
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    If they throttle your speed, that sets a lower data download capacity for the billing period. If you slow it down it is not unlimited as it is in fact being limited. If they did not throttle you, you could have downloaded more.

    Simple answer is that they stop calling it unlimited.
  • Reply 10 of 58
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

    this is like saying a resturant has the right to stop fat guys from going to the buffet line for the 4th time since they might run out of shrimp for some of the other customers. DEAL WITH IT.

     

    No, but you’re great at wrong analogies.

     

    The fat buy paid for all you can eat.  He deserves it.  Its the resturant's responsibility to make sure there is enough food.


     

    Thanks for making our argument for us. The above is the opposite of the first thing you said.

     

    If they really want to lighten the load to the infrastucture they should have never offered unlimited data in the first place.


     

    Or build out more.

     

    they will NEVER charge you amoral overage charges.



     

    You have as much proof of this as you do of a 5.5” iPhone.

  • Reply 11 of 58
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,331member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Problem is Verizon wants its cake and eat it to.

     

    They want to continue to charge these customers a huge bill for unlimited data.  

    But they want to limit their data at the same time.

     

    They either need to allow unlimited data or negoiate with these users to give up unlimited data and give them a significant discount.


    Do you know the terms of the contract with these users? If it's like my grandfathered ATT contract, it's quite reasonable for unlimited data.  I wouldn't call it huge. ($40/month for unlimited text and data).  Do you know how much they are charging? Is it comparable to current rates that are capped at a certain amount?



    The fact is that under these proposed changes, they never take away unlimited data, they are just reducing the bandwidth at sites that are getting crunched.  The end user has the option to move to a less trafficked site, or deal with lesser data speeds in those scenarios, which is exactly what everyone else would have to do anyway.

     

    I guess you believe that when purchasing a car that you will have an open road and the wind in your hair. You must get really annoyed at traffic jams.

  • Reply 12 of 58
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member

    It's been echoed year after year, that Verizon and AT&T have been simply sitting on unused spectrum that could be leveraged to clear congestion. They simply don't want to use it. They want their cake and they want to eat it as well.

     

    They have no excuse. Use it, lose it, or suck it up and start either building additional capacity or cranking up that R&D. America needs another Bell Labs to kick the industry where it hurts.

  • Reply 13 of 58
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member

    VZN nickel and dime-ing people instead of giving people great service. Oh well now everyone knows what I've known about VZN forever. Don't deal with them. You'll pay for data by the gig and they'll still throttle you. Their 3G and LTE is slow as all heck. 

  • Reply 14 of 58
    OK for all the people in here siding with the TELCO's how about I give you my account info and you offer to pay my monthly bill of $187. each month-

    THIS IS A BUNCH OF BS AND CRAP and the GOVT NEEDS TO REIN THESE SUCKERS IN WITH SOME REGULATION they offered my an ALL YOU CAN EAT DATA PLAN to get me into a contract and they need to stick to the AGREEMENT they first said oH the 3G plan is going HI SPEED to LTE and then now they have something called XLTE so they have the technology and capability to offer this bandwidth and for the VERIZON A$$HOLE to say we are a small group of customers and its not affecting the entire customer base then why throttle us I PAID/PAYING for a FULL UNLIMITED DATA PLAN and I WANT IT or their should be some CLASS ACTION SUIT FILED against these THIEVES and give me my GODDAM $$$$ BACK!!!! they are always price gouging the small guy like me and I just got an iPAD AIR and they want to charge me $40 extra to use my DATA PLAN I ALREADY HAVE WITH THEM-- I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEW iPHONE6 to come out I will be getting the 5.5" iPHONE and since I am grandfathered in I will use that instead of my iPAD AIR and I will watch YOUTUBE VIDEOS and NETFLIX MOVIES (even when I 'm not watching a MOVIE i will still have one playing in the background while i sleep to GET MY $$$ WORTH SCREW THEM!!!!! -- now which one of you asswipes wants my acct number to start paying my bill????
  • Reply 15 of 58
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bitzandbitez View Post



     I PAID/PAYING for a FULL UNLIMITED DATA PLAN and I WANT IT or their should be some CLASS ACTION SUIT FILED against these THIEVES and give me my GODDAM $$$$ BACK!!!!

    Verizon's TOS explicitly forbids class action lawsuits. You can thank the Supreme court for that. If you have grievances to take up with them, then you'll have to do so in private arbitration.

  • Reply 16 of 58

    no VERIZON is going to lose customers to T MOBILE it is already happening

  • Reply 17 of 58

    exactly my point these ARE CORRUPT THIEVES AND SYSTEM OBONGO AND HIS SUPREME COURT JESTERS HAVE THE GODDAM SYSTEM RIGGED FROM THE TOP!!! how can they have NO CLASS ACTIONS??? WTF IS THAT???? oh AMIERKKA has been HIJACKED BY CORPORATE  CON ARTIST THIS IS NOT THE COUNTRY I WAS BORN IN IT IS SOME NAZI RUN OUTFIT!!! 

  • Reply 18 of 58
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,719member
    Yep, people sure are prevented from driving more than others¡
    Do you own a car? As for driving people who do drive more than others, they do pay more it is called an excise tax on gas. If you drive commercially, trucking for example you pay more and have fundamental restrictions on where you can go.
    WHY SHOULD ANYONE BE FORCED TO USE LESS DATA AT ALL?! HOW IS THIS AN ACCEPTABLE ANSWER?!
    Get a grip here nobody would be forced to use less data. Rather they would have to make a decision on where to spend their dollar. The individual would determine the value of the service he wants to use against other expenses he is responsible for. It is no different than going to the store and having to make a decision between chicken out of a can and a really nice steak.
    People want more of your content? You lay more cable. Problem solved.
    Ahh but you failed to understand the Internet, your service provider is just that, content often has little to do with them.

    Assuming here you are old enough to have bills but how do you pay for gas and electricity? Every place I know about it is based on usage. So why not have this utility be usage based? In a very real sense that is what an Internet provider is, instead of a pipe of water or gas it supplies data that you consume.

    Think about it what is more fair than charging based on usage? If your neighbor is an idiot and leaves the windows open all winter shouldn't he have to pay more for his heat? Would you want to underwrite his usage via your bill?

    Like it or not the current system has moderate users underwriting the usage of the heavy users. That has to go.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

    You will never pay extra for data.  Ever.


     

    Once again, thanks for pretending you know anything whatsoever about the future.

     

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

    Do you own a car? As for driving people who do drive more than others, they do pay more it is called an excise tax on gas.

     

    Except that’s not the point. I can drive on the road 5 minutes out of the year or 525600 minutes out of the year.

     

    Guess what happens when a road gets bottlenecked? THEY BUILD MORE ROADS.

     

    Get a grip here nobody would be forced to use less data.


     

    Except that’s explicitly what is happening right now.

  • Reply 20 of 58
    larryalarrya Posts: 543member
    dminnici wrote: »
    If you choose to eat at a restaurant that markets an all-you-can-eat buffet and you pay their advertised price per plate... Would it be fair if the manager makes you eat off a smaller plate than the other patrons because you eat more than the average person? Or, if you order the all-you-can-eat BBQ rib platter, would it be fair if the manager instructs the waitress to take twice as long to replenish your plate as the other customers because you are eating more than the average... Is it fair to put into place barriers for the sole purpose of discouraging users from getting all they can from a service for which they are paying and were marketed?

    Funny story. An ex-coworker of mine was actually asked to leave a steak buffet because he was consuming too much. It happens. But I think he got a refund.
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