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Are you a Verizon customer with unlimited data? Get ready to be throttled

Verizon Unlimited Data Throttling

As we learned from a recent study, Verizon has been remarkably efficient at convincing unlimited wireless data plan holders to switch to newer, more profitable data plans. According to market research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, just 22% of Verizon’s mobile subscribers were still on unlimited data plans as of the end of the second quarter. That still leaves millions of people with unlimited plans though, and we have bad news for all of them: According to a new report, all Verizon Wireless subscribers with unlimited data plans will be subject to throttling beginning October 1st.

Verizon’s “Network Optimization” policy, which says that the company may intentionally slow your wireless data speeds in certain cases, currently only applies to 3G networks. Droid-Life reports that as of October 1st, however, it will apply to 4G LTE service as well.

According to Verizon, here are the criteria that have to be met in order for 3G, and soon 4G, data speeds to be throttled:

  • Top 5% of data users (you use 4.7GB of data per month or more)
  • Enrolled on an unlimited data plan or feature
  • Have fulfilled their minimum contract term
  • Are attempting to use data on a cell site that is experiencing high demand

According to the report, Verizon will begin notifying subscribers of the policy change on August 1st with the following notice:

Wireless strives to provide its customers with the best wireless experience when using our network. In 2011, Verizon Wireless launched Network Optimization, which slows the data speeds of its unlimited data subscribers with 3G devices who are in the top 5% of data users when they connect to a cell site experiencing high demand. Effective October 1, Verizon Wireless will expand its existing Network Optimization policy to include its unlimited data subscribers using 4G LTE devices who have fulfilled their minimum contract term. Based on your plan and recent data usage, one or more lines on your account may experience a reduction in data speeds when connected to a cell site experiencing high demand. Customers on MORE Everything or other usage-based data plans are not subject to Network Optimization. For more information about our Network Optimization, please refer to

UPDATE: A Verizon Wireless representative has contacted BGR via email to note that CIRP’s claim that 22% of Verizon subscribers are still on unlimited plans is not accurate, and the actual percentage is lower than that.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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