|Several years back story continues..
Verizon implemented what they call "network optimization" for their 3G network, though their LTE network wasn't impacted. As Verizon explained it to me at the time
, the system de-prioritizes user packets if that user is in the top 5% of the heaviest users and if a local tower (or node) is suffering from congestion. Verizon repeatedly insisted that this wasn't the same as a user being "throttled," even if the end result was indistinguishable from throttling.
Now Droid Life
is the first to learn that Verizon Wireless will begin throttling the connections of unlimited users on the company's LTE network starting October 1:
On October 1, Verizon will expand its existing Network Optimization policy to include unlimited data customers who use 4G LTE devices and “have fulfilled their minimum contract term.” That “optimization” occurs when an unlimited data customer meets specific criteria and hops onto a cell site that is experiencing high demand.
Verizon states that the top 5% of data users were using 4.7 GB or more of data each month. Under the previous system, a user was throttled only temporarily. According to Verizon's freshly updated network optimization practices website
, unlimited LTE users may now find themselves throttled for an entire billing cycle. Again, Verizon's FAQ is quick to proclaim this isn't the same as being throttled:
How is this different than throttling?
The difference between our Network Optimization practices and throttling is network intelligence. With throttling, your wireless data speed is reduced for your entire cycle, 100% of the time, no matter where you are.
Verizon has announced that the company will be dropping the $5 monthly fee for the NFL Mobile app, allowing customers to get NFL news and watch games for free -- provided they're on Verizon's MORE Everything shared data plans. According to the announcement
, NFL Mobile provides live streaming video of Thursday, Sunday and Monday night NFL games as well as Sunday afternoon games in local markets, the latest news, schedules and scores from around the league. Verizon clearly hopes the offer will lure more users on to shared data plans (a study this week showed Verizon leads the industry
at getting users off of grandfathered unlimited plans), and that you'll eat more data by watching the games over cellular instead of Wi-Fi.
Back in March AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson insisted that AT&T's 1 Gbps "Gigapower" service would arrive in Dallas sometime this summer
, but like much of the company's 1 Gbps deployment, specifics (deployment areas, total cost, number of users) was left ambiguous. Today AT&T got a little more specific, stating the company would be offering the ultra-fast service in "Dallas, Fort Worth, and surrounding cities" before the summer is out.
AT&T has released the company's second quarter earnings report
, indicating the company posted a net profit of $3.55 billion on revenues of $32.6 billion. The company added 1 million net postpaid subscribers on the quarter, most of them being smartphone subscribers.
As I noted last month
, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been cooking up a new open-source firmware that the group claims will make it easier for users to more securely share their Wi-Fi connection. The EFF's new firmware is now available for download
, though the group warns the firmware (based on the CeroWRT fork of OpenWRT) is a "work in progress and is intended only for developers and people willing to deal with the bleeding edge." If any of our numerous bleeding edge readers are willing to experiment with the firmware, we'd love to pay you
to share your thoughts with the DSLReports community.
Billing glitches for Verizon's new "free" symmetrical FiOS upgrades are resulting in rate hikes for some users. Verizon recently announced that the company would be bumping FiOS upstream speeds
so they match the company's downstream speeds, effectively making all FiOS tiers symmetrical.
Verizon has been taking a hammering of late for their decision to tell Sandy victims, a year after the storm, that they will never see their POTS and DSL lines repaired
. Instead, Verizon foisted a wireless service called Voice Link upon those customers, a service that didn't include data, suffered from numerous feature shortcomings, and generally wasn't much of a replacement for DSL and POTS whatsoever.
It's no mystery that wireless carriers have pushed hard to get users on metered data plans, hoping to raise data revenues as the SMS and voice minute cash cows
head out to pasture. After introducing shared data plans carriers grandfathered unlimited usage users, but have used every trick in the book to get those users to switch to metered options.
Verizon's second quarter earnings
once again topped Wall Street expectations as the company posted a net income of $4.32 billion on revenues of $31.48 billion. The company added 1.4 million postpaid wireless connections on the quarter, most of which were tablet customers taking advantage of the company's shared data plans.
Could the FCC soon have the ability to stop a large amount of regional sports network blackouts? Regional Sports Network (RSN) prices are out of control. Time Warner Cable wants every cable subscriber in Los Angeles to pay $3.84 in order to watch JUST
the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Google announced back in February
that they were working with 34 potential new Google Fiber cities, requesting those cities fill out and agree to a fiber ready checklist
to make installation easier. Speaking on the company's earnings call last week
, Google SVP and CFO Patrick Pichette stated that the economics behind Google Fiber continue to improve, and that their work with those 34 cities continues. "Over the coming months we’ll actually be going through all of the details with them, whether it would be right away or permitting or otherwise, and that’s what we’re going to use to make decisions as to how broad a program will have," states Pichette. It remains entirely unclear how many of those 34 cities will actually see future Google Fiber builds.
Verizon's shaking things up by making all of the company's FiOS broadband tiers symmetrical, bringing upstream speeds in line with downstream offerings. When Verizon FiOS originally came out the company's fiber-based offering was the cream of the crop, though Verizon has dulled their market-leading edge in recent years with a seemingly endless series of rate hikes and annoying fees
Colin Nederkoorn, CEO of software company Customer.io is a bit annoyed that his 75 Mbps FiOS connection can't stream a Netflix video. In a blog post
and accompanying test video
, Nederkoorn notes that his normally-speedy 75 Mbps FiOS connection struggles along at 375 kbps.
A report in the Telegraph
claims that Google may be interested in someday expanding Google Fiber into the UK. Google has held talks with a British company by the name of CityFibre, though those talks broke down after the company began worrying a partnership would damage their relationships with UK incumbents.
T-Mobile states that they've turned on "wideband" 15x15 MHz channels in Las Vegas, making the city one of seventeen markets where the improved capacity and faster speeds are now available. "We have more capacity per customer than any other major national U.S. wireless carrier plus we continue to offer the fastest nationwide 4G LTE in the U.S. and deliver the most consistent LTE speeds," crows the uncarrier in a press release
. For these markets T-Mobile combines their AWS spectrum acquired from MetroPCS to offer theoretical peak download speeds up to 110 Mbps and theoretical peak upload speeds of 38 Mbps.
Historically, unless you're willing to argue with DirecTV over whether you have satellite line of sight -- or you get it via some kind of promotion (like the Madden NFL game bundle
last year) -- it can be difficult or impossible to get a standalone version of NFL Sunday Ticket. Yesterday numerous press outlets breathlessly-proclaimed that this would be changing via the introduction of NFL Sunday Ticket Live Online
, which offers out of market NFL games via broadband -- without a cable TV subscription.
Back in May Cox Communications tried to jump on the 1 Gbps excitement bandwagon by announcing
they would offer 1 Gbps service to all users -- in a few years or more. As part of that announcement Cox announced something more immediate: a bump in Preferred & Premier tier speeds to 50Mbs & 100Mbs respectively, starting in July. Arizona users appear to be the first in line for the speed increases
, with the whole state upgraded by the end of July. Cox is murky on details beyond Arizona, though you can track the deployment progress via this thread
in our Cox forums.
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