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FCC Boss Finds Verizon LTE Throttling 'Disturbing'
by Karl Bode 09:04AM Thursday Jul 31 2014 Tipped by navyson See Profile
FCC boss Tom Wheeler isn't particularly happy about Verizon's announcement that LTE users will be throttled, but it remains unclear what the Commission leader is going to do about it. As we noted recently, Verizon has announced the company will begin throttling unlimited LTE customers starting October 1. Verizon previously only "throttled" 3G EVDO customers by de-prioritizing 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's latest announcement states that not only will LTE users find their packets de-prioritized with heavy use, users may potentially find themselves throttled for an entire billing cycle. Customers can avoid the slowdowns if they subscribe to one of Verizon's shared data plans.

Though other carriers use similar network optimization efforts, FCC boss Tom Wheeler has singled out Verizon with a letter stating he finds Verizon's practices "disturbing." In it, the FCC boss warns Verizon that he is concerned Verizon is using throttling and caps as a revenue booster -- not to actually manage network congestion:
“Reasonable network management” concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams. 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.
While the warning is quite harsh, it's unclear what precisely Wheeler intends to do about it. Again, other carriers use similar network optimization efforts -- it's Verizon's use of throttling to drive unlimited users on to metered plans that appears to have caught Wheeler's eye.

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Lafayette, LA
·LUS Fiber

1 edit

3 recommendations

reply to 78036364

Re: Is fair to throttle rooted tethering people

hey smart guy ... picking out specific numbers and insulting people doesn't make you look intelligent. How much data can be pulled off a tower before its congested. You can't use 500GB or any other arbitrary number because you sir are full of shit.

The question remains - how much data can be pulled off a tower at any given moment. If you aren't pulling off netflix movies with your phone and simply loading web pages - then why do you give 2 shits if someone else has unlimited data.

Your solution simply states that well ..since no one is using the tower because they are afraid of being throttled - then the tower will never be congested.

and then: what defines congestion? Its not my problem (or yours) that verizon sold a service packaged as "unlimited" to get people on their service to begin with... and then used those people and their posted ookla speedtests to market LTE to the other sheep.

So then we have another problem - let say you live next to a football stadium Does this mean you are handicapped by your data usage (whatever silly arbitrary fabricated amount you come up with) because there happens to be 50-80 thousand other users that are sharing the tower you live next to?

Jim Kirk
Westerville, OH

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reply to PlusOne
-2 for reading comprehension failure.

Jim Kirk
Westerville, OH

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reply to existenz
That begs the question:
Two users on a tower with "capacity" issues. User A has unlimited data and has used 5GB this month. User B has a 5 or 10GB "capped" plan and has used 5GB this month. Will user B be throttled like user A? If not, this isn't reasonable network management.

Holy Cable Modem Batman

Washington, DC

2 edits

7 recommendations

Tom must be a Verizon customer...

Tom must be a grandfathered Verizon Unlimited Data Customer...

Either that or his wife is...

We do know he uses Netflix and his wife wasn't happy about the buffering... He's most likely a Comcast internet customer given where he lives. Fios isn't available there yet and I doubt he's on DSL...

»sulia.com/channel/telecom-wirele ··· fa54d3b/

(Wheeler said when that happens at his home, his wife asks "You’re chairman of the FCC, why is this happening?")