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.