For years Verizon has marketed their FiOS fiber to the home service as a superior alternative to cable. Part of that sales pitch has been the argument that the service doesn't require bandwidth caps -- though Verizon has historically always chosen their words very carefully to leave the possibility open
sometime in the future. That doesn't mean Verizon doesn't warn and even disconnect users whose usage goes well above and beyond the norm.
One user in our FiOS forum
found this out last May after he was contacted by Verizon for excessive use after consuming more than 77 Terabytes in one month alone. Verizon ultimately nudged him to a FiOS business-class line, but the user says he's still being told by Verizon that he needs to reduce his usage
"They say I have to bring my usage down by 80-90% by 9/15 or they will disconnect me on 9/18 so we are talking a bandwidth limit of 2-4 TB/month," claims houkouonchi
I spoke with Verizon about the company's latest effort to crack down on excessive usage -- even for a Verizon FiOS business service which many incorrectly assume has absolutely no limitations, be they on consumption or servers.
"While he moved to business service since he last contacted you, he continues to violate the terms of that service by allowing others to funnel their Internet activities through his service," Verizon spokesman Bob Elek tells me. "In his case, this amounted to 38.4 Terrabytes of use per month."
What's eating all of that bandwidth? houkouonchi
has stated previously he stores ATSC video programs then streams them to "family" (he offered up a shot of his home server rack here
). It's this, and the resulting occasional 77 Terabytes of monthly usage, that appears to have gotten Verizon's attention. Like all ISPs (and now Google Fiber
) Verizon's terms of service prohibit both excessive use and the running of servers, the strict definitions of both being left to the often arbitrary and inconsistent discretion of the ISP.
Elek tells me the company is in the process of notifying around 45 of the company's 5.8 million residential FiOS users that their usage is excessive. By Verizon's standard, this is in excess of around ten terabytes per month.
"Practically speaking, the consumer user experience with Verizon’s broadband networks has no limitations," the company insists. "However there are terms of service customers agree to and are expected to adhere to. When they do not those customers distort the concept of home service versus business services."
Except it's now clear that nobody should consider business-class services unlimited, either.