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Verizon Cracks Down on 'Excessive' FiOS Users
by Karl Bode 01:00PM Monday Aug 26 2013
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.

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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 See Profile.

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 See Profile 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.

187 comments .. click to read

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Lakewood, CA
·Verizon FiOS

2 recommendations

reply to rebus9

Re: Houkouonchi: 1 of 45

Here we go again with the word unlimited. Lets stop using the word "unlimited". everything has limits..well except for things like "space". But when it comes to data usage we need to quit lying to ourselves. There is a limit. They just dont "want" to tell you what it is
Lakewood Accountability Action Group | »www.LAAG.us | Demanding action and accountability from local government



2 recommendations

reply to Anon

Re: Unlimited

Unlimited: not limited; unrestricted; unconfined; boundless; infinite; vast; without any qualification or exception; unconditional.

If something is advertised as "unlimited," that's precisely what it should be. If they are not offering unlimited bandwidth, then they should not advertise it as such. Call it "practically unlimited" or "almost unlimited, but not quite." You pull this "common sense" bullshit, but didn't check the dictionary definition of the word you're getting all huffy puffy over. Making sure that your argument is defensible by confirming the meanings of words should be common sense, too. What's your excuse?

Question The Current Paradigm
Da Bronx
·Optimum Online
·Clearwire Wireless

3 recommendations

Business is Business no?

I can see legitimate business uses for that setup. A news agency feeding several news channels to off-shore offices with DVR service so writers and editors can stay current on the news would be one.

If Verizon is selling unlimited BUSINESS service, and then complaining about usage. it's not providing what's advertised and should be liable to law suits.

In this entire thread all I hear is 77TB/Mo is excessive for home usage. Ok, that's fair enough. But BUSINESS service that's advertised and sold as unlimited?

Someone building a business based on advertised FIOS service and then get's their connection pulled for using it as advertised has a valid reason to sue IMHO.

"Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot."

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people"


Tampa Bay
·Verizon FiOS
·Bright House

4 recommendations

reply to TheRogueX

Re: Remember When

said by TheRogueX:

Uh, 77 TB in one month is more than a little excessive for a residential account. It's flat out ludicrous.

I agree it's way out there. But where else but telecom can you buy something you can't really use "all of it"?

Buy a full tank of gas but not be allowed to use the last 5 gallons?

Buy a gallon of milk but can't drink the last quart?

Buy a plane ticket but get forced off 300 miles away from your destination?

Pay a toll on the expressway for a 20 mile trip, but must exit at mile 15?

Buy 300 channels of cable, but only be allowed to watch 250 of them?

Buy a book, but aren't allowed to read the last chapter?

If there's a limit, then ISPs should be REQUIRED to tell us what the cap is. No guesswork, no B.S.

Pittsburgh, PA

5 recommendations

reply to linuxuser

Re: what a muppet

The soft cap appears to be 10 TB.

I'm ok with this because it's so astronomically high that it doesn't matter for anyone who does anything reasonable.


Tampa Bay
·Verizon FiOS
·Bright House

3 recommendations

reply to MovieLover76

Re: Houkouonchi: 1 of 45

said by MovieLover76:

For all but the smallest minority of users on FiOS the service is completely unlimited

No, it absolutely IS NOT.

Those users have only the perception of unlimited because they haven't hit the soft cap. Perception is not reality.

The dictionary definition of "unlimited" is: (emphasis added is mine)

1.) not limited; unrestricted; unconfined.
2.) boundless; infinite; vast;
3.) without any qualification or exception; unconditional.

The service fails to meet the definition of unlimited the moment Verizon says "your consumption is excessive".

By the way, bandwidth pricing at the datacenter is sub-$1 per megabit at sufficient commit, and sub-$2 in many more cases. So $300/month on an all-fiber FTTP network (carrier owns the entire loop) that allows sustained 100 Mbps transfers is not a completely unreasonable expectation these days.


·Verizon FiOS

2 recommendations

reply to cableties

Re: 'Excessive Residential' FiOS users...

said by cableties:

I don't think I even get close to a TB/month... wait make that 300MB/month...

I don't know, maybe if you could bring that down to 150MB/month, that sounds a little excessive in my opinion.


·Verizon FiOS

3 recommendations

reply to FFH5

Re: Running servers is prohibited - what doesn't he understand?

said by FFH5:

Running servers is prohibited by the TOS. What about that is hard to understand? The fact that Verizon doesn't boot every user running a server( which for most people is little or no extra traffic) isn't a defense.

You've failed to get the point, since he says he moved to FIOS business which does allow servers...it's all about bandwidth.