Verizon will start throttling its unlimited data users on October 1st


Verizon launched their “Network Optimization” policy back in the Fall of 2011, which at the time meant the company could throttle 3G data speeds for their heaviest users in congested service areas. Unfortunately Verizon is now updating that policy to include wireless users on their 4G LTE network with unlimited data plans. Just how long Verizon will throttle affected users depends on a long list of criteria, in their words, “The customer may continue to be impacted for the rest of the current billing cycle and through the next billing cycle, but only while on a cell site that is experiencing high demand.”

Millions of Verizon users still pay for unlimited data, but Verizon says the updated policy will only affect the top 5% of users. As of now, Verizon’s website says users need to use over 4.7GB of 4G LTE data a month to be in the top 5%. The full criteria that must be met before being throttled is as follows:

  • Top 5% of data users (you use 4.7GB of data per month or more)
  • Enrolled on an unlimited data plan or feature
  • Have fulfilled their minimum contract term
  • Are attempting to use data on a cell site that is experiencing high demand

As for ways to limit your data usage, Verizon suggests these remedies:

  • Migrate to a MORE Everything plan or usage based data feature
  • Use your device’s Wi-Fi options
  • Use VZW tools to track and manage data usage:
  • View real-time data use information on My Verizon and My Verizon Mobile
  • Predict data needs by using Verizon’s Data Calculator
  • Install the Data Usage Widget (available on most smartphones)
  • Dial #DATA from the device to receive a text with data use information

Although throttling is not uncommon, it is curious that only the top 5% of users use over 4.7GB. Regardless, for those of us who use large amounts of data, this news is heartbreaking. The full statement (which will be sent to customers August 1st) can be found below:

Verizon Wireless strives to provide its customers with the best wireless experience when using our network. In 2011, Verizon Wireless launched Network Optimization, which slows the data speeds of its unlimited data subscribers with 3G devices who are in the top 5% of data users when they connect to a cell site experiencing high demand. Effective October 1, Verizon Wireless will expand its existing Network Optimization policy to include its unlimited data subscribers using 4G LTE devices who have fulfilled their minimum contract term. Based on your plan and recent data usage, one or more lines on your account may experience a reduction in data speeds when connected to a cell site experiencing high demand. Customers on MORE Everything or other usage-based data plans are not subject to Network Optimization. For more information about our Network Optimization, please refer to

Source: Droid Life


About the Author: James Gray

Jim is a musician/nerd/burrito enthusiast living north of Boston. In his free time (of which he has none) he plays guitar and tinkers with the absurd amount of Android devices he owns. Born and raised on a farm in the backwoods of Vermont, Jim spent a few years after high school traveling the states, settling temporarily on Massachusetts. His first Android phone was an HTC G1, and he's had countless devices since. He is also really good at convincing people to buy stuff. He currently lives with his girlfriend and writes for Talk Android between selling cell phones, playing in a band and running a record label.

  • xgman

    One day in the future, people will look back on this and laugh at the days when there was no unlimited data for all.

  • mgrimmenator

    this is some bs. i guess they can get away with it since your contract term is done so they don’t have to legally uphold there end anymore. this is just another case of big business not making enough money on the few people and getting greedy. this stuff pisses me off, so much so that i may be telling Verizon to kiss off and switch to another carrier. only reason i hadn’t before was due to the throttling by other carriers. but not they are on board with it too, i may as well switch and save money.

  • Bill

    This is one reason I left Verizon for AT&T. They want too much control over their customers.

    And what do you all think of this company whom Germany cancelled a contract with because of their cooperative willingness to share YOUR communication content with government agencies without a warrant or probable cause? Nice huh?