Verizon angered a lot of customers - and even the FCC - when it announced it would start "throttling" unlimited data users on its 4G LTE network. That means the company would purposely slow down customers' data connection when the network became too congested. But, the company has now reversed course and trashed those plans to the delight of some customers and government regulators.
The change of heart isn't that surprising since Verizon's biggest competition has ramped up efforts recently to steal away customers. AT&T and Sprint have recently gone back and forth with limited-time promotions that can double the amount of data customers get on certain family plans.
Instead of angering customers with the unpopular policy and driving them into the arms of the competition, Verizon chose to do away with the plan.
Verizon hasn't promised to end throttling altogether, though. It's just not going to target unlimited 4G LTE users specifically.
Data throttling isn't anything new. Verizon has been using the practice with unlimited 3G customers for years now. All major carriers practice some form of throttling to take pressure off of cell sites when they become too crowded.
Since 2011, Verizon has throttled 3G users who have unlimited data plans when they connect to congested cell sites if they fall within the top five percent of data users. That's 4.7GB or more per month.
The FCC wasn't complaining about throttling in general, just how Verizon chose who to slow down. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that Verizon is throttling unlimited users specifically to try and get people who use a ton of data every month to switch to limited data plans that will cost them more in overage charges every month. That's because Verizon no longer offers unlimited data plans, but some users have contracts with the service grandfathered in.
Sadly, this isn't good news for all Verizon customers. This decision only affects users on the 4G LTE network. There are no plans to quit throttling unlimited 3G data users.