Verizon’s New Data Plans Will Throttle You

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When Verizon brought back the unlimited data plan earlier this year, it seemed that things were changing. Especially since T-Mobile was doing some big business offering unlimited. However, with all good things they must come to an end. Starting today, Verizon is offering three version of their unlimited plan and all include throttling and resolution restrictions, according to The Verge.

THE NEW PLANS

Go Unlimited
1 line: $75/month
2 lines: $65 per line/month
3 lines: $50 per line/month
4 lines+: $40 per line/month
Paper-free billing and AutoPay must be enabled for these prices, otherwise you pay $5 more/month.

  • Unlimited 4G LTE data, but you could experience reduced speeds if the network is congested at all times. Not after 10GB or 15GB or 20GB or 22GB of full-speed data usage. If the network is congested where you are, you might get slowed down — even at the very beginning of your billing cycle.
  • Unlimited talk/text.
  • DVD-quality video streaming (480p) on smartphones and HD (720p) video streaming on tablets. There’s no way to watch at higher resolution for either.
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot, but hotspot speeds are capped at a maximum of 600kbps.

Beyond Unlimited
1 line: $85/month
2 lines: $80 per line/month
3 lines: $60 per line/month
4 lines+: $50 per line/month
Paper-free billing and AutoPay must be enabled for these prices, otherwise you pay $5 more/month.

  • Unlimited 4G LTE data, but you could experience reduced speeds at times of network congestion once you exceed 22GB in a billing cycle.
  • Unlimited talk/text.
  • HD video streaming on smartphones (limited to 720p) and Full HD 1080p video streaming for tablets. There is no way to stream videos at 1080p or higher on phones — period.
  • Unlimited mobile hotspot data with up to 15GB of LTE speedsIf your laptop is tethered to your phone, video quality on your laptop will be limited to 1080p.
  • Free calling, texting, and data in Mexico and Canada.

“These plans give you the best unlimited choices, but you also get what only Verizon can give you: the best network, the best rewards program, the best way to manage your plan with the My Verizon app and the best selection of phones and devices,” the company wrote in its press release.

Now, keep in mind, if you have an old plan, unlimited plan, or grandfathered plan, you will be able to keep that plan. Unfortunately, the throttling aspect will be implemented, regardless of which plan you are on. “We’re doing this to ensure all customers have a great experience on our network since there is no visible difference in quality on a smartphone or tablet when video is shown at higher resolutions (than 720p on phones and 1080p on tablets).”

Now, let us put some perspective on this. The internet is telling you that this is a bad thing and the throttling aspect is bad. As many of us do not have any way to check on congestion in a certain area, they could simply throttle consumers for whatever reason they choose to. However, if you are streaming a lot of video content, you should be using a Wi-Fi connection anyway or utilize offline viewing.

As far as the resolution issue, that is a big deal about nothing. Viewing 1080p on a 5.5 smartphone is a bit overkill. If you are watching 720p on a smartphone, you will literally notice no difference. You will hear sites claim that Verizon has no proof in the matter but the logic has been in place since the release of high-definition of flat screen televisions.

1080p makes more sense on tablets, as their screen is bigger and the picture quality would be affected. However, the mandatory 480p on smartphones with their lower plan is harsh. Not only that but restricting tablets to 720p is livable but seems a bit of an overreach on their part. It is obvious that they want you to spend $10 more for the next level up.

The bottom line of this news is that this is nothing different than what AT&T and T-Mobile are doing now. Not to mention that people are calling on net neutrality, which it isn’t violating. Net neutrality was designed to keep everyone on the same playing field. They are not favoring any sites with throttling while others are not. This is across the board. It doesn’t make it right but it does make legal.

 

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