When Verizon announced its plans to start throttling the data connections of the top five percent of its bandwidth consumers, there were several caveats given for who would and who wouldn’t fall under the umbrella of users facing the potential for speed throttling. One of those was that you could upgrade to a 4G LTE phone, where it would apparently be a downloading free-for-all. That probably should have set off some alarm bells, because it turns out, at least according to the experiences of one LTE subscriber, that Verizon very much will throttle 4G users at its discretion.
Now, to be fair, this user managed to pull down nearly 60GB over LTE in the span of just two weeks (our kind of smartphone user!), so his usage is definitely up with the tops of what Verizon sees. Now he’s noticing his data speeds are severely limited, dropping to slower than traditional 3G. While it might make perfect sense for Verizon to throttle him, the carrier had previously stated quite unequivocally that “if you have a 4G device, you will not be impacted” by the throttling.
Supposedly, the user was told by Verizon that his excessive downloading constituted “abuse”, giving the carrier the right to cut back his speeds. Again, we totally understand Verizon’s need to manage its network, but this just seems sneaky, bundling excessive use under “abuse”, especially in the light of its own throttling guidelines. If there is a ceiling to how much 4G data users are allowed, whether that’s 10GB, 20GB, or 60GB, that should be spelled-out clearly to subscribers.
Update: Droid-life reports that another Verizon LTE madman has come forward claiming to have used twice as much bandwidth in an even shorter interval without any throttling. That could suggest this was an isolated incident, that the throttling is done at Verizon’s discretion rather than with a set cut-off. Then again, maybe this heavy-hitter just has a couple more days to go before the carrier starts throttling him, too.