In the wake of Verizon throttling its heaviest unlimited data users, the FCC sent a letter to the carrier asking for clarification. Though it’s not known if other carriers are doing so, the FCC is nonetheless interested. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has announced they’re discussing this with all other carriers to find out if throttling is a “thing” or not.
Verizon drew attention when they recently announced they’d e throttling data for those who are on unlimited data plans, and happen to be heavy data consumers. The idea is to democratize data coverage, and not to allow a data “hog” to chew up bandwidth in some areas that have limited access. It smacks of ongoing discourse on Verizon’s part, and another gentle nudge away from unlimited data.
The FCC was apparently “deeply troubled” by this plan of action, which Verizon claims is “a measured and fair step to ensure that this small group of customers do not disadvantage all others in the sharing of network resources during times of high demand.” They also claimed it's a “widely accepted” practice.
Wheeler isn’t buying it. “‘All the kids do it’ was never something that worked for me when I was growing up” he told reporters at a FCC public meeting. Wheeler’s interest may have been piqued by that “widely accepted” remark, too:
My concern in this instance — and it’s not just with Verizon, by the way; we’ve written to all the carriers — is that it is moving from a technology and engineering issue to the business issues … such as choosing between different subscribers based on your economic relationship with them.
Verizon was the first to get the attention of the FCC because they announced their plans, so let’s wait to see what the FCC finds — or doesn’t find — before vilifying them further.