FCC fires off letter to Verizon questioning data throttling plan

Verizon's plans to start throttling some users has caught the attention of the FCC, which recently fired off a letter to the carrier asking questions about the business change. The letter was from Chairman Tom Wheeler, who said that he is "deeply troubled" by Verizon's plans.

This past Friday, Verizon revealed that some of its heavy data users on the unlimited plan will see their LTE data throttled — the top five percent of data users are cited as the target. The plan is set to kick off in October of this year, falling under the carrier's Network Optimization policy.

Verizon says this is a network management effort, but says the FCC, "'Reasonable network management' concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue stream." Wheeler goes on to state that network management based on its customers' data plans rather than its tech or architecture is "disturbing".

Verizon has been tasked with answering three questions: what the rationale is for throttling some customers based on data, why the throttling is being expanded from 3G to 4G, and how Verizon justifies its policy under the 700MHz C Block open platform rules.