Verizon threatens bandwidth throttling for mobile data hogs

Verizon's plans to throttle the bandwidth of its heaviest data users have emerged, courtesy of a data memo [pdf link] spotted on the carrier's site. According to the document, Verizon may slash data speeds of the top 5-percent of users, both for the remainder of their current billing cycle and the "immediately following" cycle so as to ensure a solid service for the rest of its subscribers.

"Verizon Wireless strives to provide customers the best experience when using our network, a shared resource among tens of millions of customers. To help achieve this, if you use an extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users we may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand. Our proactive management of the Verizon Wireless network is designed to ensure that the remaining 95% of data customers aren't negatively affected by the inordinate data consumption of just a few users" Verizon memo

The move looks to be in preparation for the new iPhone 4 customers expected to flock to Verizon's network in search of solid data speeds and better voice call performance than on AT&T. We reviewed the Verizon iPhone 4 yesterday and found it to be far more consistent than the GSM version; that consistency may well encourage owners to hammer Verizon's data network.

Meanwhile the same document also suggests Verizon plans to use different compression and caching systems for data in future. The carrier is expected to begin throttling users from today.

"We are implementing optimization and transcoding technologies in our network to transmit data files in a more efficient manner to allow available network capacity to benefit the greatest number of users. These techniques include caching less data, using less capacity, and sizing the video more appropriately for the device. The optimization process is agnostic to the content itself and to the website that provides it. While we invest much effort to avoid changing text, image, and video files in the compression process and while any change to the file is likely to be indiscernible, the optimization process may minimally impact the appearance of the file as displayed on your device. For a further, more detailed explanation of these techniques, please visit"

[via BGR]