FCC Wants Answers From All Major Carriers Regarding Data Throttling Practices

FCC Wants Answers From All Major Carriers Regarding Data Throttling Practices

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After probing Verizon for its data throttling practices, the FCC is now asking all major mobile carriers to justify data throttling. Verizon first announced that it would be slow down speeds for the top 5% of unlimited 4G LTE data customers starting in October, which had the FCC voicing its concern for the new policy.

In its initial response, Verizon noted that it is doing no wrong in throttling customers. Verizon claimed other carriers like AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have been doing it for years and "This practice has been widely accepted with little or no controversy."

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was not buying Verizon's response (and neither are we!)

"'All the kids do it' was never something that worked for me when I was growing up," he told reporters Friday.

"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 (network management) 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."

Wheeler reportedly wrote the other carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint) after receiving Verizon's first response to the matter. AT&T has not immediately comment on the matter, while a Sprint spokeswoman said the company will respond to Wheeler's letter.

T-Mobile said its "network practices are consistent with the Commission’s rules on the open Internet, are innovative and are good for consumers and competition."

Data throttling is a practice all carriers use today to help fight what they claim is a crunch on network spectrum and capacity. However, studies have found that data throttling is actually pointless -- people will still use their data regardless of the speed. In other words, carriers are fine if you pay $400 for 40GB a month, but not if you pay $30 a month with an unlimited plan.

We're not sure why the FCC Chairman has suddenly decided to ask questions now, but don't expect much to come out of these discussions.

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FCC Wants Answers From All Major Carriers Regarding Data Throttling Practices
Extrabatterylover - August 11, 2014 at 8:29am
Let us all remember how shitty CDMA is . Here's the shitty deal : hey I'm on the phone with Bob and want to look up something oh wait I can't because I have shitty CDMA .
Morons - August 11, 2014 at 3:38am
Anyone who currently thinks AT&T reins supreme in speed or data coverage over Verizon is a fucking moron and is clearly living off the early 2k AT&T stats. I have a "grandfathered" unlimited data plan since it was first offered and have been a customer of theirs for 14 years. I have an iPhone through them. My company is currently paying for a Verizon line for me in which I carry the Galaxy S5. I work in downtown Chicago in IT and should have excellent internet access being such a central location/populated area. However, their connection is dogshit compared to Verizon because they wont spend the money to move on from their stupid TDMA systems. If you dont know the difference between TDMA and CDMA, you should do some research and see how AT&T is robbing you. If it werent for the WIFI in my office, i would have no net access on my iPhone, yet my Galaxy flies. AT&T used to have great coverage but they are the "out with the old" company and they know it (hence the shitty move to cable tv). Verizon is wise and fronts their money to maintain/develop network diversity, while AT&T continues to complain they are not making money on their old shitty networks. People are dumping AT&T because they pretty much took it in the ass from Verizon and they will soon end up eating turds off the floor like Sprint.
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Drew - August 9, 2014 at 11:43pm
Can anyone tell me the difference between this and what AT&T is doing to the people that had/have the unlimited plan?
JoshvanHulst - August 10, 2014 at 2:27am
I can definitely tell you from my experience with AT&T over the years being an original AT&T Wireless customer losing my my old grandfather plans and then having to start over with Cingular on new plans it was awful. Fast forward to when the iPhone 4 came out, AT&T announced they would do away with the unlimited plans because they supposedly weren't making any money from it. So what they do no to make it very hard for customers to want to stick with their unlimited data plans is grandfather it out. So whenever you want to change you plan to the new Mobile Share or remove the data feature for one month, they will not allow you to keep it. Also if you tether you phone to use the unlimited data, they place a "beacon" on your line that monitors the data that is streamed from your phone if it truly coming from the phone. It appears to me that they do it looking at external MAC ID's from devices that use tethering. To really kill off users from using the unlimited data plan they throttle your speed to 3G speed for the billing cycle that you are in, till the bill cycles for a new month. I have 6 lines that I own that have the unlimited data. I willing to give a line to someone if they want to pay to use it monthly.
zbr - August 9, 2014 at 11:06pm
Why now?? Simple, because Verizon made the simple mistake of just publicly announcing their plan to throttle Unlimited Customers and Making a Clear Distinction between Tiered Data & Unlimited Data Plans by treating them Differently When Using the 700MHz LTE Spectrum. By treating Customers Differently when using LTE Verizon is in Violation of the Agreement made with the FCC when they Purchased/Leased the 700MHz Frequency Block assigned to them. The Agreement Prohibits Any Interference by Verizon Which Would Inhibit a Customers Ability to Use the 700MHz Network. Obviously Verizon's Lame Excuse of "Everyone Else Is Doing It" Should be irrelevant and the FCC needs to look at ALL CELL PROVIDERS NETWORK THROTTLING PRACTICES!!! That means AT&T, Sprint, Tmobile, & All The Regional Carriers Too!!!
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