How Verizon and AT&T are Throttling Data

Verizon’s latest ploy to move its customers away from unlimited data plans to a pay-per-gigabite model is under criticism by FCC Chairman Wheeler. Verizon stated that, it order to optimize its network, it would need to throttle data (slow it down) to the 5% of its customer base that uses the most.  Wheeler questioned Verizon on this strategy, stating “”I know of no past Commission statement that would treat as ‘reasonable network management’ a decision to slow traffic to a user who has paid, after all, for ‘unlimited’ service.” Consumers should indeed be wary of tactics like these since the end goal seems to be charging premiums for fast data (Verizon) and good content (see AT&T’s sponsored data), as opposed to the open-source model of free, seamless service that we  have all begun to view as a public good.

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