Following their announcement made in February that the company would be throttling data for the top 5% of its users, Verizon has officially started what they call “Network Optimization Practices,” just in time for the iPhone 5 launch sometime next month.

These “Network Optimization Practices” consist of reducing the data speed of the top 5% of Verizon users, a.k.a those who are on an unlimited data plan and use more than 2GB of data per month…

Verizon sent the following email to its customer:

“Beginning 9/15, we will start identifying customers who meet these criteria and will expand to others in the base after customer communications are completed. Network Optimization Practices only goes into effect when an Internet or Smartphone device with an unlimited plan/feature falls into the top 5% of data usage and is on a congested cell site.

Verizon Wireless is always looking for ways to give customers the superior experience they expect from our network – an amazing resource that – shared by tens of millions of customers. To achieve this, customers within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users, may have their data speeds periodically reduced. This reduction will last for the remainder of the current billing cycle as well as the one immediately following. This is to make sure all users enjoy high quality network performance even when on a congested cell site.”

So yeah, technically it’s still unlimited data, but at a lower speed once you hit the 2GB mark.

Data throttling is already used in many countries around the world, and like it or not, it’s not going away. With devices such as the iPhone getting more and more data-hungry, this was a predictable move from major carriers.

AT&T also announced a couple months ago that it will also throttle data for its top 5% users. Even though Sprint has been priding itself in its truly unlimited data plans, they will most likely follow AT&T and Verizon’s lead should they get the iPhone 5 this year as rumored.

[Droid Life]

  • XepptizZ

    I’m definitly the other 95 percent, but even though 5% doesn’t sound bad, it’s still 1 in 20 people.

  • Juan

    funny. I’m considering saving $5 and dropping to the 2GB plan. I’ve never even hit 1GB in a given month.

    • Greg

      Don’t do it. You’ll regret it. It’s worth the $5 to keep it. I’ve been kicking myself every since I downgraded.

    • abc

      U should have gotten unlimited with the Thunderbolt when it came out because then you would have been locked into the 4g data.

  • iPwn

    I don’t mind this. Also from their announcement it sounds like it’ll only happen when your on a cell site that is congested and needs the bandwidth so once your off that site you get normal speeds back, nice!

  • funny

    why do they call it unlimited if is limited?
    this is what I call BS

  • Matt

    I winder how fast throttled speed will be becouse I think im being throttled.

  • Ivan

    I spend all day watching netflix so i know im in those 5% i use up to 20 gb a month how much do u guys use

  • Ivan

    I spend all day watching netflix so i know im in those 5% i use up to 20 gb a month how much do u guys use?

  • Claudiu

    This is hart I don’t even get it

  • Sean

    Why do ppl have data phone if they don’t even use over 2gb of data. It doesn’t take that much to use up 2gb, Better yet 5gb. This is a ripoff by these phone comapnies, I’m sure more than 5% of ppl use more that the given GB, they are counting on the ppl who have unlimited data to believe they use less data. I hope sprint don’t do this , cause as soon as AT&T start throttling , I’m hopping over

    • Dane

      It’s called wifi. It is way faster and is free. If I’m at home, work, school or a friends I always jump in wifi. Optimum and Att have a lot of wifi hotshots all over my area so I avoid 3G like the plague. I use about 1gb a month and that almost all comes from streaming pandora while I drive. I couldn’t imagine using more than 2gbs of data if your on 3G. It is so slow, feels like what DSL was 5 years ago. Wifi FTW

  • Shelbythekid

    I can’t believe that they can get away with this. When you pay for something, you should get what you pay for. It’s cool if you have unlimited and don’t use that much, but when the iPhone came out and I switched to the family unlimited plan it was because I NEEDED it. I listen to aol and iheart all day on headphones at work. If I knew this was gonna happen it may have swayed my decision on what I bought. I guess the thing to do is buy a tablet, and get a cricket modem or hot-spot device. In the end it would be way cheaper!

  • The Wizard’s Baker

    I use about 6 gb a month they dropped my unlimited plan for the 2 gb.

    • Fern

      Wow are you serious?! So not cool man.
      When I go to clients in the winter for a month straight, I stream a lot via chat and pandora. I touch the 2gb mark.
      But out of principle, that is grimey!!!

  • Steve

    So I called verizon today cause my data speed has been around 0.05mbps for a few days and asked if they were throttling my phone and the guy said that verizon doesn’t throttle.. I call BS. can anyone confirm if they do or not?

  • Yeah they def do. I have been having the same issue and my phone has become useless. It is so slow that I cannot use anything on it. I am in the top 5% and I am being throttled even though they say they don’t do that. They also mentioned that after my billing cycle is up my speeds will go back up. I have spent 4 hours on the phone with them arguing. Not only have they throttled my phone so much that it won’t work at all but now the battery drains like crazy because it is constantly trying to connect but it has to work extra. My iphone wont last half a day now. I told them I want out of my contract because that was not part of it over a year ago when I signed for it and now that I can’t use my data at all after I reach the top 5% I want out.They told me they wont let me out and I told them I would grab a lawyer who might wanna help me out and I was quickly transferred to an upper level tech to fix my “Network Optimization Issues” They also tried to sell me on 4g and upgrading because there is no throttling there and I told them to get lost. You want me to sign in and buy a new phone because you have rendered the other one useless by crushing my data speed? Right!