Verizon starts data throttling today for bandwidth hogs

Summary:Big Red is getting ready for the network impact from millions of new iPhones by throttling data speeds for customers who do too much with their smartphones.

Big Red is getting ready for the network impact from millions of new iPhones by throttling data speeds for customers who do too much with their smartphones. Verizon will start limiting the speeds available to the top 5 percent of customers using the most bandwidth, to provide the best online experience for the majority of smartphone users.

Data throttling is not new; carriers have employed this technique to limit the heaviest data users for years. Basically, when Verizon determines that a customer is moving too much data on the network, it will limit the top speed that customer can get to move data around. While it makes sense to throttle the speed for the rest of that billing cycle, Verizon will also limit speed the following month, too. That's pretty excessive by anyone's standards.

It's not clear if Verizon will notify customers when they enter the throttled zone, or if service will simply be hampered. While the carrier states only 5 percent of its customers will be throttled, that's potentially a whopping number considering Verizon has 94 million subscribers.

Topics: Networking, Verizon

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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