& cplSiteName &

FCC Boss 'Disturbed' By Verizon Throttling

Sarah Thomas
8/4/2014
50%
50%

Count the head of the FCC amongst those who are not happy with Verizon's decision to 'throttle' the heaviest 5% of data users on congested cell sites.

In a letter released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week, Chairman Tom Wheeler called into question Verizon Wireless 's plan to extend its 3G "Network Optimization" policy to its 4G LTE network. Beginning in October, the carrier plans to slow down network connections for heavy unlimited data customers that "have fulfilled their minimum contract term" on LTE and are on a heavily-trafficked cell site. (See Verizon Applies 3G Throttling Policy to LTE.)

Wheeler said he was "deeply troubled" by this policy given that Verizon is basing network management on data plan distinctions rather than on network architecture or technology. He wrote: "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."

He sees the move as a way for Verizon to ease more users off unlimited plans and onto other packages in order to make them more profitable customers. "Reasonable network management concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams," Wheeler said.

Verizon responded that it's reviewing Wheeler's letter and will draft a formal response in the timeframe requested, but it reiterated that this is a "highly targeted and very limited network optimization effort."


Want to know more about 4G LTE? Check out our dedicated 4G LTE content channel here on Light Reading.


Wheeler is trying to make a name for himself as a consumer advocate and defender of the open Web with protests such as this and his stand against device unlocking restrictions. It's worth noting, however, that most carriers have some sort of throttling in place, and some are farther reaching too, including that practised by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), which throttles anyone that exceeds 5GB of LTE data during the course of a month. (See Phone Unlocking: Almost Legal, Still Not Easy.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
GregW333
50%
50%
GregW333,
User Rank: Lightning
8/18/2014 | 6:01:53 PM
Re: Trust but Verify
Seven,

 

You bring up some good points.  Be happy to discuss directly with you.

 

Best,


Greg W. 
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/18/2014 | 5:09:52 PM
Re: Trust but Verify
GW,

I am not forgetting....let me give you some thoughts as a debate....

1 - Is Verizon going to offer a service that GUARANTEES anything?  Is Verizon going to manage the millions of endpoints involved on a GUARANTEED basis?  Netflix is not paying extra for anything without an SLA.  Think about that and the legal/administrative needs involved.  I think it might cost more than its worth.  Just my opinion.

2 - Verizon makes a lot of money today as do all the facility based ISPs.  They want more.  You are the one that said they need to make a fair rate of return.  You need to define that that way we can agree on a number.

3 - Let's go to the video side of FiOS or U-Verse or any cable system.  I would say that the broadband service is riding for free on the services that are created by Netflix and Google et al.  That is a LOT better deal for them than they get on the other content business where they have to PAY to get content.  I can't wait until Google shows up at Verizon and demands a payment to allow Verizon customers to use Google Services.  And remember, all bandwidth is paid for by someone or other (Google pays its service providers and consumers pay their ISP).  Don't forget that the ISPs get a free ride here as well.

seven

 

 

 
GregW333
50%
50%
GregW333,
User Rank: Lightning
8/18/2014 | 2:31:43 PM
Re: Trust but Verify
Brooks,

 

You are forgetting the other side of N.N.   What if Netflix wants to pay VZ or any last 50 mile service provider to ensure their traffic, hence their service, meets their customer expectations.  They have competition too.  Give the previous NN regs Netflix could not pay for better service.  

VZ et al spend billions building, upgrading and maintaining networks including the extremely expensive access network.  Why can they not earn a fair return on that investment?  They ARE not a public utility as far as broadband goes.  I'm not an accountant so fair to me is what the market will bear given user demand and competitive pressures. 

Ironically, People have angst when VZ tries to make a profit on their heavy lifting yet no one seems to mind that Google, et al who get a free ride earn $1000's per SECOND.  


GW
brooks7
50%
50%
brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/18/2014 | 12:17:44 PM
Re: Trust but Verify
GregW333,

So when you say Net Neutrality is bad, that has potentially broad connotations.  So, before you get completely ripped....let's clarify.  Let's say that Verizon and Netflix are the companies in a discussion here.  Should Verizon be able to:

1 - Block Netflix completely?

2 - Throttle Netflix to an amount that makes their streams unwatchable?

3 - Toss away Netflix traffic if it exceeds a specfic amount?

4 - Require that Netflix pay Verizon for letting its traffic traverse its network?

Now the other problem is that you have defined that Verizon in this case should get a "reasonable return on their investment".  What is that return?

seven

 
GregW333
50%
50%
GregW333,
User Rank: Lightning
8/18/2014 | 11:15:58 AM
Trust but Verify
This is a great case in point about the FCC need to trust but verify.  I think Net Neutrality is bad and the SPs should have more flexibility to earn a reasonable return on their investment.  Yet... Trust but Verify!
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/6/2014 | 4:17:01 PM
Unlimited doesn't mean what you think it means...
And "up to" is a very key set of four letters that means you won't get speeds anywhere near as fast as printed in the marketing material.

It's hard trust any wireless carrier's ads.. when their terms of service are written in 4-point font and stretch on for several pages.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
8/4/2014 | 2:39:12 PM
Re: Posturing or true outrage?
mendyk - "We are all so easily outraged."

I'm outraged that you should say that. 
mendyk
100%
0%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/4/2014 | 1:26:05 PM
Re: Posturing or true outrage?
We are all so easily outraged. The big issue here is that mobile operators need to stop promising things they can't or won't deliver. Let's start with the word "unlimited." It's misleading at best. Even if you cover it with an asterisk and fine print, it connotes a promise that can't be kept.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP's Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Comcast Will Go Wireless in 2017
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/20/2016
Sprint CEO: We'll Lease Spectrum as Soon as Possible
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
You Thought Your Customer Service Was Unreliable... Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.