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FCC calls Verizon plan to throttle speeds 'disturbing'

2014-08-01 09:32 by
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Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler sent a letter to Verizon questioning its plan announced last week to slow down 4G connection speeds for certain customers with unlimited data plans.

The telecom giant said it would throttle speeds to help manage its network. But Wheeler rejected "network management" as a justification for slowing connections of paying customers. He called Verizon's actions "disturbing," suggesting that the company was trying to force people into usage-based plans, in which customers pay per gigabyte.

"'Reasonable network management' concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams," 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.'"

Verizon's policy for its advanced 4G network means the company may slow the data speeds of the top 5 percent of data users who are on unlimited plans and are using high-bandwidth applications when a cell site is under high demand.

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