FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler isn’t happy with Verizon’s reply to his strongly worded letter, which chastises the company for its plans throttle some unlimited LTE subscribers. See, Big Red defended the move and reasoned that the other major carriers (AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile) do it too, and it’s a widely accepted practice to maintain a network’s quality. “‘All the kids do it’ is something that never worked with me when I was growing up,” Wheeler said, adding that the excuse didn’t even work for his kids. The chairman also revealed that he sent similar letters to the other carriers after the sending the first to Verizon, asking them to explain themselves for adopting the practice.
The nation’s top telecom regulator doesn’t much like Verizon’s latest attempt to justify slowing down 4G LTE for a select group of its customers. Just because Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T all slow down mobile data for users who go over their monthly limit — or who account for a disproportionate share of consumption — doesn’t make it okay for Verizon to do the same, said Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. In recent weeks, Wheeler and Verizon have been at loggerheads over a new policy from the wireless company that will slow down the top 5 percent of LTE users on unlimited data plans when the network is extremely busy. The plan doesn’t go into effect until October, but days after it was announced Wheeler sent a strongly worded letter to Verizon demanding that it explain its actions. Verizon wrote back that its throttling activity fell under the definition of “reasonable network management” and, moreover, that other wireless carriers had similar policies. But Wheeler rejected that argument Friday, telling reporters that Verizon’s network management policies risked becoming a “business issue.” (Verizon skeptics worry that the company is trying to shift unlimited data customers onto more profitable metered data plans.)