Verizon will soon start throttling certain unlimited 4G LTE customers

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Starting October 1, Verizon customers on unlimited data plans that meet certain criteria will see their 4G LTE wireless connection throttled as part of what the carrier calls “Network Optimization,” a practice that previously only affected 3G connections. The good news is that the list of criteria that must be met for speed reduction to occur is pretty lengthy. Keep in mind that a customer must meet all of the criteria before reduced speeds kick in. Also, once a user has been throttled, they may continue to be impacted for the rest of the current billing cycle and through the next billing cycle.

The days of truly unlimited LTE data on Verizon Wireless are coming to a close. Today, the largest US carrier announced that it will begin applying its “network optimization” practices, which previously only affected the 3G network, to unlimited 4G LTE customers starting October 1st. Beginning on that date, the carrier will slow you down if you’re “connected to cell sites experiencing heavy demand.” But Verizon’s policy is far from straightforward, and it’s in no way universal. To risk slower speeds, you must also meet allof the following criteria: 1) You’re using a 4G LTE smartphone on an unlimited data plan. 2)Your current data usage falls within the top 5 percent of all Verizon users. This ceiling will almost certainly fluctuate in the future. As of March, hitting 4.7GB in a single month was enough to put you over it. 3) You’re a month-to-month customer. Most people probably fall into this category, but if you’ve recently managed to renew your contract, you don’t need to worry about throttling. This is one situation where being under contract is a good thing. Of course, extending an unlimited plan isn’t supposed to be technically possible anymore. But where there’s a will there’s a way, and users have occasionally discovered loopholes that allow the plans to be renewed for another two years.

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