Is Verizon throttling data?
Most of today’s “unlimited” data plans begin throttling data once you hit a certain threshold each month. Now, the No. 1 carrier in the United States is being accused of doing this even before the limit is reached when using certain services, according to 9to5Mac.
UPDATED, July 21, 4:24 p.m. EDT:
Verizon confirms it did throttle Netflix and YouTube data, telling Ars Technica:
“We’ve been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network. The testing should be completed shortly. The customer video experience was not affected.”
As originally posted:
The little dirty secret about today’s unlimited data plans is that throttling usually begins after you consume 22GB in a month. However, one Verizon Wireless customer recently took to Reddit to accuse the company of throttling Netflix and YouTube usage even before they hit the 22GB threshold.
User iBen95111 explains:
Confirmed it myself today. Running fast.com produces 9-12mbps, settles down to 10mbps. Running speedof.me, Speedtest, and coverage, produces speeds upwards of 60mbps.
I’m on gUDP 5am in a non saturated market and can confirm findings. 11megabit down on Fast.com, 87Mb down with Speedtest app.
Speedtest: 64, Fast.com: 10 (bounced up to 12, then flipped between 11/10, stopped at 10)
Just to reiterate what we discussed in the original post – fast.com (Netflix servers) shows a consistent ~10-12 Mbps speed test compared to ookla speedtest. YouTube has the same issue of being capped to 10-12 Mbps, and you can see this through the ‘stats for nerds’ page. This is consistent throughout multiple tests, restarts, cell sites and people giving feedback.
Do Verizon’s policies allow this?
As 9to5Mac confirms, the company’s unlimited data FAQ makes no mention of throttling before a user hits the 22GB mark, explaining:
What happens after I use 22GB of data? Most of the time customers will enjoy the same great network experience once they exceed 22GB during a billing cycle. If you’ve already used 22GB on a particular line during your current billing cycle and you’re on a cell site that is congested at that moment, your download may be temporarily queued behind other Verizon Wireless customers, which may result in slightly slower download speeds.
9to5Mac has reached out to Verizon about this issue and will update its posts when they hear back. We’ll do the same here.
Have you noticed Verizon throttling Netflix and YouTube content on your unlimited data plan? Let us know in the comments below.