Published: Thu, August 24, 2017
Sci-tech | By Javier West

New Verizon unlimited plans are going to kill consumer goodwill

New Verizon unlimited plans are going to kill consumer goodwill

Verizon insisted that it was just running a test.

Starting Wednesday, Verizon will offer two variations of its unlimited plan: a budget $75 per month "Go Unlimited" option with AutoPay and an $85 per month "Beyond Unlimited" plan (again, with AutoPay). The drop in speed is a few percentage points overall, but the problem is probably more related to congestion at popular spots during peak times.

During those instances when a lot of people are streaming video over the network while waiting at the airport for instance, it ends up putting a crunch on the system. In short, at least some people are going to see their video quality whacked with an ugly stick they can't change or turn off, even if they want to. Postpaid subscribers billed monthly spend the most on wireless services. The Beyond Unlimited plan will offer 15GB of 4G LTE hotspot speeds per month and reduce tethering speeds to 600kbps after that. Data will be throttled at 22 GB in most instances. In a statement, the company told Ars Technica that current policies allow carriers to manage traffic to ensure smooth performance and that video performance caps are a "non-discriminatory network management practice" that guarantees consistent network speeds. Verizon's director of corporate communications, Kelly Crummey, said that "Eight times in a row RootMetrics has declared Verizon the "undisputed leader" for overall network coverage and reliability".

Guess which testing company Verizon pays. Do we have legacy customers here who are just over Verizon screwing with their video streams and are ready to give another carrier a chance?

If you already have one of the old unlimited plans, you can keep it without having to choose between the two new ones. The fourth option, beyond unlimited, ups the video quality a bit, but still limits phones to 720p and 1080p.

"Verizon's unlimited push earlier this year undoubtedly placed a heavy burden on the network", McCormack added in a report.

This isn't a made-up controversy, by the way. Customers who previously chose the original plan can stick with it, at least for now, Verizon said. "There goes my commission". There's also 720p video streaming (1080p for tablets), unlimited talk, text and data in the United States and roaming in Mexico and Canada. Video streaming is also limited to 480p. Verizon has declined to comment on why the changes are being made. In addition, the "Go Unlimited" plan limits the video quality to 480p. Video capped to 720p on smartphones, 1080p on tablets.

And of course, Verizon is trying to spin this as being a good thing for customers.

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