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On August 22, 2017, Verizon announced that they would be getting rid of their unlimited data (released back in February), and replacing it with three new plans which would be rolled out the following day.
The old versus the new
For comparison, the old unlimited plan cost $80 dollars a month and allowed you to consume data however you want. Verizon would only throttle your internet speed after you’ve consumed 22GB of data in one billing cycle (one month). You also got 10GB worth of LTE tethering. Existing subscribers of this plan would be allowed to keep it, and the LTE tethering would be increased from 10GB to 15GB.
The new data plans however, are more complicated and have far more restrictions. Here’s a basic rundown.
- Go Unlimited ($75/month for 1 line) – Video streaming quality is locked at 480p for smartphones and 720p for tablets.
- Beyond Unlimited ($85/month for 1 line) – Video streaming quality is locked at 720p for smartphones and 1080p for tablets.
- Business Unlimited (price depends on the number of lines) – Video streaming quality is locked at 480p for smartphones and 720p for tablets.
No matter which one you opt, there would be no way to get video quality higher than what your chosen plan allows. Under the Go Unlimited plan, Verizon would be able to throttle your internet speed at any time if there is network congestion. For the Beyond Unlimited plan,however, your internet speed would only be throttled in times of network congestion if you’ve already exceeded the 22GB of allotted data.
What the internet community thinks
As expected, there has been considerable backlash from users directed towards Verizon and its announcement. In fact, several websites and publications condemned the telecommunications giant as soon as the announcement was made.
There are some who think that Verizon’s decision violates net neutrality rules, due to the fact that the company has now become more open about reducing the internet speeds of customers. Others feel like consumers are being asked to pay more money even though they are actually getting less.
What does Verizon have to say?
In response to criticism regarding the video quality cap, the company said that there would be no discernible difference in watching videos at a quality of 720p versus watching it at 1080p.
In addition, Verizon states that what they’re doing is not throttling, but managing traffic and preventing network congestion. According to them, they just want to ensure that each and every one of their subscribers have a great experience on their network.
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