Verizon to start bandwidth throttling top 5 percent bandwidth users

Will automagically transcode your streaming media

IF YOU’RE A HEAVY bandwidth users with Verizon you might want to re-think your choice of network, as the company has issued some changes to its data usage policies as of today that allows them to throttle the top five percent of its users. On top this, the cellular network operator has decided that streaming media uses up too much of its bandwidth and will from now on transcode all streaming video passing through its network.

Verizon has decided that the users that fall in the top five percent who suck down the most bandwidth will have their data speeds throttled, although it doesn’t say by how much and this is meant to only be in affect during peak usage times. However, the company has decided that it’s not good enough for its users to be throttled for the remaining of the month and as such the top five percent will be penalized by being throttled the following month as well.

The question is what happens when the current top five percent have been replaced by the five percent below then and then this group of users has been replaced by the ones below them and so forth. In the end it seems like Verizon will be throttling the data speed for a lot more than five percent of its most bandwidth hungry users depending on how this scheme is played out. Somehow this feels like a scam to by Verizon to get rid of bandwidth heavy users and just in time for its CDMA iPhone launch as well.

As for the video transcoding, the company seems to think that too many users are streaming videos that aren’t optimized for the”small screen” so to say and will implement a blanket transcoding policy. As such any streaming video will be”resized” and”optimized” to work better on mobile devices. What Verizon doesn’t seem to take into account are users that connect their notebook to the net via their phone or a wireless modem, but hey, why would anyone want to watch streaming video content on a notebook size screen over a wireless connection?

It also appears that Verizon is considering messing with both text and image based content to further reduce the load on its network. It’s not clear if this will only affect downloads, or if it’ll affect uploads as well which could cause some serious headaches for mobile workers, but it will affect any and all data over HTTP. Verizon has worded things very delicately to make this sound like something the company has done to help out its users, when in fact it can end up causing some serious problems. On top of that, Verizon doesn’t guarantee the quality, yet claims that “While we invest much effort to avoid changing text, image, and video files in the compression process and while any change to the file is likely to be indiscernible, the optimization process may minimally impact the appearance of the file as displayed on your device.” One work around appears to be not to use port 80, but this is unlikely to be an easy work around on many devices. So, who’s up for getting an iPhone on Verizon?S|A

Link to PDF with policy changes

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