Verizon Wireless won't be throttling the LTE speeds of its remaining unlimited data customers after all. In an eleventh hour reversal, the largest US carrier has just announced that it's "decided not to move forward with the planned implementation of network optimization for 4G LTE customers on unlimited plans."
The plan to start slowing down the heaviest users of LTE data on unlimited plans was set to go into effect this month. Verizon stirred a ton of anger and unrest when it announced it would be expanding its network optimization (read: throttling) practices to cover LTE data in July. Apparently all that customer feedback — and harsh criticism from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler — proved overwhelming and convinced Verizon to rethink things. Wheeler has issued a statement on Verizon's change of heart, saying "I salute Verizon Wireless’s decision. This is a responsible action and I commend Verizon’s leadership on this issue." The carrier's full announcement follows below.
Verizon is committed to providing its customers with an unparalleled mobile network experience. At a time of ever-increasing mobile broadband data usage, we not only take pride in the way we manage our network resources, but also take seriously our responsibility to deliver exceptional mobile service to every customer.
We've greatly valued the ongoing dialogue over the past several months concerning network optimization and we've decided not to move forward with the planned implementation of network optimization for 4G LTE customers on unlimited plans. Exceptional network service will always be our priority and we remain committed to working closely with industry stakeholders to manage broadband issues so that American consumers get the world-class mobile service they expect and value.
Verizon's decision comes as the US wireless industry is suddenly experiencing a jumpstart in competition. The top three major carriers — Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint — have doubled the amount of data included with their shared plans for a limited time, and T-Mobile is still aggressively trying to recruit new customers through its Uncarrier initiative.