VZW Optimization

*EDIT* On 2/3/2011 news stories were published that confirmed this was just for new contract customers. So existing Verizon customers like myself will be grandfathered into exemption from this plan unless we sign a new plan. Interestingly enough this was also effective the day existing Verizon customer can purchase the iPhone.

So I received a message from Verizon today informing me of the new “optimization” of their data traffic starting tomorrow 2/3/2011. Part of this will be done by using new compression technology; the other part will be done by reducing data speed for the top 5% of data users periodically. The link provided for more info gives an error. From what I can tell this is going to affect 1 of every 20 data users, Verizon’s statement is that this will affect a few of the users to keep the network stable and quick for the rest. The document states that Verizon has 94 million users; this will affect 4.7 million of those users which Verizon considers a few. I can only assume this is the first we are seeing of the net neutrality ruling passed by the FCC last year.

Part of what strikes me odd is there is no info available as to what the average data use is and what the approximate amount is to put you in the top 5%. I have not seen anything official but several posts in forums saying 2 GB is the threshold. Regardless I know I will be in the top 5% as my data use has been steady 10+ GB per month for a while. The problems I see with this is many apps access the internet for various reasons that are not necessarily to benefit the user, i.e. check for updates, submit scores, display ads ect… many of these features can not be turned off easily by the user.  As I know I am in the top 5% of users I again do not know how this will affect me. Most of my data usage is due to downloading podcasts. I do not stream these so if it takes longer to download I will just listen to another one that has already been downloaded; currently I have around 1 GB of podcasts I can listen to before I have exhausted my library. I am astonished that news outlets have not been reporting on this as there has been so much hoopla in the past regarding net neutrality. Below I have attached the Verizon info announcing this.

Important Information about Verizon Wireless Data Plans and Features www.verizonwireless.com/vzwoptimization

As part of our continuing efforts to provide the best experience to our more than 94 million customers, Verizon Wireless is introducing two new network management practices.

We are implementing optimization and transcoding technologies in our network to transmit data files in a more efficient manner to allow available network capacity to benefit the greatest number of users. These techniques include caching less data, using less capacity, and sizing the video more appropriately for the device. The optimization process is agnostic to the content itself and to the website that provides it. 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. For a further, more detailed explanation of these techniques, please visit

If you subscribe to a Data Plan or Feature on February 3, 2011 or after, the following applies:

Verizon Wireless strives to provide customers the best experience when using our network, a shared resource among tens of millions of customers. To help achieve this, if you use an extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users we may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand. Our proactive management of the Verizon Wireless network is designed to ensure that the remaining 95% of data customers aren’t negatively affected by the inordinate data consumption of just a few users.


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One Response to “VZW Optimization”

  1. Leland W. Gutierrez Says:

    95% of our data customers will not see any change in service. You’ll continue surfing the Web, downloading music, uploading pictures and sending emails just as you always have. The highest data users, the top 5% with 3G devices on unlimited data plans, may experience managed data speeds when connected to a congested 3G cell site after reaching certain data-usage levels in a bill cycle. High data users will feel the smallest possible impact and only experience reduced data speeds when necessary for us to optimize data network traffic in that area.

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