Verizon’s controversial decision to throttle customers on unlimited data plans under certain scenarios has been called off at the very last moment. The practice, referred to by the carrier as “network optimization,” was scheduled to go into effect on October 1.
In a statement on the matter, Verizon said they’ve valued the ongoing dialogue over the past several months regarding the policy and have decided not to move forward with it.
If you recall, the planned policy first captured headlines in July when the carrier sent notices to customers on grandfathered unlimited plans. Had it been put into effect, unlimited data customers that consumed 4.7GB of data per month or more and have fulfilled their minimum contract term would have seen their speeds drop when connected to a cell site that was experiencing high demand.
As Gigaom points out, Verizon was pretty much going to prioritize customers who buy their data by the gigabyte over those still on unlimited plans. Considering that more than 20 percent of Verizon data customers are still grandfathered into unlimited plans, that would have pissed off a significant number of users.
Given the fiercely competitive wireless landscape in the US today, the last thing you want to do is give loyal customers a good reason to switch to a rival carrier. Even the FCC weighed in on the issue which may have influenced Verizon’s decision reverse course.