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Smartphone data hogs, beware: Verizon will slow speeds for some 4G customers who fall in the top five percent of data users. Verizon had already throttled connections for some 3G customers, and announced Monday that the policy is coming to 4G in October.

The change will affect the heaviest data users who fall into several categories at once: Those on specific types of 4G plans, in certain times and places. Those in danger of being throttled must be:

  • in the top five percent of data users (as of March this category of customers was using 4.7 GB or more of data each month),
  • paying for a 4G unlimited data plan month-to-month (you have completed your service contract and not signed a new one), and
  • using data in a place and during a time when that specific cell-service area is experiencing high demand.

In its post, Verizon explained its view that this "network optimization" is not true throttling because it doesn't slow speeds for the entire billing cycle.



-- Julianne Pepitone