Verizon Wants to Fix Crappy Data Speeds by Selling You a Turbo Bandwidth Button

Uneven or shoddy mobile data speeds cramping your Netflix binge or Skype cybering session sucks, but hey, it'll get better naturally as coverage improves, right? Welllllll. As a patchwork moneygrab solution, Verizon's developed an API that'll let mobile apps request a "turbo" bandwidth boost when data speeds start to lag.

The bandwidth boost will cost you, of course. It's a new technology that's still in development, and there's no official model yet, but some early thoughts are paying directly for the bandwidth boost, or the cost being included in a subscription or other pre-existing cost.

Don't misunderstand: Insurance that your data speeds will be acceptable for important calls or files is really cool. But this smacks of commoditizing crappy service into a chance to bleed more dollars out of customers who just want their apps to be usable. And what kind of recourse would a customer have if they did drop the extra cash on a speed boost but still ended up on the outs? So yeah, it's better that this thing exists than not, but it definitely opens the door for a whole bunch of Evil Empire shenanigans. [Technology Review]