First reported by Droid Life and confirmed by Ars Technica, Verizon will be shutting off the data hose for unlimited data customers who use more than 100GB a month. Although this will only affect people who have been grandfathered into these plans, since Verizon hasn’t offered them for years, it’s the next step in a long series of middle fingers to people who assumed that unlimited meant unlimited.
By August 31, Verizon customers flagged as using an “extraordinary” amount of data will be forced to switch to one of Verizon’s paid tier plans or have their accounts deactivated. If you’re curious, a 100GB data plan costs $450 a month, though that’s meant to be shared among a large pool of people.
This isn’t the first time Verizon has used slippery tactic to pull unlimited data users onto different plans. Back in 2014, Verizon started throttling customers who exceeded 4.7GB of data usage in congested network areas. The FCC called shenanigans on that idea and Verizon quickly retreated. This is likely Verizon’s nuclear option. Here is Verizon’s full statement to Gizmodo:
More than 100 million Americans rely on our network to stay connected to their friends, family and colleagues, and to the information they need. Because our network is a shared resource and we need to ensure all customers have a great mobile experience with Verizon, we are notifying a very small group of customers on unlimited plans who use an extraordinary amount of data that they must move to one of the new Verizon Plans by August 31, 2016.
These users are using data amounts well in excess of our largest plan size (100 GB). While the Verizon Plan at 100 GB is designed to be shared across multiple users, each line receiving notification to move to the new Verizon Plan is using well in excess of that on a single device.
On a related note, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T still offer some form of unlimited plan.