Verizon may disconnect unlimited subscribers who use an ‘extraordinary amount’ of data

verizon upgrade fee contracts
Ken Wolter/123RF
Subscribe to Verizon and use lots of data? You may find yourself without service, and soon. Droid Life reports that beginning on August 31, Big Red will disconnect grandfathered unlimited subscribers who use an “extraordinary amount” of 4G LTE data each month.

“Extraordinary amount,” unfortunately, is an ill-defined term — Verizon won’t publicly divulge a figure. Instead, users who run afoul of the carrier’s threshold will be notified individually via a mailer and bill messages. From that point forward, they’ll reportedly have two options: switch to Verizon’s more restrictive, tiered Verizon Plan, or face disconnection. Folks who opt not to swap by August 31 will have 50 days to re-activate their line on a Verizon Plan subscription, according to Droid Life.

Subscribers will begin to receive warnings on Thursday, July 21.

The move comes a week after Verizon revamped its data plans with larger data allotments, higher prices, and new features aimed at curbing overages. Carryover Data lets subscribers keep any data they haven’t used in a month for one billing cycle. Data Boost grants customers a temporary 1GB of 4G LTE data for a one-time charge of $15. And Safety Mode supplants data overage fees with a $5 a month feature, free on Verizon’s pricey XL and XXL plans, that automatically throttles speeds to 128 kilobits when a subscriber runs over their monthly bucket of data.

Verizon has done its darnedest to entice its grandfathered unlimited subscribers to switch to tiered plans, frequently under the pretense of “network management.” In November of last year, it increased the monthly price of unlimited data to $50 (up $20 from the previous $30) — a hike the carrier characterized as necessary to “maintain the highest network” performance. “As data use continues to grow, we continuously evaluate the price of our plans and services,” Verizon said. “There are options out there that don’t involve unlimited that may be a better fit [for some customers].”

In 2014, Verizon took a more drastic measure: throttling of unlimited customers’ data during peak network times. It abandoned those plans after Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a letter warning the company against violating the agency’s net neutrality rules. “It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its ‘network management’ on distinctions among its consumers’ data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology,” he wrote.

Verizon is not the only one guilty of throttling unlimited customers. AT&T reduces the speeds of customers on legacy unlimited data plans after they reach 22GB of 4G LTE of data in a month “at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion.” T-Mobile, meanwhile, throttles customers who use more than 21GB in a billing cycle, and Sprint reduces the speeds of subscribers who hit 23GB within a thirty-day period. None, however, go so far as to threaten customers with disconnection.


The LG V50 ThinQ will be available from Verizon starting on June 20

LG has a habit of releasing too many phones. Following on the heels of the V40 ThinQ, the company has now unveiled the LG V50 ThinQ. There's 5G support, as well as an accessory that turns it into a foldable phone.

Google may speed up the rollout of RCS Chat by taking over for carriers

What is RCS messaging? It's the successor to today's text messaging. It offers features like real-time audio, read receipts, and encryption, but adoption so far has been slow. Here's everything you need to know.

T-Mobile and Sprint may sell $6 billion in assets to win merger approval

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.

You can pre-order the Galaxy S10 5G from Sprint starting today

Samsung announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show, as it's the first 5G-ready smartphone to hit the market.

Rumors say Sony is making an Xperia phone with a six-lens rear camera

How many camera lenses is too many? In the current market, we've seen phones with one, two, three, and even five lenses -- and now rumors are currently saying Sony is planning an Xperia smartphone with six lenses.

Your smartphone knows all your secrets. Put it on lockdown with these tips

Having your smartphone hacked can feel like someone robbed your house. It's a massive invasion of privacy and a violation of your personal space. We've put together a checklist of precautions that will help you avoid this terrible fate.

Report: Samsung will launch the Galaxy Note 10 on August 7 in New York

According to a new report, Samsung will launch the Galaxy Note 10 at an event on August 7 in New York City. The news lines up with last year's event, which took place on August 9, and was also in New York.

Best smartphone deals for June 2019: iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and LG

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $900.

Galaxy Fold's screen problems have mostly been fixed, Samsung says

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is real, but for how long? Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

Best Prime Day smartphone deals: What we expect from the Amazon event

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is almost here, and it's set to be a big one. The event will include some pretty sweet deals on smartphones. If you're on the market for a smartphone, Prime Day might be the time to buy. Here are the best Prime Day…

Fossil is preparing 5 new designer smartwatches, and we can’t wait to see them

Five new designer smartwatches are coming soon from Fossil. Based on FCC listings, it suggests the watches will be released under the Diesel, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani, and the Fossil brand names.

Huawei and Honor make bold Android Q update pledge in the face of U.S. ban

Huawei has opened a website to reassure smartphone buyers about the status of Android and Android Q on its devices. It is confident Android Q will come to the Huawei P30 series and the Honor 20 series.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10's camera might be Samsung's most advanced yet

The Samsung Galaxy S10 range isn't exactly old, but Samsung is already working on the next big release. Details about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 are making their way online, and we've gathered them all for you.