BGR caught a new policy floating around in the Verizon archives that may cause a few of you on the fence on switching carriers to take pause.  Verizon says it will throttle the bandwidth of its top 5% of users going forward.  Verizon has about 94 million customers currently.  Add another 5 million iPhone users who will likely make up the majority of the top 5% and you might be in for some disappointment.

Verizon Wireless strives to provide customers the best experience when using our network, a shared resource among tens of millions of customers. To help achieve this, if you use an extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users we may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand. Our proactive management of the Verizon Wireless network is designed to ensure that the remaining 95% of data customers aren’t negatively affected by the inordinate data consumption of just a few users.

Although every review we saw of the Verizon iPhone gave it glowing marks on voice quality –read fewer dropped calls– every one of the reviews said the data speed lagged significantly behind AT&T as well usually by a factor of 2.  With Verizon throttling even that bandwidth, the experience on Verizon might not be what you’re after.

It gets worse.  

Verizon will also be optimizing images over its network.  If you aren’t familiar with that is, a carrier can compress images before they hit the airwaves to save bandwidth. While it does make the download quicker, quality suffers.  Verizon will also be doing this to videos as well.

We are implementing optimization and transcoding technologies in our network to transmit data files in a more efficient manner to allow available network capacity to benefit the greatest number of users. These techniques include caching less data, using less capacity, and sizing the video more appropriately for the device. The optimization process is agnostic to the content itself and to the website that provides it. While we invest much effort to avoid changing text, image, and video files in the compression process and while any change to the file is likely to be indiscernible, the optimization process may minimally impact the appearance of the file as displayed on your device. For a further, more detailed explanation of these techniques, please visit


PDF from Verizon