In recent weeks, Wheeler and Verizon have been at loggerheads over a new policy from the wireless company that will slow down the top 5 percent of LTE users on unlimited data plans when the network is extremely busy. The plan doesn't go into effect until October, but days after it was announced Wheeler sent a strongly worded letter to Verizon demanding that it explain its actions. Verizon wrote back that its throttling activity fell under the definition of "reasonable network management" and, moreover, that other wireless carriers had similar policies.
But Wheeler rejected that argument Friday, telling reporters that Verizon's network management policies risked becoming a "business issue." (Verizon skeptics worry that the company is trying to shift unlimited data customers onto more profitable metered data plans.)
"'All the kids do it' is something that never worked with me when I was growing up, and it didn't work for my kids," said Wheeler. "We have to be careful about attempts to reframe the issue."
A Verizon spokesman didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.