A small addition to Verizon's Web site shows that it is no longer slowing down heavy users of unlimited 3G mobile data.
The decision was made in June and resulted in Verizon adding a paragraph to its fine print that described the program.
"Beginning in 2011," it reads, "to optimize our network, we managed data connection speeds for a small subset of customers — those who are in the top 5% of data users and have 3G devices on unlimited data plans — and only in places and at times when the network was experiencing high demand. We discontinued this practice in June, 2015."
This decision, first reported by RCRWireless, comes a year after Verizon backed off a controversial proposal to slow down the heaviest users of unlimited 4G LTE. The plan raised concerns among regulators at the Federal Communications Commission, and Verizon responded by not implementing it.
Then, when the FCC's net neutrality rules went into effect this year, Sprint said it would preemptively repeal its throttling policy to ensure that it did not run afoul of the new rules.
Verizon's latest decision suggests that it may have the same thing on its mind. By ending its support for throttling 3G data, the company would be shielded from any accusations that it is treating unlimited-data customers less fairly compared with users on data-capped, metered plans — which was the argument the FCC leveled at Verizon on 4G data.
"We make business decisions all the time," Verizon said in a statement to the Post. "Because it was such a small subset of customers who were affected [by the 3G throttling], we made the call to discontinue even a limited approach to managing data connection speeds."
The FCC did not respond to a request for comment.