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FCC Asking All Carriers to Explain Throttling Policies

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Aug 8, 2014, 1:28 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today indicated the agency has sent letters to AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile with questions pertaining to their network management policies. The issue bubbled to the surface recently when Verizon announced plans to throttle its heaviest unlimited LTE subscribers. In a letter to Verizon, Wheeler called the policy management criteria "deeply troubling." Verizon responded and claimed its policies do not differ from those of its competitors. Wheeler is not convinced. "'All the kids do it' was never something that worked for me when I was growing up," said Wheeler. "My concern in this instance - and it's not just with Verizon, by the way, we've written to all the carriers - is that it is moving from a technology and engineering issue to the business issues ... such as choosing between different subscribers based on your economic relationship with them." AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have not yet responded publicly to the FCC's query.

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Aug 9, 2014, 3:08 PM

Throttling is a Necessary Evil

You cannot offer infinite service on a finite resource.

How carriers get around this is unlimited data but at which speed is not a guarantee.

Even as a self admitted heavy user, I "get it".

Why would you not want to use WiFi where availible over your mobile provider. Even with an "unlimited" plan it saves your battery and is typically faster and more stable.

I am with Sprint and in the past I've used at times over triple digit gigabytes of wireless data in a billing cycle. It's hard on your device and the battery other than "bragging rights" or that feeling you "got one over on the man" it's really anti climatic.

Let's all grow up and use our devices responsibly.
...you're the one playing Minecraft 24/7 that I spoke of in my post? Give it a rest, pal. Your TV is feeling lonesome. 😢
Wi Fi is not available where I live. Unbelievable that Verizon has defenders. Just goes to show that when Armageddon occurs there will indeed be those fighting by Satan's side who know exactly who they are fighting for.

Aug 8, 2014, 3:26 PM

Why is it wrong for Tmobile to throttle

They are very clear about their throttling practices. Once you run out of the high speed data allotment you purchase, you are throttled for the remainder of the month. The rest of the carriers throttle you even when you have unlimited data.
T-mobile actually uses throttling as a selling point--they don't charge overages--and they still offer truly unlimited 4G for customers who don't want to deal with slow down.
they are clear about throttling....i agree. but the other carriers just say that unlimited doesn't mean un-throttled. you know?

Aug 8, 2014, 2:31 PM

Wheeler Said...

.."'All the kids do it' was never something that worked for me when I was growing up."

Well, If my friends jumped off a bridge, So did I. It was awesome. Some of us didn't come out alive. The rest of us suffered broken bones and/or permanent memory loss. But,it was a gang thing. We were kids.

John B.
Was your past the inspiration for your username? Did you spend a lot of time behind bars?

Aug 8, 2014, 4:43 PM


Dear Mr. Wheeler,

Wireless companies throttle their customers so that the families with dopey kids aren't hogging everyone else's bandwidth 24/7 playing Minecraft.

Simple ;)
What he's saying is that carriers have the money/resources to make it so 'network optimization' is never even needed...but they'd rather milk customers instead. I don't understand why people make excuses for billion dollar corporations
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