Since unlimited data has made its comeback in the consumer cellular world, the term “throttling” has gotten a lot of attention. Throttling is essentially when high-speed connections are replaced with slower ones once a usage limit is reached on unlimited data plans. Now Verizon, the largest telecommunications company in the United States, has found itself under fire for possibly cheating its subscribers out of the entirety of the data they pay for every month.
On Verizon’s plans, the high-speed data limit is a staggering 22GB, which many people wouldn’t be able to hit if they tried. With wi-fi or high-speed internet available virtually everywhere, there’s really no need for so much data – which is exactly why that’s the limit. In a recent Reddit thread, however, it was revealed that the large cellular company may not be letting its users get that far before it begins throttling speeds for Netflix and YouTube.
Per the thread: “Recently, user /u/iBen95111 has brought to our attention that Verizon may be manipulating user’s speeds when using streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube.”
The proof against Verizon
The company has always bragged about its ability to bring the fastest speeds to its subscribers, comparing itself to the likes of Sprint, T-Mobile and its biggest competition, AT&T. There are services, however, that compare these speeds to one another and it has found a certain discrepancy in Verizon’s claim to be the fastest.
Subscribers have used fast.com and others to find out exactly how fast these data speeds really are. These tests revealed about around 10Mbps for Verizon users, while substantially higher speeds were seen on other servers.
“Confirmed it myself today. Running fast.com produces 9-12mbps, settles down to 10mbps. Running speedof.me, Speedtest, and coverage, produces speeds upwards of 60mbps. This is a clear issue. No where does Verizon state they throttle to 10mbps. Not cool Verizon. When test on home wi-fi, which I get up to 250mbps down, I’m able to consistently get that with fast.com. The issue is with Verizon throttling. My Netflix setting is set to “unlimited.” I do not have this issue with my ATT line,” said Reddit user crux57.
What does this mean for users?
As Verizon is also known to be quite expensive, especially if you’re on a family plan, many users might benefit from looking elsewhere for their cellular coverage. The issue here is that even though the cap on data is pretty high, if your data speeds are being throttled way before that limit is reached, you are essentially not getting what you pay for.
Many users have also reported that using a VPN can be very helpful in bypassing such a cap. VPN, a virtual private network, keeps Verizon from knowing what sites the user is visiting, therefore it cannot slow down any speeds to specific apps or sites.
Verizon has yet to respond to the allegations being made, but we could expect some sort of reply from the conglomerate in the coming days. If the company fails to answer to this issue, other providers could easily cause a bigger rift using this information.