Today the news coverage of ATT’s $60 million fine for deliberately throttling cellular internet data raises new questions for me. I’ve covered the same issue with Verizon Wireless in detail here on my blog for years. The most recent blog post documenting the problem is here. Verizon Wireless admits to the practice of deliberate throttling. They admit that they could easily stop the practice on a customer-by-customer basis. They admit that internet access is essential to economic progress and quality of modern life. They also admit that it is not an ethical to deny rural residents access to the internet. But still, the practice continues to cripple my business.
The underlying issue is that Verizon Wireless sold me an unlimited data plan (actually I have two unlimited data plans for personal and business) and then later said that they were deliberately slowing the data down to unusable speed after about 7 days per month at full speed. I live and work in a remote rural area where other internet options are not available. For example, we don’t have cable, Fios or ATT wireless. I’ve written about a disastrous two years with Hughes satellite internet. Bottom line is that Verizon Wireless has a monopoly here with me at least.Other than the data throttling, I like Verizon Wireless and have been a customer since my first cell phone in the mid 1980s.
Today with the ATT news, I wonder if there is any similar class action suit against Verizon Wireless. $60 million is not likely enough of an incentive to push a cellular provider to change its business practice. Would a larger fine be effective in the next case prosecuted? I wonder if Verizon Wireless management might take proactive action to avoid further bad publicity and financial risk.
My hope is that a board member would just say “this isn’t right”. I know based on past conversations that it would be easy for Verizon to remove the data throttling on a customer basis for those of us customers who are adversely affected.
My message to Verizon Wireless: Do the right thing. Don’t throttle data to those good loyal customers like me in rural areas who have no other internet options.