Verizon to start throttling video streaming to as low as 480p tomorrow


To sum up what's happening, everyone on Unlimited is going to have a throttled video experience, because even though Verizon continues to tout its LTE network as the best in the U.S., it can't help but limit its customers to something less than ideal.

But in the same way that "Basic Economy" fares now exist basically to drive up the costs of air travel, Verizon's new "Unlimited" plans are likely to drive up the cost of your wireless bill.

The company announced it will now offer three unlimited data plans: Go Unlimited ($75) and Beyond Unlimited ($85) - both for single lines - and Business Unlimited ($45 per line for businesses). Then the company got trounced by T-Mobile (which already throttles video on mobile) in an overall speed test, and now, all bets are off. Verizon will officially begin limiting the quality of video on its unlimited plans on August 23rd. Video is throttled down to 480p on a smartphone and 720p on a tablet. This limit will affect mobile hotspot usage as well. Calling and texting to Canada and Mexico are included on the plan. This gives you priority on the network for the first 22GB of data used, although this is bumped up to 25GB if you are willing to sign a two year contract on a new smartphone or tablet. Streaming quality for smartphones is a bit better at 720p and tablet users on this plan can get full HD video at 1080p. With it, you get unlimited 4G LTE data, talk and texting. Until Verizon buckles down and starts being transparent, the Uncarrier is going to keep whooping its ass.

Customers on the previous unlimited plan will be grandfathered into the Beyond Unlimited plan.

There is good news for businesses that want to equip employees with unlimited data. So, anytime there is network congestion, the company will throttle your data speed.

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The plan will only allow 720p streaming on phones, 1080p on tablets.

"We're really managing our network in a way to be able to expand unlimited data to more people", Verizon marketing executive Angie Klein told Ars yesterday.

This is a significant change from what Verizon offered in February, particularly with regards to HD video.

Now, it appears that Verizon's throttling "tests" have been extended to a full-blown implementation across its network. Video optimization is a non-discriminatory network management practice created to ensure a high quality customer experience for all customers accessing the shared resources of our wireless network. The FCC's current chairman, Ajit Pai, has proposed eliminating the rules.