High quality video streaming to be cut for Verizon customers

In February, the largest US cellular carrier, long a holdout on unlimited plans, announced unlimited 4G data, talk and text (with AutoPay) for $80 per month.

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. Verizon will now sell three kinds of unlimited data plans- Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited and Business Unlimited.

"These plans give you the best unlimited choices, but you also get what only Verizon can give you: the best network, the best rewards program, the best way to manage your plan with the My Verizon app and the best selection of phones and devices", Verizon's announcement read, according to The Verge.

In the Beyond Unlimited plan, you get unlimited 4G LTE data, but you're only throttled once you exceed 22GB per billing cycle.

Verizon's cheaper unlimited plan costs more than T-Mobile's $70 plan with DVD-level video streaming. Video streaming is upgraded to 720p for smartphones and 1080p for tablets. The carrier has chopped its plans into three pieces tiers with differing prices. This set off something of a competition between the big four carriers in the USA, and at the end of it all, Verizon came out on top with an unlimited plan that was surprisingly good. So, anytime there is network congestion, the company will throttle your data speed.

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Verizon signaled that it might start throttling video streams by default last month when it conducted a temporary test of a video optimization system that capped video speeds at 10Mbps. Mobile hotspot receives 10GB of high speed data or 15GB with a two year contract.

For one thing, Verizon's not picking and choosing among providers; Netflix and YouTube, say, are subject to the same limitations, as are any other current or future video providers.

Go Unlimited: Unlimited talk and text, 4G LTE 480p ("DVD quality streaming) and mobile hot spot at 600 kbps". Yes, that means that 1080p phone streaming (and any streaming higher than 1080p) is off the table regardless of how much you're willing to pay.

The change follows moves by T-Mobile and AT&T to offer multiple unlimited plans, as well.

Even if Pai was a supporter of net neutrality, regulations allow telecoms operators to introduce "reasonable network management" practices in order to ensure performance. Current Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai has been a well-documented opponent of net neutrality and has made reversing policies from previous chairperson Tom Wheeler a major focus during his appointment.

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