FCC Dismisses Verizon's 'Everyone's Doing It' Defense

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said Verizon's excuse for throttling heavy users, that all carriers do it, didn't work for him as a kid.

FCC Dismisses Verizon's 'Everyone's Doing It' Defense
Federal Communications Commission

The FCC wants to know what makes Verizon so special.

The Wall Street Journal reports FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has dismissed Verizon’s defense of its throttling practices. (Video via C-SPAN)

He said even if the rest of the industry limits data speeds, "'All the kids do it' was never something that worked with me when I was growing up and didn't work with my kids." 

Verizon updated its “network optimization” policy in July to cut down on the speeds of the top five percent of 4G power users every month — triggering worries the company was looking to wring more profits out of its customers.

And so began a popcorn-worthy back-and-forth between Verizon and the FCC.

The Washington Post reports Wheeler wasn’t pulling any punches. "'Reasonable network management' concerns the technical management of your network," he wrote. "It is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams."

To which Verizon replied: "Providers throughout the industry have employed similar versions of this same practice."

And with that, says a gleeful ReadWrite, Verizon might have just ruined the party for all the other carriers.

The reports indicate the FCC is now sending letters to each of the major carriers, asking them to explain their network optimization practices, and why speedy 4G even needs optimization in the first place.

Whether they’ll get any results remains to be seen. The Verge says“Keep in mind that right now, he's only asking questions. So there's nothing to suggest Wheeler plans to take action against throttling or come to the rescue of unlimited data users.”

Verizon has yet to issue a response to the ruling — nor have any of the other carriers who may now be on the hook.

This video contains images from the Federal Communications Commission and Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0