Verizon will cut off unlimited data users who use too much unlimited data

Verizon is forcing heavy data users to get off its unlimited plan or get off the carrier's network entirely.

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Stephen Lawson

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Verizon's continuing its ongoing mission to pare down the number of customers on unlimited data plans by migrating them to ones with hard limits. Recently, the company came up with a way to get rid of its biggest data hogs.

Verizon is notifying customers using an “extraordinary” amount of data per month that they must move off their unlimited data plan by August 31. If they don’t switch, the carrier will disconnect their accounts, though they’ll have 50 days to reactivate them on a limited plan, as first reported by Droid Life.

Verizon ceased offering unlimited data plans in 2011.

The impact on you: “Extraordinary” usage appears to be people who are sucking down more than 100GB every month. Verizon told Ars Technica that a very small number of users are exceeding 100GB every month on a single device. The carrier deems this as extraordinary since its largest monthly plan offers that amount of data as a shared bucket used by multiple devices.

Every step counts

Verizon’s latest ploy to move people off unlimited data plans will likely affect a very small number of the carrier’s customers. Nevertheless, Verizon feels it needs a way to prevent heavy data users from gobbling up network resources—or at least get them to pay a higher price for it.

Other anti-unlimited measures by Verizon haven’t been so small scale. In 2012, Verizon said it would force anyone on an unlimited plan to switch away from that plan when they upgraded to 4G LTE phones. That apparently never happened, since by 2014 Verizon was threatening to throttle unlimited data plan customers who were using too much data on its LTE network.

Verizon backed off its throttling plans for LTE after a tussle with the Federal Communications Commission. The company then ceased throttling 3G users in August 2015 after the FCC enacted its net neutrality policy for carriers and home broadband ISPs. Verizon most recent move against unlimited data plan holdouts happened in October 2015, when the company upped the price of its unlimited data plans from $30 to $50.

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