Verizon hikes unlimited plan price to $85, presents cheaper plan with limitations

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These include Go Unlimited (starting at $75 for a single line), Beyond Unlimited ($85 for the first line), and Business Unlimited.

Getty Images  Tomohiro Ohsumi
Getty Images Tomohiro Ohsumi

So here's the deal - regardless of the plan you're subscribed to (old plan or the new three-tier plan), Verizon will still play videos at 420p on your smartphone. That gets you "unlimited data" that may be throttled after 22GB of usage, 10GB of mobile hotspot at 4G LTE speeds, and HD video streaming that isn't restricted, meaning you can stream at 1080p resolution and above. Unlimited mobile hotspot data is capped at 600 Kbps and streaming video is limited to 480p for smartphones and 720p for tablets. At that time, Verizon was called out for throttling speeds even before the users hit 22GB level. When launched, Verizon briefly held a bit of an upper hand as their plans did not limit video resolution and Verizon was actually able to force T-Mobile and Sprint to adjust their plans. Verizon was testing throttling on Netflix and YouTube earlier this year, and third-party researchers have determined that unlimited plans were slowing down networks.

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Today Verizon Wireless announced that it is splitting up its simple unlimited data plan and opting to offer two plans instead. The goal is to offer the most budget-conscious customers a lower price in return for service limits that help the carriers save bandwidth.

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The video quality changes are apparently aimed at reducing or preventing congestion in Verizon's network. I could sit here and talk about how consumers make their voices heard with their wallets, but I know many here are loyal Verizon customers, so you've probably heard that speech a few times. But for now, mobile customers with high-res displays will have to deal with lesser quality video than ever before. It means that for smartphone users on an unlimited plan, the video quality will be 420p. The plan includes 15GB of LTE speeds via mobile hotspot. The big difference is that you can no longer stream at 1080p on Verizon Wireless phones anymore. T-Mobile CEO John Legere also claimed that the Verizon and AT&T networks "seem to be choking after we forced them to go unlimited".

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Current net neutrality rules clearly state that providers may employ reasonable network management practices to ensure that their networks and services run efficiently and work well for their customers. 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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