Following this week’s back and forth between the FCC and Verizon regarding the carrier’s future plans to throttle users with unlimited data plans using LTE devices, Chairman Tom Wheeler has confirmed via report from Reuters that the FCC has sent letters to AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile requesting detailed explanations of their respective network management policies regarding data access and network management. Verizon first responded to Wheeler’s concerns about their future plans by citing other carriers behavior as being identical, if not more restrictive in certain cases. Wheeler once again responded with the following excerpt from a new letter sent to all carriers demonstrating a clear rejection of the reasoning given:
“‘All the kids do it’ was never something that worked for me when I was growing up. My concern in this instance – and it’s not just with Verizon, by the way, we’ve written to all the carriers – is that it is moving from a technology and engineering issue to the business issues … such as choosing between different subscribers based on your economic relationship with them.”
The other carriers have yet to officially respond publicly to the letter. Currently, all carriers practice some form of throttling on prepaid and postpaid service, with exceptions made for differing brands. T-Mobile and Sprint throttle customers to 128Kbps after monthly data allotments are used on the majority of service plans, with selected plans being excluded by including unlimited data access at higher monthly rates. MetroPCS is currently one of the few remaining brands offering truly unlimited data access for $60 monthly. AT&T throttles customers on older unlimited plans while offering customers on new plans the option to purchase additional data access at defined overage rates on prepaid and postpaid.