Verizon has officially responded to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s letter of disapproval regarding the carrier’s future plans to extend its current Network Optimization rules to customers on unlimited data plans using LTE devices. The carrier cited nearly identical behavior by other carriers as its primary justification for the updated management policy.
Chairman Wheeler expressed extreme disapproval with the new plan being implemented by Verizon by being “deeply troubled” and cited the following in his letter regarding network management:
“Reasonable network management’ concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams. It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its ‘network management’ on distinctions among its customers’ data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology.”
Verizon’s senior VP of regulatory affairs, Kathleen Grillo then responded to that statement by stating the following in the rebuttal letter to the FCC. In a meeting with journalists yesterday carried by Re/Code about the debate, Verizon CEO Dan Mead also expressed initial surprise regarding the letter as it uses the same rules on its older 3G EV-DO data network as well:
“In short this practice has been widely accepted with little or no controversy, as some customers use a disproportionate amount of network resources and have an out-sized effect on the network. Not surprisingly, many of these heaviest users of the network are on unlimited data plans. Unlike subscribers on usage-based plans, they have no incentive not to do so during times of unusually high demand.
We absolutely know that it was the right thing to do and we know that it was in line with the FCC’s principles, I don’t think the FCC really understood what we were doing”
The FCC has yet to officially comment on yesterday’s latest response made by Mead and Grillo in an additional report by the Wall Street Journal, with a spokesperson simply stating that it was “under careful review”.