It has been reported that US MNO Verizon is to introduce throttling to control the consumption of some of their heaviest data users. As is the case in many networks, a minority of users consume the greatest amount of capacity. The result can be that the user experience for everyone else is affected by the demand of the few.
In response to this, Verizon plans to slow down the experience of the small group of heavy users. And, what’s more, they don’t appear to plan to do so universally, but rather on an ad-hoc basis when activity causes too much congestion in a particular cell.
This means that the heavy users can download or upload to their heart’s content when resources are available, but have to slow down when other, less demanding users are active. And, the changes are reflected in the next month’s bill.
We have seen a range of responses from MNOs to increased demands for network consumption lately and will likely see many more. Slowly but surely, the industry is inching away from flat rate data tariffs to a model more suited to the reality of broadband services. It should be self-evident that some users are more demanding than others, but it’s equally clear that, once this heavy consumption has an impact on other users, action needs to be taken.