Verizon’s New Ads Are Apparently Unfamiliar With Verizon’s Own Business Practices

Verizon recently began airing an ad where the telecom titan declares that, “A better network doesn’t mess with your data.” Whoever made this Verizon commercial has apparently never heard of this company called Verizon and the ways it has — and wants to — mess with your data.

First, let’s deal with the implied benefit touted in the above commercial: that Verizon doesn’t throttle download speeds for wireless customers.

“Say this tube is a 4G LTE wireless network,” explains a Frenchy-sounding “SCUBA” diver (they’re not actually in SCUBA gear, but that’ nitpicking). “Verizon keeps your data flowing fast and steady, but some budget networks slow your data after you reach your limit. You can barely watch your shows. This is no way to treat people.”

Then chimes in the voice of respected actress Catherine Keener: “A better network doesn’t mess with your data.”

Thing is, Verizon did throttle 3G data for its unlimited customers — for years. It only recently stopped the practice this past summer.

And in 2014 Verizon wanted to throttle those same users on its LTE network but decided not to after the head of the FCC questioned the company’s motives.

Verizon’s doesn’t throttle customers for going over their limit; it charges them a lot of extra money — $15 once you past your monthly allotment and additional $15 for each gigabyte after that.

It’s worth noting: While Verizon may no longer be throttling unlimited users, it did just jack up the price for their service by $20/month to effectively drive those customers into tiered plans.

Now let’s consider the bigger Verizon-related message of “A better network doesn’t mess with your data.”

This is where we remind you that Verizon spent four years suing and appealing the FCC over the 2010 net neutrality rules just so it could mess with customers’ data.

Verizon, in both its FiOS and wireless forms, wants to be able to decide which content providers get the fastest access to the company’s end-users. More importantly, Verizon wants to be able to charge a lot of money to deep-pocketed content providers for adequate service.

This is, by definition, “messing with your data.”

The company, along with Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and other major Internet Service Providers, have already messed with customers’ data when they decided to allow Netflix data to bottleneck at the points where Netflix’s bandwidth providers connected to ISP’s “last mile” networks.

The goal here was to get Netflix to pay up for more direct connections to these networks — and it worked. Netflix paid the money and speeds improved (eventually).

But in the second new Verizon ad that aired over the weekend, the company implies that when Verizon experiences congestion, it increases capacity. The ad just leaves out the “*” that this capacity increase happens after the content provider pays for it to happen.

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