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To Verizon, "Unlimited" Means 5 GB 743

Posted by kdawson
from the sue-for-false-advertising dept.
Jason writes "For years there have been stories about people getting their unlimited Verizon EVDO Wireless accounts terminated because of excessive data usage, but Verizon never explicitly said that there is a limit. Now if you dive into the terms of the Unlimited Data Service plan they have put a section in that specifically states that anything over 5GB of data usage in a one month period is considered prima facie evidence that you must be downloading movies, and you will be cut off."
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To Verizon, "Unlimited" Means 5 GB

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  • What the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vampyre_Dark (630787) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:27AM (#18602091)
    And what if you paid for those movies?
    • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by z_gringo (452163) <z_gringo AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:35AM (#18602151)
      Somehow, I don't think they care.

      It is just easier for them to sell something called "unlimited" than it is to sell something called "limited to 5GB".

      • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Cragen (697038) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:44AM (#18602251)
        At least they are consistent. Verizon gives you 2GB for your FIOS email account, but will not allow any emails older than 30 days to remain in one's email folders. They are simply deleted after 30.00001 days. Thank goodness for Gmail, and all the rest. Verizon email is simply a waste. Perhaps they really don't want anyone to use. it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jimstapleton (999106)
          It's a pretty standard business model, that Version is better at than most, usually it's self destructive though, as it hinders repeat business.

          Basically, get as much money from the customer while providing the minimum possible, often less than you lead the customer to expect. As long as you can hold it up in the court of law.

          The email trick will hold up because it's being deleted by date, not size. The "unlimited bandwidth"... I don't think that could hold up.
          • by bberens (965711) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:15AM (#18603435)
            A true geek would write a script to forward all of their e-mails to themselves after 29 days so that the e-mail all remains fresh.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by jimstapleton (999106)
              No, a true geek would set up something involving standard tag lines, so that people could have the email auto-shunted to certain folders.

              It would then allow sign up, and send 1.8GB-1.9GB of email per month distributed evenly over each day.

              Make sure verizon is /forced/ into providing their promised deal.
        • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kalirion (728907) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:33AM (#18603743)
          All ISP email accounts are a waste. Why would you want something as important as email tied to a service you may quit?
        • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ByteofK (952750) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:38AM (#18603813) Journal
          Whereas if you are AT&T they expect you to use their email service. While I have about 6 or 7 domains and an account at each of GMail, Yahoo and Hotmail, I thought I would not need to use the free email account they provided me. During a dispute over billing, they implemented a "soft shutoff" which involved nothing more than blocking the email account. As I was oblivious to this move I had no idea they had given us the soft shutoff so when they pulled the plug, it came as a surprise. Idiots. Even more idiotic, after crediting me the $99 breach of contract charge (even though I didn't sign a contract) and the remainder of my bill for the aggro, they realised they had over-credited me and sent me a check for $0.09. The whole billing argument was about the so-called $11 per month landline service which cost me $25. As a foreign national, US resident, they couldn't say I knew or expected the bill to be that much higher including all the taxes. Or it might have been my first phone bill after leaving home. It's crap like this that needs to be clamped down on in this country, not the illegal (or legal!) downloading of movies, music and software.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Splab (574204)
            One thing that keeps baffling me is what the US citizens will take from companies. Here in Denmark, if you sell something as unlimited you damned well better be prepared to offer it else you will get your ass wouped for false advertisement.

            We even have requirements for companies to explicitly tell how much you have to pay in total if the service is with a minimum sign up period.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by ByteofK (952750)
              Sometimes you haven't got much option but to "take it". I only got the refund from AT&T after mentioning "bait and switch" and a possible FCC report. Until that point they were quite happy to "do me the favour" of "waiving" the $99 breach of contract fee and insisted on the rest of the payment. Have you ever heard a radio commercial from the US? There's about 10 lines of big claims spoken in the normal voice, then at the end 5 seconds of "audio fine print" that would normally take 30-60 seconds to read
      • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:35AM (#18602797) Homepage Journal

        I don't think it's "easier", it's "lazier".

        If I were Verizon, I'd be plugging the hell out of the 5G limit. I'd call it "Data 5G" or something similar, I'd describe the kinds of things you can do with 5G. I'd use the term "Effectively unlimited".

        And then after the sheer enormity of that number had sunk in, I'd create a new plan, costing $10 a month more, called "Data 20G".

        Verizon isn't merely being dishonest in calling it "Unlimited", they're also being very, very, stupid.

        • Re:What the hell? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Trailer Trash (60756) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:14AM (#18603417) Homepage

          Verizon isn't merely being dishonest in calling it "Unlimited", they're also being very, very, stupid.

          That's what rocks about the cellular service industry. Everybody's mouth-breathing stupid so it's not a competitive disadvantage.

          I read Verizon's TOS a couple of months ago when evaluating the service and said "no thanks". They say in no uncertain terms that the service is for web browsing and email only, and if you go over the 5G they'll assume you're using it for something else and cut you off with no recourse.

          While web and email are probably what I spend the most time doing, I still download iso's with bt, use ichat with my mother, stuff that uses more bandwidth. I might also use a vpn or something like that.

          I look at my mother as the quintessential "normal user", and even she is doing stuff that's outside the realm of email and web. Thankfully wifi hotspots are common enough that I'm not too worried about it.

          • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:50AM (#18604019) Homepage Journal
            Now think about how a company like Verizon is going to act when there's no Net Neutrality. How long you think it's going to take before you are so limited by their TOS that you can ONLY do email and web browsing, and only using their email and approved web sites?
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by rainman_bc (735332)
              and only using their email and approved web sites?

              I recall back in the days of Aol,Prodigy and Compuserve where they had internal only sites. The internet wrecked that business model really fast.

              And once you filter the web you lose your common carrier status. Something that would legally sting ISP's when all of a sudden there's kiddie porn lawsuits popping up all over the place.

              I don't see that coming any time soon as long as there's competition in the ISP space.

          • Re:What the hell? (Score:4, Informative)

            by Intron (870560) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @10:02AM (#18604219)
            5GB is the upper limit. Here's the TOS:

            "Unlimited Data Plans and Features (such as NationalAccess, BroadbandAccess, Push to Talk, and certain VZEmail services) may ONLY be used with wireless devices for the following purposes: (i) Internet browsing; (ii) email; and (iii) intranet access (including access to corporate intranets, email, and individual productivity applications like customer relationship management, sales force, and field service automation). The Unlimited Data Plans and Features MAY NOT be used for any other purpose. Examples of prohibited uses include, without limitation, the following: (i) continuous uploading, downloading or streaming of audio or video programming or games; (ii) server devices or host computer applications, including, but not limited to, Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine-to-machine connections or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing; or (iii) as a substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections. This means, by way of example only, that checking email, surfing the Internet, downloading legally acquired songs, and/or visiting corporate intranets is permitted, but downloading movies using P2P file sharing services and/or redirecting television signals for viewing on laptops is prohibited. A person engaged in prohibited uses, continuously for one hour, could typically use 100 to 200 MBs, or, if engaged in prohibited uses for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, could use more than 5 GBs in a month."
            • Re:What the hell? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by advocate_one (662832) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @10:51AM (#18605117)
              that's me stuffed then... I took a peek at my Azureus stats... and over the last 250 or so days, I've downloaded 325 GB and uploaded 340 GB... and thats with a paltry 50KB/s upstream... That's a lot of Linux distros... mind you, there's an awful lot of public domain films and music that I download and seed as well.

              Mind you, I'm with an ISP that does not have one of these stupid "fair use" policies tied to their "unlimited" accounts... I have broadband via my cable account... and there's a fibre optic feed to a splitter thingy in the basement and I get a short coax run to my flat from that. That coax also carries my phone and TV signals.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by arodland (127775)
                Well we're talking about EVDO here, not wired broadband. It's expensive to set that stuff up, and they're selling a lot more bandwidth than they have, in hopes that most people will never use more than half a percent of what's available. I don't expect them to allow anyone to run at peak rates constantly, because it would flood out the network. But they shouldn't be allowed to get away with selling a quite limited plan as "unlimited". Hopefully there's a way to nail them for misleading advertising, but I ha
      • Just marketing... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by xtracto (837672) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:10AM (#18603345) Journal
        Here in the UK the same thing happens. I am always wary of those services providing unlimited *anything*. That is why I am more comfortable with Google's 3GB or 4GB or whatever space they give against say, yahoo's unlimited, because ALWAYS (show me an advertisement that does not have it) the word UNLIMITED comes with the corresponding '*' attached to it, and in the case of the broadband services they use the "Fair use" policy to trivially limit the bandwidth.

        I have also read a lot of times people assuming that the people that download a lot is *pirating* stuff. But with the current rise of multimedia content (VoIP, VoD, online gaming, and the massive amount of flash crap in the web) it is very easy to go over 2GB a month...

    • by MarkByers (770551) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:23AM (#18602679) Homepage Journal
      Paying for movies is so old-fashioned. I don't think people do it any more. If you are downloading more the 5GB then you are definitely a pirate.

      But take comfort in the fact that you are helping stop global warming.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Gr8Apes (679165)
        First: (obligatory IANAL) downloading movies is perfectly legal - uploading them is illegal.

        Now for the 5GB limit. Get real. 1 DVD ISO for a linux distro is 4GB alone. I could easily reach this limit in about 20 minutes without even trying, just setting up a new machine. Heck, I'd be willing to bet that just 2 weeks ago, I probably downloaded over 15GB of data in about a 3 hour time frame, and there wasn't a single song, movie, or illegal download involved. And that was only part of 1 day. I'd hate to see w
        • Re:This is 2007. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:07AM (#18603299) Homepage

          First: (obligatory IANAL) downloading movies is perfectly legal - uploading them is illegal.

          You are dumber than toast. Downloading a movie makes a copy of it. If you're not authorised to make that copy, you're infringing the owner's rights. Just because the MPAA are only choosing to sue uploaders doesn't make downloading legal.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by tomhudson (43916)

            Depends on your jurisdiction. In some areas, there's a levy on blank dvds that covers this. Same as the levy on, for example, blank CDs in Canada, that is paid to the Canadian equivalent of the RIAA.

            As for excessive bandwidth use being "prima facie evidence" of illegal movie downloading, they don't know the meaning of the term. Its nothing of the sort, and is easily disproven - I've downloaded 9 gigs of isos - OpenSuse 10 Alpha 3 - and uploaded 26 gigs of the same in the last couple of weeks.

            Evidence th

        • Re:This is 2007. (Score:5, Informative)

          by RevMike (632002) <revMikeNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:19AM (#18603519) Journal

          Now for the 5GB limit. Get real. 1 DVD ISO for a linux distro is 4GB alone. I could easily reach this limit in about 20 minutes without even trying, just setting up a new machine.

          I think you probably missed an important point. This is not a limit on Verizon's wired DSL or FIOS services, this is VerizonWireless' (a different company) 3G wireless data services.

          With an average download speed of about 400kbs, 5GB represents about 40 hours of continuous download. EvDO is simply not practical for moving about large amounts of data.

          I'm not a great fan of Verizon's business practices, but from a practical perspective the 5 GB limit is unlikely to affect 99.99% of their users. I'm traveling to client sites quite a bit for my job doing software implementations. I use the service extensively, mostly for web access, replicating email, and some Remote Desktop/VNC usage, and I rarely break 1GB in a month.

          • Re:This is 2007. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by aclarke (307017) <spam AT clarke DOT ca> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @10:18AM (#18604497) Homepage
            It doesn't matter if it doesn't affect 99.99% of their customers. It's still not unlimited, which is what they're advertising. It is a Big Deal for that 0.001% (higher really) of people who DO go over the value. One of my friends just got kicked off Verizon's service a couple weeks ago. He's a software developer, works at home a lot, and livs in an RV. This service SHOULD have been good for him, but after downloading a few TV shows from iTunes (NOT P2P, notice) and a couple Linux ISOs or whatever, he suddenly got booted. They didn't even give him an option to pay more and stay on the service.

            That's no "unlimited" in any real sense of the word. I don't think anyone would reasonably fault Verizon for putting a 5GB limit on their plan. To call it unlimited though is disingenuous, no matter what the fine print says, and to not offer any other more expensive options for those who do go over the limit is just stupid.
            • verizon has a data business to protect (FIOS/DSL) and can't let you use the EVDO service the way that you would DSL service. if you paid to use EVDO the way that you use DSL, you might not buy DSL/FIOS, and that would be bad for profits. double digit growth doesn't happen on it's own you know.

              they would love to block more, but all those commie net neutrality hippies would throw a fit. jeez, they act like abusing people's freedom to do what they want with services that they pay for is a crime or somethi

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MoHaG (1002926)

        If you are downloading more the 5GB then you are definitely a pirate.
        Or you download and test Solaris and Solaris Express, or you download a DVD based linux distro over bittorrent.....

        There are many ways to use more that 5GB a month....

        Well this makes the typical South African's complaints about a very low 3GB cap seem invalid... (I know users thats able to use more that 50GB / month on local only accounts....)
  • by PC-PHIX (888080) * <jonathan&pcphix,com> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:27AM (#18602093) Homepage
    Reminds me of some time ago when I got my first hard drive with "unlimited" capacity... and then accidentally filled it up with 5GB of movies in the first few days of using it.

    I vowed next time to get a hard drive with at least twice unlimited capacity.

  • Companies are slowing evolving into lawyer-based companies, where they will soon have a whole codebook to define what each word in the dictionary really means. This is all for the money, no doubt.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nwbvt (768631)
      Remember, this is the same company that last year had trouble telling the difference between dollars and cents [youtube.com]. It may well be that they were simply confused.
    • by Don_dumb (927108) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:29AM (#18602739)
      Welcome to the internet in the UK, loads of ISPs advertise 'Unlimited' adsl only to actually have limits. One has been found guilty of false advertising.
      In fact many ISPs claim to have unlimited use (despite all ADSL in the UK being limited) most only state in the small print that they have 'Fair Usage Policies' (FUP) which will come in when they decide you have used too much, they always imply that there are no limits (one even states "that you dont have to monitor your usage!").

      This is simply illegal IMHO, you cannot state that something is unlimited when it is limited. Even if this contradiction comes in the small print, especially when you do not state how limited it is. A c
      This page http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/caps.htm [kitz.co.uk] outlines it perfectly.
  • .ca (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    My .ca ISP never said "unlimited" but 90 GB/month. They never write unless I hit at least 120 GB. And they don't send forward letters from the RIAA/MPAA
    • Re:.ca (Score:5, Funny)

      by aicrules (819392) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:10AM (#18602513)
      You hit 120GB a month? Do you remember what the outside looks like?
      • Re:.ca (Score:5, Funny)

        by Gordonjcp (186804) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:36AM (#18602813) Homepage
        Do you remember what the outside looks like?

        Of course he does, he's got all these movies of it...
  • Linux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:34AM (#18602139)
    and what if you're downloading linux distributions or other operating systems? ISO's for DVD's are consistently around 4gb. IF you download one dvd iso and one cd iso theres a good chance you will already be over the limit.
  • by lavid (1020121) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:35AM (#18602141) Homepage
    In Canada just pay .02 cents per kB. What a great deal!
    • by trenien (974611) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:02AM (#18602423)
      Well here in Japan I pay around $45 a month (modem rental included) for a 50M/s connection - mind you, if it was available where I live I'd get fiber at 100M/s.

      Limits? What limits? I remember last year when a friend came over for a while. With both our computers on the same connection, we often downloaded around 6Go a day...

  • If I decide to buy several dozen full-quality albums (.wavs) from Magnatune, and go over the 5GB limit, I'll be cut off because they assume that I'm pirating movies?
  • by BinarySkies (920189) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:37AM (#18602173) Homepage
    In a brief overview of the logs that are kept by a gateway at the local university, it shows that, on a daily basis, 32 members of my dormitory floor download at roughly 700KBps average during the day (that's total for all users). That's about 60,480,000 KB per day. Fifty NINE gigabytes per day. Divide that by 32. 1,845MB per person, per day. This is a reasonable number for college students. Let's assume that up to 75% of that is bittorrent, other peer to peer traffic, or what have you. That's STILL 461MB per person, per day, of assumed legitimate traffic. This is AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Web browsing, and other legal Internet services. 461MB * 30 days = 13,837MB or 13.5GB. I rest my case.
  • False Advertising (Score:5, Informative)

    by Silver Sloth (770927) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:42AM (#18602221)
    Doesn't the US have somethign equivalent to the British Trades Description Act [wikipedia.org]. If they tried selling 'unlimited' internet access with a limit in the UK it would be, de facto, illegal, whatever the small print.
    • by ZirbMonkey (999495) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @10:00AM (#18604185)

      Doesn't the US have something equivalent to the British Trades Description Act. If they tried selling 'unlimited' internet access with a limit in the UK it would be, de facto, illegal, whatever the small print.

      Yes, we do. It's called "Truth in Advertising," and it's part of the Federal Trade Commission's job to enforce that business don't lie about their services. We also have the Better Business Buerue as a watch group to identify unfair and unethical business practices.

      Anyone who's had their service dropped by verizon for the 5GB limit, and isn't hosting a pirating service, should be suing verizon under truth in advertising. When you use the word "Unlimited" in big bold letters on the cover of the plan, you can't lie about it in the fine print.
  • by wombatmobile (623057) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:43AM (#18602237)


    Paragraph 1 of the Verizon terms state plainly that the Unlimited plain means unlimited bandwidth for a particular small set of uses:

    Unlimited Data Plans and Features (such as NationalAccess, BroadbandAccess, Push to Talk, and certain VZEmail services) may ONLY be used with wireless devices for the following purposes: (i) Internet browsing; (ii) email; and (iii) intranet access (including access to corporate intranets, email, and individual productivity applications like customer relationship management, sales force, and field service automation). The Unlimited Data Plans and Features MAY NOT be used for any other purpose.
    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:04AM (#18603241) Homepage Journal

      Our new car* can drive faster than the speed of sound**, to anywhere on Earth***, and carry as many passengers as you need****!

      **** Limit of four passengers
      *** Scope of car limited to that part of Earth that includes the city of Detroit and surrounding areas
      ** Speed limited to 70MPH
      * Not a car

      If you advertise "Unlimited", and it's not unlimited, you're lying. Putting it in the small print doesn't make you honest, it's an admission of guilt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:43AM (#18602243)
    Reminds me of an ISP in Germany that offered unlimited broadband for cheap 7 bucks a month.

    They also gave me a brand new VoIP-enabled wireless router as a welcome present and didn't even charge for the first 3 months.

    After 5 months that guy calls: "I want to talk to you about your DSL plan [...] over the past months you've been downloading an average 181 GB a month [...] up to 243 GB [...] bla bla bla"

    He then offered me 100 bucks if I agree to quit the plan immediately and never come back.

    So:
    State-of-the-art VoIP-router: 0,00$
    5 months of downloading TV series: -14,00$
    Getting paid to leave: : +100,00$ (priceless)
    ---------------
    all of the above: +86,00$
  • by bazorg (911295) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:44AM (#18602253) Homepage
    Unlimited* Internet Access for only US$29.999

    * - Bullshit!

  • by jovetoo (629494) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @07:49AM (#18602283) Journal
    Well, you might find that extremely limited (and it is) but it isn't so strange for me. In Belgium the major ISPs (Belgacom [belgacom.be], Telenet [telenet.be]) allow about 10Gb quota per month, with 5 euro per 5Gb for extra quota. This is expensive! Downloading a movie or even a linux distribution DVD costs you several euros on bandwidth alone.
    Minor ISPs use this a nice way into the market. (For example, mine [edpnet.be] allows me 20Gb default with a 0.25 euro cents per Gb over that upto 60Gb per month).
    Offcourse, all limits are openly advertised...
  • by vivaoporto (1064484) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:12AM (#18602537)
    5 (gigabytes / month) = 15.9494775 kbps [google.pt]. That's a quarter of the dialup speed. You can reach 5 GB/month using your good old 56 kbps dialip connection 6 hours a day on its max capacity. Enough said.

    In other news, I pay 25 euros/month for a 8 Mbps down/512 Kbps up unlimited cable line, and I consider it expensive, and plan to change to the competitor that offers a 4M/512K by under 20 euros. God bless Europe.
  • by underwhelm (53409) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .mlehwrednu.> on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:21AM (#18602657) Homepage Journal
    Unlimited data and unlimited bandwidth aren't the same. Why doesn't Verizon just throttle abusers? They can still have their unlimited data as advertised, just at a rate of 2400bps.
  • by jrumney (197329) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:28AM (#18602717) Homepage
    If you think that's bad, to Vodafone UK, "unlimited" means 15Mb. Yes mega, though that's per day, not per month. It also doesn't include IM, VOIP or P2P. This is according to their new price plans that start in June, with a "£1 per day flat rate for internet usage".
  • by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @08:43AM (#18602927)
    Compare this to Papa John's, which is running a special on their website which says: Three Medium, Unlimited Toppings (Maximum Five Toppings per pizza)

    To quote Inigo Montoya, "You keep using that hword. I do not think it means what you think it means."
  • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Wednesday April 04, 2007 @09:29AM (#18603671)
    So many people on this thread are talking about downloading movies, calculating what the average bandwidth of college students is, etc....

    What they are not addressing is that most people would be using wired bandwidth for these tasks. Wired bandwidth is relatively plentiful, even with the bottlenecks in the local loop. The capacity in the backbones is mostly restricted by the amount of routing, not the capacity of the fibers, which isn't anywhere near full (hear about all that "dark fiber"? New multiplexers? Hmm?)

    On the other hand, if you use wireless bandwidth, you're consuming it from a relatively small pool allocated to a cell. There's only so much you can squeeze out of radio bandwidth, which is why it's such a big deal to the cellular networks when the government auction off another slice of spectrum.

    Yes, this is false advertising by Verizon. But the real issue is a minority of idiots spoiling the party for everyone else ; you just can't support those usage patterns over current wireless technologies, not for everyone in the cell. They are quite reasonably ticked off with a minority of the customers degrading their service and making them look bad to the rest.

    If you want industrial quantities of bandwidth, you should be using a landline, and paying for it.

    In an ideal world, marketing would make it very clear what service you were getting, and people would be more respectful of limited common resources, like radio spectrum.

  • I got this for a contract I was working on, and we regularly got dumps of "representative test data" against which we wrote our software integration tests. At least every couple of days, they would push out a 300MB file. Add to that the fact that I was building our automated software build infrastructure using a tool (maven) that downloads dependencies from central repositories (about 80MB for a full pull of all dependencies), and because I was creating the infrastructure I had to blow my system away to test cleanly several times a day.

    I bought it for work, and was presumed to have just been file sharing. I had unpleasant conversations with Verizon. Didn't even have an appeal process, nor an opportunity to demonstrate my situation, nor even the right to ask for a manager. I seriously thought about lodging a small claims court claim for damages, as their cutting me off cost me $1500 in demonstrable lost receipts (i'm paid by the hour) in that week while I tried to research an alternative.

    I finally went with Cingular on their unlimited data plan and they never had a problem with any limits. I also made sure we researched the policies and they said they didn't give even the slightest care how much I downloaded, or if I used it for "broadband services" like music/movie downloads, 'cause that's what Broadband usually means. Other than switching to a Mac and having a bit of irritation geting an ExpressCard device to support the service initially, I've had no problems with it.

    i.

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