Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Verizon EVDO: Not Really Unlimited!

Verizon's current EVDO plan is advertised as an unlimited usage plan, but is that really the case? Most subscribers - 98% - go about their online business, surfing the web, checking email, and never hear a peep from Verizon. However, Verizon is monitoring bandwidth usage and a few customers have had their accounts terminated for overuse!!!

There is no
published limit for Verizon users, but there appears to be an "unwritten" usage cap. Most of the people who we have heard from were axed by Verizon for transfering 5-10gb per month for at least 3 consecutive months, but others have been canceled for using just 3 gb in one month. Verizon looks at the "average" use of the other customers using the towers to determine if you have used an inordinate amount of bandwidth (in other words, if you are using 75% of the bandwidth from a certain tower, it is cheaper/easier for Verizon to terminate your account than to add extra capacity to that tower). The customers that we've heard from did report high levels of usage, including downloading large files daily and streaming video and music. Once Verizon had determined that they were using "too much" bandwidth, the customers were sent letters informing them of their impending termination and their service was disconnected within 3 days. They were not charged a service termination fee (if it was the customer's decision to cancel in the middle of their contract, they would, of course, be charged a $175 fee).

Again, most Verizon EVDO users will never have a problem with overusage and can continue their regular Internet habits. For people that plan on doing a lot of streaming or using SlingBox or Bittorrent, it may be a good idea to
monitor your usage within VZAccess Manager to make sure you won't be the next recipient of an unwanted cancellation notice! If you know that you require a lot of bandwidth each month and are concerned about getting terminated, a switch to Sprint EVDO might be worth considering. We haven't heard a single report about someone being terminated for overusage on Sprint's network - thus far, anyway! If that changes, we will post the information here immediately.

If you are one of the unlucky few that has
already been terminated, you do have options. Your card still belongs to you and can be activated under a your business' federal tax ID or your spouse/friend/sibling's social security number. You can also sell the card on Ebay if you decide to try Sprint EVDO.

To read more about the Verizon termination issue read the Verizon Terminated My Service! thread at EVDOforums.com. If you have any experience with Verizon's overuse policy, please share your story!